Universal Periodic Review (UPR)

(every 5 years)

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves a periodic review, by the United Nations of the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States. Australia reports under the UPR every 4 years and has just presented the third cycle of reporting in January 2021. 

The UPR is a significant innovation of the Human Rights Council which is based on equal treatment for all countries. It provides an opportunity for all States to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to overcome challenges to the enjoyment of human rights. The UPR also includes a sharing of best human rights practices around the globe. Currently, no other mechanism of this kind exists.

The ultimate goal of UPR is the improvement of the human rights situation in every country with significant consequences for people around the globe. The UPR is designed to prompt, support, and expand the promotion and protection of human rights on the ground. To achieve this, the UPR involves assessing States’ human rights records and addressing human rights violations wherever they occur. The UPR also aims to provide technical assistance to States and enhance their capacity to deal effectively with human rights challenges and to share best practices in the field of human rights among States and other stakeholders.

Australia is in the third cycle of reporting in the UPR which took place on 20 January, 2021. The report was presented on 18 – 29 January, 2021.

The UPR process provides for the participation of all relevant stakeholders, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), national human rights institutions (NHRIs) and regional mechanisms. Summary of Stakeholders submissions on Australia for the 18-29 January, 2021 Session.   

Civil society actors, NHRIs and regional mechanisms can submit written information for the report containing a summary of information submitted by other stakeholders, which is considered during the review.

Accredited stakeholders can also attend and observe the session of the UPR Working Group. Accredited stakeholders can also attend , and  make oral statements,  during the regular sessions of the Human Rights Council when the outcomes of the State reviews are considered.


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