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The Universal Periodic Review (UPR)

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  1. The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) THE UPR PROCESS:NATIONAL PREPARATION Claude Cahn Human Rights Adviser Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator Moldova Claude.cahn@undp.org, ccahn@ohchr.org

  2. CONTENTS Chapter I: UPR Process • International Human Rights Mechanisms • Human Rights Council • Basis of the Review • Objectives • Principles

  3. CONTENTS Chapter II: National Preparation • General • National Consultation • Report Writing

  4. CONTENTS Chapter III: Conduct of the Review • Review at the Human Rights Council • Follow up

  5. Chapter I UPR Process

  6. National Frameworks International Human Rights Mechanisms ICCPR ICESCR CAT CERD CMW CRC CRPD CEDAW UDHR CPAPED Other International Instruments e.g. ILO Conventions Regional Instruments

  7. International Human Rights Instruments International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment Convention on the Rights of the Child International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance

  8. International Human Rights Mechanisms

  9. Human Rights Council A subsidiary body of the General Assembly composed of 47 United Nations Member States. It replaced the UN Commission on Human Rights in 2006.

  10. Human Rights Council Mandate & Function: • Promotes universal protection • Addresses and prevents violations • Develops international human rights law • Reviews compliance of Member States • Responds to emergencies • International forum for dialogue

  11. Human Rights Council Mechanisms: • Advisory Committee • Complaints Procedure • Special Procedures • Forum on Minority Issues • Social Forum • Expert mechanism on the rights of indigenous peoples • Universal Periodic Review (UPR)

  12. Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review: • Essentially public bilateral consultation carried out in an international forum • All 192 UN member States are examined by the UPR mechanism • The periodicity of the review for the first cycle is four years • Consideration of 48 States per year

  13. Basis of the Review • The Charter of the United Nations; • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights; • Human rights instruments to which a State is party; • Voluntary pledges and commitments made by States, including those undertaken when presenting their candidatures for election to the Human Rights Council; • Applicable international humanitarian law.

  14. Objectives • The improvement of the human rights situation on the ground • The fulfilment of the State’s human rights obligations • Assessment of positive developments and challenges faced by the State • The enhancement of the State’s capacity • The sharing of best practice among States and other stakeholders • The encouragement of full cooperation and engagement with the Council, other human rights bodies and OHCHR.

  15. Principles • Universal coverage • Review of all human rights • Complement and not duplicate other international human rights mechanisms • Cooperative mechanism based on objective and reliable information • Intergovernmental process

  16. Principles • Conducted in an objective, transparent, non-selective, constructive, non‑confrontational and non‑politicised manner • Full integration of a gender perspective • Ensure the participation of all relevant stakeholders.

  17. Chapter II National Preparation

  18. General • The UPR is based on 3 types of documents: • National Report - Information prepared by the State concerned (20 pages, 12 point). • UN compilation - prepared by OHCHR, including relevant information from reports of treaty bodies, special procedures, observations and comments by the State concerned, UN public reports from the HC, SG, GA, HRC, UNCT, UN agencies and programmes (10 pages). • Stakeholders summary - prepared by OHCHR of information provided by other stakeholders, including NGOs, NHRIs, regional organizations (10 pages).

  19. National Consultation National Report Prepared by the SUR after a broad national consultation process between Government and civil society Structure: should follow general guidelines available (Annex HRC Decision 6/102) • Submitted by the SUR some 13 weeks before the review takes place • Cover a 4 year-time period • Pages and paragraphs should be numbered • National report should be sent to OHCHR through the diplomatic channel and to UPRStates@ohchr.org

  20. National Consultation Stakeholders Summary Report • Prepared by OHCHR: based on credible and reliable information provided by other relevant stakeholders • Stakeholders include NGOs, human rights defenders, academic/research institutes and other civil society organizations, NHRI, regional intergovernmental organizations

  21. National Consultation • Stakeholders are strongly encouraged to provide written submissions that: • Are focused, highlight the main issues of concern and identify possible recommendations and/or best practices • Do not include second-hand information • Are specifically tailored for the UPR • Do not contain language manifestly abusive

  22. National Consultation • Stakeholders Summary Report is written in UN official languages only • Cover a maximum four-year time period • Should be sent to: uprsubmissions@ohchr.org. Moldova Deadline 21 March 2011 • For further details log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/UPRMain.aspx

  23. UPR Process timeline – 12th session, October 2011, Republic of Moldova Publication of reports (3 Reports posted in OHCHR website, 10 weeks before session) 12th UPR Working Group session Adoption of outcome by HRC Follow-up -implementation -monitoring -documenting reporting 21 March 2011 July 4, 2011 Review October 12, 2011 Next Regular Human Rights Council Session 4 years Advance Question (10 daysbefore session) Adoption of report by UPR Working Group(2 days later) Deadline for Submissions of Stakeholders Deadline for National Reports (13 weeksbefore session)

  24. National Consultation • External Consultation with Stakeholders, including: • Local authorities; • Trade Unions; • Community and religious leaders; • Human rights defenders; • Civil society organizations; • National institutions.

  25. National Consultation Main new feature of the Human Rights Council • An opportunity for the State under Review (SuR) to report on the human rights situation in its country • Process (not a single event) • Periodic (every four years) • Peer review (intergovernmental) • Participatory (interactive dialogue, stakeholders) • Practical (improvement of human rights situation on the ground)

  26. National Consultation Inter-ministerial preparation • Does an inter-ministerial body on human rights reporting already exist? • What is the inter-ministerial division of the responsibilities? • What are the main themes?

  27. National Consultation Inter-ministerial preparation Good practices… • Start preparations early • Divide responsibilities • Nominate focal points in Ministries • Set up a inter-ministerial committee on the UPR • Involve political level

  28. Consultation Process: Questions…. With whom to consult? Local authorities? Trade Unions? Community and religious leaders? National human rights institutions? Human rights defenders? Civil society organizations? When to consult? During drafting process? Prior to the drafting? How to consult? Public call for consultations? Meeting in public or in private? National Consultation

  29. National Consultation Consultation Process: Good practices… • Receive and record views from consultations • Interact with broad spectrum of stakeholders • Decide on inclusion of views in national report • Share draft national report

  30. Report Writing • Contents of National Report: HRC Decision 6/102: • Describe the methodology and broad consultation process followed • Background: scope of obligations, legislative and institutional framework, policies, NHRIs • Promotion and protection of HRs on the ground • Achievements, best practices, challenges and constraints • Capacity building and technical assistance.

  31. Report Writing Structure of UPR reports Domestic normative and institutional framework for the promotion and protection of human rights 1. Government and nature of the political regime 2. International human rights obligations 3. Incorporation of international treaties in domestic law

  32. Report Writing Structure of UPR reports Domestic normative and institutional framework for the promotion and protection of human rights 4.Constitution and major human rights legislation 5.National Human Rights Protection Systems, including courts, NHRIs, NGOs and other mechanisms 6.Government mechanisms following-up on the concluding observations of TB, recommendations of SPs and UPR.

  33. Report Writing Structure of UPR reports: Promotion and protection of HR on the ground • Equality and non-discrimination • Civil and political rights & fundamental freedoms • Personal liberties and security • Torture, and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment 5.Administration of justice

  34. Report Writing Structure of UPR reports: Promotion and protection of HR on the ground 6.ESC rights (health, housing, education, work, social security…) 7.Women’s rights and gender equality 8.Children’s rights 9.Promotion and protection of the rights of specific groups, including: migrants, disabled persons, minorities, indigenous peoples…

  35. Report Writing Structure of UPR reports: • Identification of achievements, best practices, challenges and constraints, include: • Constitution and legal reform • Judicial, legal and official training, and education in human rights • Public awareness and engagement • Human rights protection

  36. Chapter III Conduct of the Review

  37. Review at the Human Rights Council • Anticipate • What questions are likely to be asked? • Who needs to prepare responses? • Where may we find this information? • When will we receive the advance written questions from the Troika? Would it be useful to create a technical WG to anticipate issues of concern and prepare responses?

  38. Review at the Human Rights Council • Anticipate (for Moldova) • Questions on Roma/ban on discrimination on ethnic grounds • Questions on Violence against Women/Gender Equality • Questions on equal rights/ban on discrimination for LGBTI minorities • Questions on torture • Questions on trafficking • Questions on religious freedom, in particular treatment of Muslims • Questions on how civil society has been involved in the national-level UPR process • Questions on implementation of voluntary pledges and commitments made at the time of Moldova’s candidacy for the Human Rights Council (see Appendix, at bottom)

  39. Review at the Human Rights Council Preparation of the Review: • Where can we consult the other basic documents? http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/Documentation.aspx • Where can we follow other reviews? http://www.un.org/webcast/unhrc/index.asp • Which commitments can be made?

  40. Review at the Human Rights Council • Formation of Delegation • Important political task • Head of delegation – authority to speak (e.g. helps to have the authority to indicate the position of the State on recommendations, during the adoption of the WG report) • Members of delegation – experts on different issues • Organise Mock Session? • Remember your UPR session will be webcast

  41. Review at the Human Rights Council • The Working Group is chaired by the President of the Council and composed of the 47 member States of the Council. • Observer States may participate in the review, including in the interactive dialogue. • Other relevant stakeholders may attend the review in the Working Group but do not participate in the interactive dialogue.

  42. Review at the Human Rights Council • The State under Review is given up to 60 minutes, to be divided between: • the introduction of its national report • its responses to written questions submitted in advance, • its replies to questions raised during the interactive dialogue, and • its concluding comments at the end of the review. • The remaining 120 minutes will be divided among Member & Observer States inscribed in the list of speakers, as follows: • 3 minutes for inputs from members of the Council • 2 minutes for inputs from Observer States

  43. Review at the Human Rights Council • Once the review is completed, the Working Group prepares a factual report of its proceedings. • The preparation of the report, which fully involves the State under review, is facilitated by the Troika, with the assistance of the Secretariat.

  44. Review at the Human Rights Council Troika: • Three members of the Council that serve as “Rapporteurs” • Drawing of lots for each Council-year • Regional representation • States may reject one troika member • States selected for troika membership may decline

  45. Review at the Human Rights Council Before the review: Receives advance written questions, and transmits them, through the Secretariat, to the SuR. During the review: No specific role. Can take the floor as representatives of their State. After the review: Prepares the report of the Working Group, with the assistance of the Secretariat and the full involvement of the SuR.

  46. Review at the Human Rights Council The Report: • Factual summary of proceedings, not a verbatim • Contains a list of recommendations, linked to the state recommending Time: - report to be adopted 48 hours after review Length: - maximum of 9,630 words (approximately 18 pages)

  47. Interaction between Troika, Secretariat and SuR Secretariat prepares a draft report and sends it to Troika and SuR Secretariat integrates Troika’s comments in the draft and the SuR’s comments to its own statements, where appropriate and relevant Secretariat finalizes the report together with the Troika Review at the Human Rights Council

  48. Review at the Human Rights Council Structure of the Report: Introduction I. Summary of the Proceedings A. Presentation by the SuR B. Interactive dialogue and responses by the SuR II. Conclusions and/or recommendations III. Voluntary pledges and Committments of the SuR

  49. Review at the Human Rights Council Each recommendation needs to be addressed Three main options: • Accept recommendations • Consider recommendations (provide response prior or during plenary of the Council) • Not accept recommendations Many states reserve the right to consult (with capital, civil society, etc.) prior to positions on recommendations (i.e. present positions on recommendations only at the Plenary weeks later), but states generally do this only with some recommendations. It is expected that the SuR will be able to present responses generally to recommendations, as well as to give answers on as many specific recommendations as possible. Responses to recommendations should not conflict with international law