The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all United Nations Member States. The UPR is a State-driven process, under the auspices of the UN Human Rights Council, which provides the opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfil their human rights obligations. As one of the main features of the Council, the UPR is designed to ensure equal treatment for every country when their human rights situations are assessed.
The United States believes the UPR has the potential to effect real change in countries throughout the world. The UPR is not just something that occurs in Geneva every four and half years. It is an ongoing, daily tool to advance human rights. Our interventions to other countries are crafted with the goal of providing useful, targeted recommendations that, when implemented, will create positive change for society.
Recent UPR Sessions
U.S. Implementation Plan for the 2010 Universal Periodic Review
In 2010, the United States participated in the UN Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process. After careful review, the United States accepted in whole or in part 173 of the 228 recommendations it received. In keeping with the United States’ enduring commitment to universal human rights and fundamental freedoms at home and abroad, we have adopted a process for carrying out and reviewing our implementation of the recommendations we accepted.
Working groups have been formed to oversee implementation efforts in ten thematic categories:
- Civil Rights and Racial and Ethnic Discrimination
- Criminal Justice Issues
- Indigenous Issues
- National Security
- Labor and Trafficking
- Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights and Measures
- The Environment
- Domestic Implementation of Human Rights
- Treaties and International Human Rights Mechanisms
These working groups are each led by the government department or agency with the greatest subject matter expertise in that area and are composed of members from other relevant departments and agencies. During the coming months and years, we will reach out to civil society through this working group process, both on the individual working group level and collectively, thus continuing the dialogue that was begun in preparation for our initial review.
Lead agencies for each thematic area, along with information regarding how interested individuals and organizations can engage with each working group.