Universal Periodic Review

The Universal Periodic Review Mechanism of the UN Human Rights Council

LATEST NEWS ON UPR: The 12th session of the UPR Working Group will take place on 3-14 October 2011. See list of countries for review.

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism is an instrument for reviewing the fulfillment by every UN member state of its human rights obligations and commitments. The UPR mechanism started to function in 2008, which also marked the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and "other relevant stakeholders" can participate in the UPR process in various ways, including by submitting "credible and reliable information" in writing. Submissions received from NGOs and others are summarized by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and compiled in an official 10-page UN document. This summary is one of the three documents on which the review of each country is based (the other two documents being the state's own report, and a compilation of recent recommendations by other UN human rights mechanisms).


UPR Procedure

The UPR Working Group (which consists of the same Member States as the Human Rights Council itself) meets three times each year - in February, May and November/December - to review 16 states each session.

Forthcoming sessions:

12th session: Oct 2011
Submissions closed
1 Swaziland
2 Togo
3 Uganda
4 Tanzania
5 Zimbabwe
6 Syrian Arab Republic
7 Tajikistan
8 Thailand
9 Timor Leste
10 Trinidad and Tobago
11 Venezuela
12 Antigua and Barbuda
13 Iceland
14 Ireland
15 Lithuania
16 Moldova

For the full calendar for the first cycle (2008-2011) of the UPR mechanism, click here.

In addition to the 47 members of the Human Rights Council, any UN Member State can take part in the discussion/dialogue with the reviewed States. Each State review is assisted by groups of three States, known as “troikas”, who serve as rapporteurs. The selection of the troikas for each State review is done through a drawing of lots prior for each Working Group session.

Following the State review by the UPR Working Group an 'outcome report' is prepared by the troika with the involvement of the State under review and assistance from the OHCHR. This report provides a summary of the actual discussion, and consists of the questions, comments and recommendations made by States to the country under review, as well as the responses by the reviewed State.

During the Working Group session half an hour is allocated to adopt each of the 'outcome reports' for the States reviewed that session. The reviewed State has the opportunity to make preliminary comments on the recommendations choosing to either accept or reject them. Both accepted and refused recommendations are included in the report. The report then has to be adopted at a plenary session of the Human Rights Council. During the plenary session, the women State under review can reply to questions and issues that were not sufficiently addressed during the Working Group and respond to recommendations that were raised by States during the review. Time is also allotted to member and observer States who may wish to express their opinion on the outcome of the review and for NGOs and other stakeholders to make general comments.

NGO submissions for the summary of other stakeholders' information

According to Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1, "Additional, credible and reliable information provided by other relevant stakeholders to the universal periodic review… should also be taken into consideration by the Council in the review. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights will prepare a summary of such information which shall not exceed 10 pages".

The page limit for submissions is 5 pages when submitted by individual stakeholders, and 10 pages when submitted by large coalitions of stakeholders.


Submissions on the countries to be reviewed at forthcoming sessions of the UPR Working Group should be sent to gro.rhcho|snoissimbusrpu#gro.rhcho|snoissimbusrpu by 12.00 noon Geneva time (CET) on the deadline dates indicated below:.

12th session (October 2011):

  • 14 March 2011 for submissions on Swaziland, Togo, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand
  • 21 March 2011 for submissions on Timor Leste, Trinidad and Tobago, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Antigua and Barbuda, Iceland, Ireland, Lithuania, Moldova.

Past sessions

1st session: 7-18 April 2008 2nd session: 5-16 May 2008 3rd session: 1-15 Dec 2008
1 Bahrain Gabon Botswana
2 Ecuador Ghana Bahamas
3 Tunisia Peru Burundi
4 Morocco Guatemala Luxembourg
5 Indonesia Benin Barbados
6 Finland Republic of Korea Montenegro
7 United Kingdom Switzerland United Arab Emirates
8 India Pakistan Israel
9 Brazil Zambia Liechtenstein
10 Philippines Japan Serbia
11 Algeria Ukraine Turkmenistan
12 Poland Sri Lanka Burkina Faso
13 Netherlands France Cape Verde
14 South Africa Tonga Colombia
15 Czech Republic Romania Uzbekistan
16 Argentina Mali Tuvalu
4th session: 2-13 February 2009 5th session: 4-15 May 2009 6th session: 30 Nov - 11 Dec 2009
1 Cameroon Central African Republic Cote d'Ivoire
2 Djibouti Chad Dem. Rep. of the Congo
3 Mauritius Comoros Equatorial Guinea
4 Nigeria Congo Eritrea
5 Senegal Vanuatu Ethiopia
6 Bangladesh Vietnam Bhutan
7 China Yemen Brunei Darussalam
8 Jordan Afghanistan Cambodia
9 Malaysia Uruguay Cyprus
10 Saudi Arabia Belize Dem. People's Rep. of Korea
11 Cuba Chile Costa Rica
12 Mexico Malta Dominica
13 Canada Monaco Dominican Republic
14 Germany New Zealand Norway
15 Russian Federation Slovakia Portugal
16 Azerbaijan FYR Macedonia Albania
7th Session: 8-19 February 2010 8th session: 3-14 May 2010 9th session: 1-12 Nov 2010
1 Angola Guinea Liberia
2 Egypt Guinea-Bissau Malawi
3 Madagascar Kenya Mongolia
4 Gambia Lesotho Panama
5 Qatar Kiribati Maldives
6 Fiji Kuwait Andorra
7 Iran Kyrgyzstan Bulgaria
8 Iraq Laos Honduras
9 Kazakhstan Grenada United States of America
10 Bolivia Guyana Marshall Islands
11 Nicaragua Haiti Croatia
12 El Salvador Spain Jamaica
13 Italy Sweden Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
14 San Marino Turkey Micronesia
15 Slovenia Armenia Lebanon
16 Bosnia and Herzegovina Belarus Mauritania
10th session: Feb 2011 11th session: May 2011
1 Mozambique Seychelles
2 Namibia Sierra Leone
3 Niger Somalia
4 Rwanda Sudan
5 Sao Tome and Principe Palau
6 Myanmar Papua New Guinea
7 Nauru Samoa
8 Nepal Singapore
9 Oman Solomon Islands
10 Paraguay Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
11 Saint Kitts and Nevis Suriname
12 Saint Lucia Belgium
13 Australia Denmark
14 Austria Greece
15 Estonia Hungary
16 Georgia Latvia

Background information on NGO participation in the UPR

According to HRC Resolution 5/1, NGOs and other relevant stakeholders can formally participate in the UPR process in the following ways:

  • Contributing to the preparation of the material on which the review will be based, including by:
    • monitoring the preparation of material by the State concerned, which should take the form of a national report not exceeding 20 pages, and by engaging in the national consultation process that HRC Resolution 5/1 recommends;
    • providing any additional, credible and reliable information to the OHCHR, for inclusion in the summary of information received from other relevant stakeholders.
  • NGOs and other relevant stakeholders can attend the reviews (which take the form of interactive dialogues with the State concerned) in the UPR Working Group sessions.
  • NGOs and other relevant stakeholders have the opportunity to make general comments before the adoption of the outcome by the Plenary of the Human Rights Council.
  • As appropriate, NGOs and other relevant stakeholders may contribute to the implementation of the outcome of the review.

Informally, NGOs have opportunities to create additional spaces for interaction with the State concerned, Member States and non-Member States of the Human Rights Council, Rapporteurs, etc.

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