Recommendations in practice

Organizations criticize lack of follow-up in UN review mechanism

In May 2017, Brazil and another 13 countries will undergo the UPR (Universal Periodic Review), a United Nations hearing on the human rights situation in specific countries that is applied every four and a half years to all UN Member States. Just weeks before the start of the third cycle of reviews, civil society organizations questioned the lack of a follow-up procedure for the recommendations that are made during the review process.

According to the NGOs, the lack of such a mechanism, in particular a thorough and independent assessment of the level of implementation of the recommendations, constitutes the main limitation of the UPR. In a letter sent to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the organizations recognized the importance of the UPR but contended that it needs to be improved.

“This assessment is crucial to ensuring that States uphold their human rights commitments and deliver change on the ground,” said the letter’s ninety signatory organizations, among them Conectas. “Without an assessment, Member States are not held fully accountable for the commitments and other statements made during the UPR process, and for ultimately improving their human rights record”.

The organizations further stated that the UPR should incorporate information both from the State under review and from UN country teams, OHCHR regional offices and national human rights institutions. They also stressed the importance of civil society as a source of information.

> Click here to read the letter in full.

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