UPR Brazil Group points to setbacks in human rights recommendations on which Brazil will report to the UN this year

Coalition of civil society organizations is monitoring the situation of the Brazilian State in the Universal Periodic Review, a mechanism that cross references recommendations between nations

Foto: Divulgação/ONU Foto: Divulgação/ONU

Every four and a half years, Brazil must report on the human rights situation in the country to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, through the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), an international mechanism that cross references recommendations on the human rights between nations. The Brazilian State needs to send a report, answering whether the recommendations made by other countries are being followed. The report from the government is scheduled, on the international calendar, to be delivered by August 8. Civil society, led by the UPR Group, has made its own diagnosis of the situation and will present it on May 25 at the Seminar: Brazil in the UPR – 2022, which will be attended by representatives of the Brazilian government, UN members and Embassies that serve on the Human Rights Council. The Seminar is being held in partnership with the CNDH (National Human Rights Council), a body comprising government and civil society representatives whose purpose is the promotion and defense of human rights in Brazil.

The 31 organizations, networks and groups that form the UPR Group have catalogued the recommendations made to Brazil and drafted 11 reports on the different topics – indigenous peoples, environment, health and dignified life, gender equality and non-discrimination, and racism, among others. The analysis, based on official data, indicates an extremely serious and unprecedented situation for Brazil in the Universal Periodic Review: nearly half of all the recommendations have not been complied with and face setbacks. 

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According to the calendar of the United Nations, the Brazilian State should already have released its report for public consultation in Brazil. Recently, the Ministry of Women, Family and Human Rights informed the National Human Rights Council that it would release the report on Monday, May 23. The UPR Group expects the Brazilian State to attend the In-Person Meeting in Brasília, present its results and put them up for debate with civil society.

“We know that Brazil has been moving backwards in terms of human rights. The data that give substance to our analysis are already public knowledge. Two years ago, the Brazilian State presented outdated figures, including data referring to previous governments and organizations that have already been shut down. We hope that, this time, the State will stop denying the facts and will present consistent information to debate with civil society,” said Fernanda Lapa, Executive Director of IDDH (Institute for Development and Human Rights), the organization that currently coordinates the UPR Brazil Group.

The content produced by the UPR Group will be presented for the first time at the Seminar and will be available shortly thereafter on the UPR Platform. See the full agenda of the event.

Universal Periodic Review

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a periodic and universal mechanism of the United Nations Human Rights Council that has been in place since 2008. All the UN States Parties must participate, in cycles of approximately four and a half years. The purpose of the mechanism is to review/verify compliance with the human rights obligations and commitments assumed by the 193 UN Member States. An animated video produced by the Institute for Development and Human Rights explains how the UPR works. Currently, Brazil is wrapping up its 3rd cycle of the UPR and will soon be embarking on the first phase of the 4th cycle. 

UPR Group

The UPR Group is a coalition formed by 31 organizations, networks and groups from Brazilian civil society whose purpose is to monitor the implementation of the UPR recommendations, in addition to disseminating information on the mechanism in the country and urging the Brazilian State to improve transparency and social participation. The group was created in 2017, shortly after Brazil completed the 3rd cycle of the UPR.

All the information is available on the UPR Brazil Platform, an online tool for the consultation and assessment of the recommendations received by the Brazilian State. It is practical and accessible, so all Brazilian human rights defenders can use it to disseminate information on the monitoring of the recommendations, thereby increasing the engagement of Brazilian civil society in the UPR mechanism. Learn more at: plataformarpu.org.br.

Currently, the member organizations of the UPR Group are: Brazilian Association of Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transexuals and Intersex People (ABGLT); National AIDS Policy Watch (ABIA); Association of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB); Coordination for Monitoring Human Rights (AMDH); Article 19; National Campaign for the Right to Education; Center for Economic and Social Rights (CDES); Center for Grassroots Education and Counselling (CEAP); Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI); Latin American and Caribbean Committee for the Defense of Women’s Rights (CLADEM); National Coordination of Black Rural Quilombola Communities (CONAQ); Conectas Human Rights; FIAN Brasil; National Forum for the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labor (FNPETI); Office of Legal Counsel to Grassroots Organizations (GAJOP); Geledés; Gestos; Institute for Development and Human Rights (IDDH); Institute for Indigenous Training and Research (Iepé); Migrations and Human Rights Institute (IMDH); National Institute for Socio-Economic Studies (INESC); Intervozes; Justiça Global; Movement of Dam-Affected People (MAB); National Human Rights Movement (MNDH); National Movement for the Reintegration of People Affected by Hansen’s Disease (MORHAN); DHESCA Platform; Amazon Cooperation Network (RCA); Terra de Direitos; Themis; and Center for Cooperatives and Solidarity Enterprises of Brazil (UNISOL).

National Human Rights Council (CNDH)

Established initially by Law No. 4,319, of March 16, 1964, which created the Council for the Defense of the Rights of the Human Person, the body was transformed into the National Human Rights Council by Law No. 12,986, of June 2, 2014. The institutional mission of the CNDH is based on the Principles Relating to the Status and Functioning of National Institutions for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights (Paris Principles), defined by the UN in 1992, whose criteria include autonomy and pluralism.

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