United Kingdom’s human rights record to be reviewed by Universal Periodic Review


1 May 2017

GENEVA (1 May 2017) – The United Kingdom’s human rights record will be examined by the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group for the third time on Thursday, 4 May 2017 in a meeting that will be webcast live.

United Kingdom is one of the 14 States to be reviewed by the UPR Working Group during its upcoming session taking place from 1 to 12 May, which also marks the commencement of the third UPR cycle.  The United Kingdom’s first and second UPR reviews took place in April 2008 and May 2012, respectively.

The documents on which the reviews are based are: 1) national report - information provided by the State under review; 2) information contained in the reports of independent human rights experts and groups, known as the Special Procedures, human rights treaty bodies, and other UN entities; 3) information provided by other stakeholders including national human rights institutions, regional organizations and civil society groups.

Among the issues raised in the above-mentioned documents are: the proposal to replace the Human Rights Act 1998 with a new British bill of rights and the realisation of rights enjoyed through EU instruments post-Brexit; the impact of existing counter-terrorism measures; ensuring the rights to freedom of expression and association; addressing discrimination against minority ethnic communities and preventing racial profiling; procedures to authorize surveillance, including mass surveillance, and data retention, and upholding the right to privacy; measures to safeguard gender equality; combatting trafficking in women and girls, domestic violence and violence against women; the impact of austerity measures including on the right to adequate hosing;  the impact of the Immigration Act 2016; tackling anti-migrant attacks; and steps to ratify the Convention on the rights of migrant workers.  

The three reports serving as the basis for the review of United Kingdom on 4 May can be found here:

Location: Room 20, Palais des Nations, Geneva
Time and date: 09.00 – 12.30, Thursday, 4 May (Geneva time, GMT +1 hour)

The UPR is a unique process which involves a periodic review of the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States.  Since its first meeting was held in April 2008, all 193 UN member States have been reviewed twice within the first and second UPR cycles.  During the third UPR cycle, States are again expected to spell out steps they have taken to implement recommendations posed during their previous reviews which they committed to follow-up on, as well as to highlight recent human rights developments in the country.

The delegation of the United Kingdom will be headed by Sir Oliver Heald QC, MP, Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

The three country representatives serving as rapporteurs (“troika”) for the review of the United Kingdom are: Albania, Ethiopia and Mongolia.

The webcast of the session will be at

The list of speakers and all available statements to be delivered during the review of the United Kingdom will be posted on the UPR Extranet at the following link:

The UPR Working Group is scheduled to adopt the recommendations made to the United Kingdom at 16.30 on 9 May.  The State under review may wish to express its positions on recommendations posed to it during their review.  The recommendations will be shared with the media on this day in advance.   


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