What is the Universal Periodic Review?
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a periodic review process of the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States. The UPR provides the opportunity for all Member States to state what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situation in their countries as well as provide States the opportunity to overcome any persisting barriers to the full enjoyment of human rights.
UN Member States are reviewed in cycles. The reviews take place during the sessions of the UPR Working Group which meets three times a year. The reviews are based on information provided by the State under review (‘national reports’); information from independent human rights experts and groups, human rights treaty bodies, and other UN entities; and information from other stakeholders (like EUROMIL).
The UPR assesses the human rights situation in the reviewing country and the extent to which the State is respecting its obligations under relevant human rights treaties. For EUROMIL members, the most relevant treaties are the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights however all UN treaties are applicable. The UPR process, along with the complaints process at the European Committee of Social Rights, is a useful tool for EUROMIL members to highlight poor working conditions for military personnel in their country and to put external pressure on governments to make the necessary changes.
For a more detailed overview of the process go to the UN OHCHR website.
Deadlines for UPR National Reports in 4th Cycle are available online but the most important dates for EUROMIL members to remember are the “other stakeholder” submissions. EUROMIL can make a submission on behalf of members to the UPR Working Group highlighting any incidences in which the State is not respecting its international human rights obligations.
Contributions & Participation of “other stakeholders” in the UPR
Deadlines for EUROMIL Members & Relevant Associations: Submissions*
31 March: Poland; the Netherlands; UK; South Africa
30 June: Czech Republic; Ukraine
29 September: Romania; Serbia; Montenegro; France
9 March: Germany; Russia
29 June: Malta; Congo
28 September: Cyprus; Slovakia; North Macedonia
14 March: Portugal
27 June: Italy; Slovenia; Bosnia & Herzegovina
26 September: Spain; Sweden; Turkey
13 March: Bulgaria; Croatia
26 June: Austria; Georgia
25 September: Belgium; Denmark; Latvia; Estonia
12 March: Greece; Hungary; Ireland
25 June: Lithuania
*All dates after March 2022 are tentative