The Universal Periodic Review
The Human Rights Institute is deeply engaged in civil society efforts related to the U.S.' second Universal Periodic Revew.
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique mechanism overseen by the UN Human Rights Council and conducted as a peer review by all the UN member countries. Through this process, the human rights record of each UN Member State is brought under review, based on reports from the UN, the country under review, and civil society. The United States is scheduled to undergo its second Universal Periodic Review in Geneva on May 11, 2015.
The Human Rights Institute is helping to coordinate civil society engagement with the UPR and working to encourage UPR recommendations for the United States on issues related to the Institute's priorities. Specifically, the Institute is advocating around the need for federal support and coordination of state and local human rights implementation and for meaningful and equal access to counsel in civil cases. With the NYU Center for Human Rights & Global Justice, the Institute is raising the issue of U.S. compensation for victims of torture.
The Instutute's engagement with the 2nd U.S. UPR builds on its experience with the first U.S. UPR, which took place in November 2010. At the request of the U.S. State Department, the Institute hosted a consultation between civil society and the Obama Administration at Columbia Law School on February 26, 2010. As part of the U.S. Human Rights Network's UPR Planning Committee, the Institute coordinated a stakeholder cluster report on treaty ratification and implementation and joined over 70 representatives from U.S. civil society traveling to Geneva for the first U.S. UPR review. In August 2011, the Institute published a toolkit for state and local human rights and human relations commissions, providing guidance for implementing relevant recommendations resulting from the first Review.