What is the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and why does it matter?

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a process through which the human rights records of the United Nations' 193 Member States are reviewed and assessed every four and a half years. It is a monitoring system of the UN Human Rights Council,established in 2006, and it is the first mechanism where UN States directly examine each other on their human rights record.

The UPR assesses how countries respect the commitments they made and agreements that they signed under international law and highlights any gaps in human rights protection in the country which is being reviewed. The whole idea behind the UPR is that human rights protection will be improved on the ground. Following the review, recommendations are made to the country on how to improve their compliance with their human rights obligations. The country under review has a duty to implement these recommendations in the four and a half years before it comes up for review again.

In Spring 2016, Ireland will be examined for the second time under the UPR. Ireland's first UPR took place in 2011. Relevant documents from Ireland's first review can be found on the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/IESession12.aspx 

For a thorough explanation of the UPR process please see our
Plain English Guide to the Universal Periodic Review

Further information on the procedures of the UPR can also be found on www.upr-info.org at this link


Useful Links

The High Commissioner for Human Rights is the principal human rights official of the United Nations. Their site contains up to date information on the latest UPR news and events as well as some basic facts about the UPC process:

UPR info is a dedicated organisation which promotes awareness of the UPR process. On their website you will find all the documents available on the UPR, including: State and NGO reports; OHCHR summaries and compilations; summaries of each review; reports of the Working Group; final outcomes with recommendations, webcasts of the UPR sessions; press statements by NGOs and analyses by UPR Info and other NGOs as well as detailed explanations on how to engage in the process.

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) is an independent body established by the Irish State to promote and protect human rights and equality.



Human Rights in Ireland is a group academic blog which looks at human rights issues in Ireland and on Irish scholarship about human rights theory, practice and law. Here you will find contributions by academics on the UPR process and on human rights issues in general.

The Department of Foreign Affairs website contains information on the 2010 NGO Forum on Human Rights whose theme was: 'Ireland's examination under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR)'

Information is also provided on civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights in the context of Ireland's UPR examination, as well as the international dimension of the UPR process

The Irish Government have created a webpage with information on Ireland's UPR:


Glossary of Terms: UPR