Public Consultation on Universal Periodic Review

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I got this via email, and for those interested in the UN Human Right Council or Human Rights in Ireland should definitely attend these  meetings. I am going to try and attend the Cork meeting and will try and tweet from it.

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Alan Shatter T.D. and the Minister of State for Disability, Equality and Mental Health, Kathleen Lynch T.D. are inviting members of the public and organisations to take part in public consultation meetings to discuss Ireland’s human rights record as part of the United Nations Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process.

A series of public meetings will be held around the country as follows:

DUBLIN, Monday 16/05/2011, 7-10 pm.
St. Andrew’s Resource Centre, 114 Pearse St., Dublin 2

ATHLONE, Wednesday 18/05/2011, 7-10 pm.
Douglas Hyde theatre, Athlone Institute of Technology, Dublin Road, Athlone

KILKENNY, Friday 20/05/2011, 7-10 pm
The Parade Tower, Kilkenny Castle

LIMERICK, Monday 23/05/2011, 7-10 pm
Room 310, Mary Immaculate College, South Circular Road, Limerick

SLIGO, Wednesday 25/05/2011, 7-10 pm
Room A0006, Institute of Technology Sligo, Ash Lane, Sligo

CORK, Friday 27/05/2011, 7-10 pm
Boole 1, University College Cork, College Road, Cork

DUBLIN, Monday 30/05/2011, 7-10 pm
Axis Ballymun Theatre, Main Street, Ballymun, Dublin 9

An interdepartmental working group chaired by the Department of Justice and Equality is preparing Ireland’s National Report on our domestic human rights situation for the United Nations Human Rights Council UPR process. The National Report, which must be submitted to the UN by Monday, 4 July 2011, will be informed by consultation with and submissions from individuals and organisations, and the Department is keen to give the widest possible range of organisations and members of the public the opportunity to make submissions on issues of importance in the area of human rights in Ireland.

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is one of the major innovations of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council (established in 2006), whereby the domestic human rights records of all 192 UN Member States are reviewed every four years. 48 countries are reviewed each year, starting in 2008, with 16 reviews taking place in each of the thrice yearly UPR Working Group sessions. Ireland’s first review under the UPR process will take place on 6 October 2011.

For more information about the UPR process, guidance on how to prepare a submission and to make a submission, please visit our website, www.upr.ie

Universal Periodic Review – UN Human Rights Council

Via UN News Centre.

Under General Assembly Resolution 60/251 (Which also established the Human Rights Counicl), the General Assembly mandated the Council to

undertake a universal periodic review, based on objective and reliable information, of the fulfillment by each State of its human rights obligations and commitments in a manner which ensures universality of coverage and equal treatment with respect to all States; the review shall be a cooperative mechanism, based on an interactive dialogue, with the full involvement of the country concerned and with consideration given to its capacity-building needs; such a mechanism shall complement and not duplicate the work of treaty bodies.

This Universal Periodic Review got underway yesterday in Geneva with Bahrain and Ecuador. The other states in this 1st Session Review are

* Tunisia
* Morocco
* Indonesia
* Finland
* United Kingdom
* India
* Brazil
* Philippines
* Algeria
* Poland
* Netherlands
* South Africa
* Czech Republic
* Argentina

These will all be examined during the First Session which lasts till the 18th of April.

The Second Session will consider

1. Gabon
2. Ghana
3. Peru
4. Guatemala
5. Benin
6. Republic of Korea
7. Switzerland
8. Pakistan
9. Zambia
10. Japan
11. Ukraine
12. Sri Lanka
13. France
14. Tonga
15. Romania
16. Mali

This session will take place between 5-16 May.

The third and Final Session this year will see the following states examined,

1. Botswana
2. Bahamas
3. Burundi
4. Luxembourg
5. Barbados
6. Montenegro
7. United Arab Emirates
8. Israel
9. Liechtenstein
10. Serbia
11. Turkmenistan
12. Burkina Faso
13. Cape verde
14. Colombia
15. Uzbekistan
16. Tuvalu

That session will take place between the 1-12 December.

What do these reviews entail?

The reviews entail each country giving its own information, limited to a 20 page report, but also shadow reports can be submitted by Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), limited to 10 pages. NGOs, NHRIs (National Human Rights Institution’s), Human rights defenders, Academic institutions and Research institutes, Regional organizations, as well as civil society representatives may also submit observations as stakedholders but there submissions summarized by the OHCHR in a 10 page report.

Example: Bahrain

Bahrain’s Report(PDF) contains information on reforms it pledged to make on election to the Human Rights Council. It details constitutional protections, legal protections, treaties signed and/or ratified, as well as the State’s view of whats happening on the ground. State’s may also give additional Documentation, Bahrain has taken the opportunity and submitted 6. They havent been translated from Arabic so I cant read them.

The OHCHR Report (PDF) is a summary of the Treaties signed and ratified by Bahrain. It gives a summary of the views of the bodies set up by the treaties on work done and any issues.

12 stakeholders (PDF) made submissions to the OHCHR giving there view on whats happening on the ground.

Hopefully these UPR’s will make a difference around the world and put more pressure on states to respect Human Rights and their treaty obligations.

Ireland will be reviewed in 2011 in the 12th (and last) Session of the UPR.


Sources:
UN human rights body begins first-ever examination of all countries’ recordsUN News Centre
Universal Periodic ReviewOHCHR
General Assembly Resolution 60/251 (PDF) – UN
Universal Periodic Review: BahrainOHCHR
Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review Calender (PDF)OHCHR