NHRIs promote and protect human rights by monitoring a State’s compliance with its international human rights obligations. UN human rights mechanisms, such as the Universal Period Review, allows NHRIs to hold the State to account for their human rights record as well as providing opportunities for NHRIs to offer recommendations for how the State can improve their human rights compliance
The UPR is a unique mechanism of the UN Human Rights Council which aims to improve the human rights situation on the ground of each UN Member States. It is a peer review process carried out once every five years. As well as receiving evidence from NHRIs, the review takes account of information from a range of sources, including a report from the State under review, and evidence from civil society, and other UN bodies.
States under review are provided with recommendations aimed at improving the human rights on the ground in their country. The key to the success of the UPR, is the implementation of these recommendations. Across the Commonwealth, NHRIs are developing tools to improve to keep track of these recommendations and monitor their implementation. By providing publicly accessible information on State progress on human rights, these tools provide a powerful mechanism to better hold States to account, and identify areas of human rights where improvements and increased advocacy are needed.
The Commonwealth Forum of National Human Rights Institutions (CFNHRI) encourages the sharing of best monitoring practices between members.
The EHRC’s human rights tracker