Universal Periodic Review
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a peer-review process before the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council. Under the UPR, the human rights record of each country is reviewed by other UN Member States. This provides an opportunity for countries to discuss their domestic human rights framework as well as measures taken to promote and protect human rights in their country.
The UPR process includes five steps:
- The submission of a national report by the country under review;
- An appearance before the UPR Working Group of the Human Rights Council, at which time other countries ask questions and make recommendations to the country under review;
- The adoption by the UN Council of the Working Group report that includes a summary of the discussion and the recommendations made by other countries;
- The submission of an official response on the recommendations that indicates which recommendations the country under review accepts, and which it does not accept; and
- The adoption of the outcome of the review by the Human Rights Council.
To learn more about the UPR, see The Universal Periodic Review Process.
Canada and the Universal Periodic Review
Canada was a major proponent of the UPR and contributed significantly to the elaboration of the process. Canada has been actively participating in the review of other countries and has encouraged countries to participate in an open, transparent and cooperative manner.
The UPR provides an opportunity for Canada to assess its human rights situation. This includes identifying strengths and recognizing challenges where improvements are needed. Canada participates in the UPR as part of its ongoing efforts to ensure the promotion and protection of human rights at home and abroad.
Canada’s third Universal Periodic Review
Canada will appear before the UPR Working Group of the Human Rights Council in May 2018.
Canada has submitted its national report in March 2018 under its third UPR. The national report is based on the recommendations from the previous UPR cycle as well as other priority issues, including with regard to Indigenous peoples, the promotion of gender equality and social development initiatives. The report was prepared in close collaboration with federal departments and provincial and territorial governments through the Continuing Committee of Officials on Human Rights.
Over 280 civil society organizations and Indigenous groups were consulted on a draft outline of Canada’s report. The draft report was shared with National Indigenous Organizations and other Indigenous groups, the Canadian Human Rights Commission, and civil society organizations. A summary of the views that were received are appended to Canada’s final report.
In formulating their recommendations, other countries will consider Canada’s national report; recent recommendations from UN human rights bodies, such as those received from committees of independent experts (treaty bodies) and UN Special Procedures; and information from other stakeholders, including national human rights institution, civil society organizations and Indigenous groups.
Canada’s official response to the report of the UPR working group will indicate the recommendations that it accepts and those that it does not accept. This response should be provided in late summer 2018.
Documents related to Canada’s third UPR can be found on the Universal Periodic Review Third Cycle website as they become available. A copy of Canada’s report can be obtained by request by e-mailing the following address: PCH.epudroitsdelapersonne-uprhumanrights.PCH@canada.ca. Note: Canada’s report will be published online as soon as possible. It will be available in accessible PDF prior to Canada’s UPR appearance in May 2018.
Canada's second Universal Periodic Review
Canada's second UPR took place on April 26, 2013.
A major focus of Canada's second national report was on measures that relate to the recommendations and voluntary commitments it accepted during its first UPR in 2009.
Forty-eight reports were submitted to the UN by domestic stakeholders for Canada’s second UPR, including by the Canadian Human Rights Commission, non-governmental organizations and Indigenous groups.
Following Canada’s appearance, the UPR Working Group issued its report, which included the 162 recommendations Canada received from other States. The recommendations focused primarily on issues related to the ratification and implementation of international human rights treaties; Indigenous peoples; violence against women and girls; national security and public safety; poverty, homelessness and food security; racial and religious discrimination; and the situation of vulnerable groups, including women, children, persons with disabilities, older persons, and immigrants and refugees.
Canada’s Response to the Recommendations was submitted to the UN on September 16, 2013. Canada's response was prepared in close collaboration with federal departments and provincial and territorial governments. The response was informed by views expressed by civil society and Indigenous groups throughout the UPR process. Canada accepted, in full, in part, or in principle, 121 of the recommendations received.
Documents related to Canada’s second UPR, including Canada’s national report and response and a compilation of information from stakeholders, can be found on the Universal Periodic Review Second Cycle website.
Canada's first Universal Periodic Review
Canada’s first UPR took place on February 3, 2009.
The national report for Canada’s first UPR was submitted to the UN in January 2009. The report provided an overview of the framework for the promotion and protection of human rights in Canada as well as related policies and programs, including socio-economic issues, Indigenous issues, women’s rights, immigration, and anti-discrimination initiatives.
Fifty reports were submitted to the UN by the Canadian Human Rights Commission, non-governmental organizations and Indigenous groups in relation to Canada’s first UPR.
Canada received 68 recommendations from other States that covered a number of topics, including reducing inequality for disadvantaged groups, Indigenous issues, poverty and homelessness; violence against women; and racism and discrimination.
Canada’s Response to the Recommendations, submitted in June 2009, was prepared in close collaboration with federal departments and provincial and territorial governments in accordance with UN guidelines. Canada accepted, in part or in full, 54 of the recommendations. It also made nine additional voluntary commitments that complemented the accepted recommendations.
Documents related to Canada’s first UPR, including Canada’s national report and response and a compilation of information from stakeholders, can be found on the Universal Periodic Review website.
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