Universal Periodic Review (UPR)

Every four years the UK's overall human rights record is considered by the other countries which are members of the United Nations Human Rights Council in a process called Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The UPR provides an opportunity for all counties to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to overcome challenges to the enjoyment of human rights. It also includes a sharing of best human rights practices around the globe.

UPR is based on the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all UN human rights conventions to which the UK is party. The UK was last reviewed in 2008 and reports from this review can be found on the UN website. 2008's UPR review of the UK's human rights record raised a number of important issues relating to children's rights.

The second UPR review of the UK took place in May 2012. The government was required to submit a full report and other interested stakeholders were invited to submit their own submissions.

Together submission to the UPR was drawn from feedback and evidence provided by NGO members of Together. It reflected on the progress made since the recommendations made to the UK Government in 2008 through the first session of the Universal Periodic Review. It also highlighted additional key issues raised through the Together's annual State of Children's Rights reports.


Together had been working with Save the Children and the Wales UNCRC Monitoring Group to try ensure that the issues of child poverty and incorporation of the UNCRC into law were raised at the UK review. We had also been working with SCCYP and Families Outside to highlight issues faced by children of prisoners.


The 'interactive dialogue', or review, of the UK was held on 24 May 2012 at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Below you can read a summary report on the UPR Hearing and subsequent developments including a link to the UN's draft report.


The UK Government responded to the recommendations and you can read the document below.


In 2014, the UK will be submitting a mid-term report on the recommendations received at the conclusion of the UPR in 2012. Together has produced a mid-term report to inform this, which highlights where UPR recommendations were made to highlight children's rights issues, particularly concentrating on those recommendations accepted by the UK Government. It suggests the 'next steps' that Together believes the Scottish and UK Government should take to progress each recommendation effectively.

Together then submitted a joint report alongside the Child Rights Alliance England (CRAE) to the Ministry of Justice in response to their call for views on the final UPR recommendations that the UK Government should prioritise in its mid-term report or on areas not included in the UPR's recommendations.


If you would like to find out more about the follow-up to the UK's UPR recommendations and might like to engage in this process, please use the Civil Society's Follow-Up Kit below.

About Together Scotland

Sign up to our e-Newsletter

Get the very latest on children’s rights by following us on Twitter.