The United Nations has posted an update on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the United States' human rights record which includes a summary of 139 stakeholder submissions (many of which were submitted as part of the Network’s UPR advocacy), and an Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights compilation report. According to the UN’s update, the US government has yet to submit their national report.
Last month we received official news from the UN that UPR had been postponed. Since then, the US Human Rights Network UPR Task Force has worked quickly to identify short- and long-term opportunities for online advocacy around the review process. Thank you to our members who have engaged in the UPR process until this point and who continue to show patience and determination to participate despite the review’s postponement.
On April 8, the UPR Task Force sent a letter to the Department of State calling on the US government to respect, protect, and promote international human rights during this COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. We asked that the government includes information on US responses to COVID-19 in its UPR report to the Human Rights Council.
On April 15, the UPR Task Force hosted a virtual civil society briefing to UN Permanent Missions on human rights in the United States and COVID-19, planned in lieu of the postponed UPR Info pre-session. Over 55 diplomats from 44 countries participated in the virtual briefing which aimed to highlight specific rights violations of the most vulnerable populations in response to COVID-19 pandemic. The briefing covered human rights issues including housing, water and sanitation, workers’ rights, criminal and immigration detention, healthcare, voting rights, indigenous peoples and women’s rights. We encourage you to check out the briefing webpage, which includes the recording of the briefing, slide decks, and briefing papers by issue area.
While the UPR has been postponed to November, we will continue to hold the Trump administration accountable for human rights during the pandemic, and to call for the protection of our most vulnerable, marginalized, and historically discriminated communities. We will keep you informed of any upcoming UPR Task Force advocacy activities that you may be interested in participating in. If you have questions about the UPR process, please visit our UPR website: www.upr2020.org or contact UPR Task Force Co-Chairs Mary Gerisch and Josh Cooper (firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com).