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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

U.S. Universal Periodic Review Report to U.N. Human Rights Council

The U.N.'s first Universal Periodic Review of the U.S., is scheduled for November 5, 2010. The UPR offers an important opportunity both to measure how the U.S. is meeting its human rights obligations and to continue pressuring the government to live up to those obligations.

Every four years, the UPR assesses each country's adherence to its human rights obligations under the U.N. Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), human rights treaties ratified by the country, its voluntary commitments, and applicable international law. Reviews are conducted by the UPR Working Group, which consists of 47 members of the U.N. Human Rights Council.

During the review, in addition to the146379.pdf provided by the country under review and the reports of U.N. bodies, the Working Group considers reports from other "stakeholders" such as civil society, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and national human rights institutions. The US Human Rights Network coordinated a joint submission of 24 reports, including one attempting to provide an overview of human rights in the United States. These reports were submitted to the UN in mid-April 2010 and will also be available on the UN website.