The UPR Project at BCU
This project funded by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is jointly-delivered by the Centre for Human Rights’ UPR Project at Birmingham City University (BCU) and the barrister’s chambers 4 King’s Bench Walk, Inner Temple. It aims to provide support and training for civil society engagement with the UK’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The 4th Cycle is the project’s focus but we will facilitate creating a UK network for continued civil society engagement with the UPR.
The UPR has energised civil society organisation (CSO) engagement with the UN and so this project will help connect and provide opportunities for the UK’s CSOs through training, networking, and synergistic activities. A focus is to further CSO understanding of the creation and evolution of the UPR, how to use the review to strengthen equality and human rights, and identify cogent advocacy strategies in the UK and Geneva for helping ensure appropriate national legislative change and policy implementation.
We will build upon the ethos of the UPR by sharing knowledge and good practice to promote the meaningful safeguarding of human rights in our country. To do this we will provide training on the inter-connected roles of the various actors of the UPR, including: the UPR Secretariat, the national government, the coordination of the work of the Ministry of Justice, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and the Government Equalities Office, UK Parliamentarians, (including, Select Committees and All-Party Parliamentary Groups), UN permanent missions, UK NHRIs, civil society, the legal profession, and the media (including the use of social media).
Experts at the UPR Project have engaged with all aspects of the UPR both domestically and in Geneva, including submitting Stakeholder Reports, presenting at UPR Info’s pre-sessions, engaging in advocacy with UN permanent missions, presenting at regional political systems’ member state sessions, advising NHRIs (domestically and in foreign jurisdictions), and participating in national interim-reviews.
The project will be delivered through a hybrid on-line and in-person format. We will hold separate on-line sessions for: the pre-UPR, the review at the Human Rights Council, and the Outcome of the Review. We will also hold a Project Conference at STEAMhouse Birmingham, BCU’s new state-of-the-art enterprise facilities, and in London we will hold a session for engaging with parliamentarians at Westminster, and for lawyers to discuss how to use the UPR during a symposium at the Inner Temple.
Participants will receive training and share best practices on: utilising research opportunities, drafting impactful (SMART) recommendations, identify new collaborations and explorative pathways within the UPR, and engage evaluative techniques and strengthen synergies, for example between the UPR and the fulfilment of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the UPR and the role of the UN Special Procedures mandates.
Alongside offering a platform to create a civil society network for engaging with the UPR, participants will also benefit from collaborative opportunities with the Universal Periodic Review Academic Network (UPRAN), the PhD community focusing upon the UPR as funded by the Arts and Humanities Council’s (AHRC) Midlands4Cities Consortium, and the BCU Centre for Human Rights’ network of organisations and partners.
Registration details for Activities 4 and 5 will be shared in due course.
For further information on the content of the Project Activities contact: Professor Jon Yorke at email@example.com
For further registration information on Activities 1 and 2 (pre-review briefing and UPR live-stream), contact Mr Michael Lane at Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org. For Activity 3 (CSO conference), contact Dr Alice Storey at email@example.com.
Follow the Project on Twitter @UKUPR_CivSoc