Invitation for views and observations on Sri Lanka’s draft National Report for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Human Rights
- The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a process in which the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States are reviewed periodically. It was introduced when the UN Human Rights Council was created by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 60/251 of 15 March 2006, and it was adopted unanimously by all UN Member States. Under this process, the human rights situation of all member countries of the UN is reviewed every 4.5 years.
- The UPR is a State-driven process. Each State is given an opportunity to declare what actions have been taken to improve the human rights situation in a country and to fulfil their respective human rights obligations. The UPR is designed to ensure equal treatment for every country when their human rights situations are assessed. The ultimate aim of this mechanism is to improve the human rights situation in all countries and address human rights violations wherever they occur.
- The Review of a country is conducted by the UPR Working Group which consists of the 47-members of the Human Rights Council. However, any UN Member State which is not a member of the 47-member Human Rights Council at a given time can also take part in the discussion/dialogue with the States that are under review. Civil Society Organizations and National Human Rights Institutions can also participate at the Review.
- The following 3 documents are used by the Working Group for the Review:
- information provided by the State under review, which can take the form of a “national report”;
- information contained in the reports of independent human rights experts and groups, known asSpecial Procedures, human rights treaty bodies, and other UN entities;
- information from other stakeholders including national human rights institutions and non-governmental organizations.
- Following the review by the Working Group, a report referred to as the “outcome report” consisting of the questions, comments and recommendations made by States to the country under review, as well as the responses by the reviewed State, is prepared and adopted. The reviewed State has the opportunity to make preliminary comments on the recommendations choosing to either accept or note them. Both accepted and noted recommendations are included in the report. The report is then adopted at a plenary session of the Human Rights Council. Time is also allotted at the plenary, to member and observer States who may wish to express their opinion on the outcome of the review, and for National Human Rights Institutes, Civil Society Organizations and other stakeholders to make general comments.
- So far, since its inception, Sri Lanka has been reviewed twice under the UPR, in 2008 and 2012 respectively. Sri Lanka’s 3rd UPR is scheduled for November 2017 and the national report in this regard has to be submitted to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on or before 7 August 2017.
- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in consultation with the relevant line Ministries, Departments and Agencies, has prepared a draft national report and invites all interested individuals and Civil Society Organizations to share with the Ministry, their respective views and observations on the draft.
- The draft report in English (PDF) with its unofficial Sinhala and Tamil translations can be downloaded from the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the following link: English Sinhala Tamil
- All interested individuals and Civil Society Organizations are invited to submit their views, comments and observations in either English, Sinhala, or Tamil, before 15 July 2017 by post, fax, or e-mail, to the following:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Sir Baron Jayathilaka Mawatha,Colombo 01.
Fax.94 11 2323228