Universal Periodic Review

According the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States. The UPR is a State-driven process, under the auspices of the Human Rights Council, which provides the opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfill their human rights obligations. As one of the main features of the Council, the UPR is designed to ensure equal treatment for every country when their human rights situations are assessed. The UPR was created through the UN General Assembly on 15 March 2006 by resolution 60/252, which established the Human Rights Council itself. It is a cooperative process which, by October 2011, has reviewed the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States. Currently, no other universal mechanism of this kind exists. The UPR is one of the key elements of the Council which reminds States of their responsibility to fully respect and implement all human rights and fundamental freedoms. The ultimate aim of this mechanism is to improve the human rights situation in all countries and address human rights violations wherever they occur.

Odhikar and The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) jointly submitted a report on Bangladesh for consideration as part of Bangladesh’s second cycle Universal Periodic Review (UPR). It covered the period from July 01, 2008 to September 30, 2012 that includes two governments; the caretaker government in power from July 1, 2008 to January 5, 2009, and the current 14-party Grand Alliance government, led by the Awami League that assumed power on January 6, 2009. During the first UPR session in February 2009, 42 recommendations were made of which the Bangladesh government accepted 34. In this report Odhikar highlighted the state of implementation of key recommendation as well as human rights developments since the first cycle review took place from 2-13 February 2009 where Odhikar and FIDH jointly submitted the first report.

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