14 Feb

The 40th session of the UN Human Rights Council, from 25 February to 22 March 2019, will consider issues including the protection of human rights defenders, freedom of religion or belief, protection and promotion of human rights while countering terrorism and the right to food. It will also present an opportunity to address grave human rights situations in States including Sri Lanka, Venezuela Syria, South Sudan, Burundi, Iran, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Myanmar, Eritrea, Honduras, and Guatemala among many others. Here’s an overview of some of the key issues on the agenda.

13 Feb

A Sudanese refugee activist held in the Australian immigration detention and processing system for over five years, Abdul Aziz Muhamat, is the 2019 Martin Ennals Award Laureate. He was among three finalists, selected by a jury of ten of the world’s leading human rights organisations, together with Marino Cordoba Berrio (Colombia) and Eren Keskin (Turkey). The three of them were honoured today during a ceremony organised by the City of Geneva.

02 Feb

120 independent Venezuelan NGOs are urging the UN to ensure its agencies operating in the country keep the promotion and protection of human rights to the fore in their work.

30 Jan

ISHR joined today with over 36 organisations to launch a call on governments to adopt a resolution addressing human rights in China, with particular focus on Uyghur and other ethnic minority regions. This is the first time in over a decade that an organised effort has been made to use the Human Rights Council to seek access and lay the groundwork for accountability for violations in the country.

28 Jan

A credible, accessible and effective Human Rights Council is vital to promote and protect human rights and to hold perpetrators to account for violations, wherever they occur. ISHR presents below a blueprint for States with recommendations to some of the key issues the Human Rights Council will and should address in 2019. 

Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Reports


In this section you will find:

Further information on the UPR

  • More information on what the UPR is, how it works, and how NGOs can engage is available on this website's UPR page
  • Also check UPR-Info - the first website entirely dedicated to the UPR process providing detailed explanations of the mechanism, reports from States, NGOs and the OHCHR, summaries of every country's review, and final outcomes and recommendations
  • UPR-Info has recently developed an Issues Analysis in the form of tables that show what issue was raised by which State, and on what State under review

To receive ISHR's UPR Monitor reports by e-mail

Please write to us at with 'UPR Monitor' in the subject line, and you will start receiving our reports shortly after each session, free of charge.

UPR Analytical Overviews


This page displays the analytical overviews ISHR has put together regarding the UPR sessions so far:

  • Analytical overview of the UPR in 2008 (1st - 3rd sessions and Council adoption) 
  • Analytical overview of the UPR, April-June 2008 (1st and 2nd sessions)

  • Analytical overview of the 1st session, 7-18 April 2008 

Individual reports on the review of countries at the UPR's sessions can be found under browse by country or browse by session.

More information on what the UPR is, how it works, and how NGOs can engage is available on this our UPR page.

UPR - Browse by Session


Scroll down to see all sessions. You can also browse our reports on a specific country.

* indicates that the report is not a full report, but a snapshot of the main issues raised in the Working Group.


UPR - Browse by Country


A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z

* indicates that the report is provisional pending the aqdoption of report by the Working Group.



Afghanistan 5th session
Albania 6th session
Algeria 1st session
Angola 7th session
Argentina 1st session
Armenia 8th session
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Bahamas 3rd session
Bahrain 1st session
Barbados 3rd session*
Belarus 8th session
Belize 5th session*
Benin 2nd session, 2ème session (en français)
Bhutan 6th session
Bolivia 7th session
Bosnia 7th session
Botswana 3rd session
Brazil 1st session
Brunei Darussalam 6th session
Burkina Faso 3rd session
Burundi 3rd session*
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Cambodia 6th session
Canada 4th session
Cape Verde 3rd session
Central African Republic 5th session
Chad  5th session
Chile 5th session
China 4th session, Chinese version: 中国
Colombia 3rd session
Comoros 5th session
Congo 5th session *, 6th session
Costa Rica 6th session
Côte d'Ivoire 6th session
Cuba 4th session
Cyprus 6th session
Czech Republic 1st session
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Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea 6th session
Democratic Republic of the Congo 6th session


6th session
Dominican Republic 6th session
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Ecuador 1st session
Egypt 7th session
El Salvador 7th session
Equatorial Guinea 6th session
Eritrea 6th session
Ethiopia 6th session
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Fiji 7th session
Finland 1st session
France 2ème session (rapport en français)
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Gabon 2nd session
Gambia 7th session
Germany 4th session
Ghana 2nd session
Grenada 8th session
Guatemala 2nd session
Guinea 8th session
Guinea-Bissau 8th session
Guyana 8th session
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Haiti 8th session
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1st session


1st session

Iraq 7th session
Iran 7th session


3rd session

Italy 7th session
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Japan 2nd session
Jordan 4th session **
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7th session
Kenya 8th session
Kiribati 8th session
Kuwait 8th session
Kyrgyzstan 8th session


Lao People's Democratic Republic 8th session
Lesotho 8th session


3rd session


3rd session
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Madagascar 7th session
Mali 2nd session (not available yet)
Malta 5th session
Malaysia 4th session **
Mauritius 4th session **
Mexico 4th session
Monaco 5th session
Montenegro 3rd session
Morocco 1st session
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Netherlands 1st session
New Zealand 5th session
Nicaragua 7th session
Nigeria 4th session
Norway 6th session
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No reports under O.

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Pakistan 2nd session
Peru 2nd session
Philippines 1st session
Poland 1st session
Portugal 6th session
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7th session

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Republic of Korea 2nd session, 6th session
Romania 2nd session
Russian Federation 4th session, Russian version: Российская Федерация
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San Marino 7th session
Saudi Arabia 4th session
Serbia 3rd session
Slovakia 5th session
Slovenia 7th session
South Africa 2nd session
Spain 8th session
Sri Lanka 2nd session
Switzerland 2nd session
Sweden 8th session
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Tonga 2nd session
Tunisia 1st session
Turkey 8th session
Turkmenistan 3rd session
Tuvalu 3rd session
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Ukraine 2nd session
United Arab Emirates 3rd session
United Kingdom 1st session
Uruguay 5th session
Uzbekistan 3rd session
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Vanuatu 5th session
Viet Nam 5th session
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No reports under W.

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No reports under X.

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Yemen 5th session
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Zambia 2nd session
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Council Monitor


The Council Monitor is an ISHR publication reporting on all the key developments at the Human Rights Council (the Council) and its mechanisms. It consists of the following reports:


  • The Council Alerts are sent out and published a few weeks before the beginning of each session of the Council and provide a summary of the important issues to be discussed at the upcoming session
  • The Daily Updates are published each day during Council sessions and review what happened inside and outside the plenary. At the 10th session of the Council they were replaced by the Council Updates
  • The Session Overviews are published a few weeks after each session and provide an analytical perspective
  • Reports on the meetings of the Durban Review Conference and the Advisory Committee
  • Special procedures reports: Up until the 7th session of the Council, we produced the Reports in Short, unofficial summaries of all the reports submitted to the Human Rights Council by special procedures
  • During the institution-building phase of the Council, we produced reports on the Working Groups of the Council

To receive all the key Council Monitor reports by e-mail

Please go to our subscriptions page and sign up to receive your choice of ISHR publications by e-mail, free of charge.

Copyright, distribution and use of Council Monitor reports

Material from this publication may be reproduced for training, teaching or other non-commercial purposes as long as ISHR is fully acknowledged. You can also distribute this publication and link to it from your website as long as ISHR is fully acknowledged as the source. No part of this publication may be reproduced for any commercial purpose without the prior express permission of the copyright holders. ISHR accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies arising from or connected to unapproved or unofficial translations of its publications or parts thereof.

Publications on the Institution-Building of the Human Rights Council


This page combines ISHR Publications on the institution-building process of the Human Rights Council. Throughout the institution-building process, we monitored and reported on its various aspects. Most of the publications on this page are by now superseded by more analytical pieces, but they are of continued relevance as they shed light on the context in which the Council conducts its daily business. For an overview of the institution-building process, please go to the section on the Human Rights Council, in particular the page on the institution-building process. 

Adoption of the institution-building text

Final stages of the institution-building process

Towards the end of the first cycle (spring 2007), the completion of the institution-building process was taken up by the President through a process of public informal consultations (on 10, 18 and 24 May 2007) and private discussions. The aim was to reach consensus towards adoption a 'institution-building package' on 18 June at the fifth session of the Human Rights Council. See our brief update reports on that phase: 

Reports about the Working Groups

The bulk of the debates around the various aspects of the institution-building process took place in three different working groups. Using the navigation on the left, you can access detailed reports on each of these working groups. On each page, you will find:

  • Overviews of all of the Working Groups' meetings since November 2006

  • Daily Highlights for the last meetings of the Working Groups from 10-27 April 2007

  • Highlights of the President's Informal Consultations on the Institution-Building Process taking place between 10 May and the 5th session of the Council

Please select a Working Group in the navigation bar on the left to view all the reports that we have produced on that specific Working Group's discussions and meetings.

The Institution-Building Process



When the Human Rights Council (the Council) was established on 19 June 2006, it faced a heavy programme of work for its first year. It was to review, rationalise and improve on the former Commission on Human Rights’ (the Commission) system of special procedures, expert advice and complaint procedure, set up a new universal periodic review (UPR) mechanism, and develop its own agenda, programme of work, and rules of procedure. These tasks were to be completed by 18 June 2007, when the membership of the Council would also change. Because the discussions on these issues would shape the workings of the Council for the years to come, the process was generally called 'institution-building'. It dominated the Council's agenda in the first year, and accordingly became the focus of many national and international NGOs.

Formally, the institution-building process was concluded with the adoption of Resolution 5/1 at midnight on 18 June 2007. However, despite the many hours spent on institution building during the first year, the final ‘institution-building package’  did not settle all of the Council’s institutional questions. It required the Council to still discuss and decide on a number of important issues that were not resolved in the institution-building text. Accordingly, many institution-building tasks continued to be discussed throughout the Council's second cycle.

The institution-building working groups

The Council set up three working groups to tackle the different issues confronting it as an institution. It set up working groups on the review of mechanisms and mandates, on the elaboration of modalities for the UPR, and later in the year on the elaboration of an agenda, programme of work, rules of procedure and methods of work. 

The inter-governmental Working Group to ‘formulate concrete recommendations on the issue of reviewing and, where necessary, improving and rationalizing all mandates, mechanisms, functions and responsibilities in order to maintain a system of special procedures, expert advice and a complaint procedure divided its work into three segments: the review of special procedures; the complaint procedure; and the expert advice body, each facilitated by a Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva.‘ 

The institution-building Working Groups held their final sessions from 10 to 26 April 2007. The finalisation of their work was marked by a handover to the President of the Council of the final non-papers by the respective facilitators. During the weeks leading up to the 'deadline' of 18 June 2007, the then President of the Council, Mexican Ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba, led the last minute negotiations himself. He held a series of  public informal consultations (on 10, 18, 24 and possibly 25 May 2007) and private discussions, with a view to finding consensus on the important institutional framework of the Council. The year-long process culminated in the adoption of the 'institution-building text' or Resolution 5/1

Implementation of the institution-building text

Starting at its 6th session, the Council started to fill in the missing pieces in its institutional framework. Technical requirements for the selection of special procedures mandate holders and members of the Advisory Committee had to be agreed on, and the modalities of the new UPR had to be refined. Throughout its second cycle, the Council has 'fine-tuned' its machinery, and at the start of the third cycle seems to be ready to fully devote itself to substantive human rights issues.

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Further reading

ISHR has closely followed the institution-building process and has produced comprehensive reports on each of the working groups' discussions. These are available in the Publications section.

Several authors have analysed and commented upon the institution-building at various stages:

Reports on the special procedures


This section provides different types of reports on the Human Rights Council's (and former Commission on Human Rights') special procedures mandate holders' interaction with eachother and with the Council or Commission:

Summaries of Special Procedures Reports


ISHR used to produce the Reports in Short, unofficial summaries of all the reports submitted to the Human Rights Council by special procedures. However, we have decided to discontinue this publication. Below you will find all the Reports in Short grouped by the session at which the reports were considered. 

The official summaries prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) now contain an 'executive summary'. To download the official reports, please visit the OHCHR website.

Browse ISHR's reports by session:


7th session

  • Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967,Summary of reports
  • Working Group on enforced or involuntary disappearances: Summary of reports
  • Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography: Summary of reports> top

6th session

Country specific mandates

  • Updated report on the situation of human rights in Darfur prepared by the United Nations Experts Group on Darfur, presided by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Sudan and composed by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for children and armed conflict, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary on arbitrary executions, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the human rights defenders, the Representative of the Secretary-General on human rights internally displaced persons, the Special Rapporteur on the question of torture and the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences: Summary of report
  • Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: Summary of report, Fact Sheet

Thematic procedures

  • Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism: Summary of reports
  • Report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief: Summary of reports, Fact Sheet
  • Report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance on the manifestation of defamation of religions and in particular on the serious implications of Islamophobia on the enjoyment of all rights : Summary of reports, Fact Sheet
  • Report of the Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity: Summary of reports, Fact Shee> top

5th session

Country specific mandates

  • Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus: Summary of report, Fact Sheet
  • Special Representative of the Secretary-General for human rights in Cambodia: Summary of report, Fact Sheet
  • Personal Representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Cuba: Summary of report, Fact Sheet
  • Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: Summary of report,Fact Sheet
  • Independent Expert appointed by the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights in Haiti: Summary of report, Fact Sheet
  • Independent Expert appointed by the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights in Somalia: No report available (see note by the secretariat) Fact Sheet
  • Special Rapporteur on the situation on human rights in the Sudan: Summary of report, Fact Sheet
  • Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Uzbekistan (1503 procedure): Summary of report, Fact Sheet

Thematic procedures

Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living: Summary of reports,Fact Sheet

4th session

Country specific mandates

Thematic procedures

3rd session

The 3rd session of the Council was almost exclusively dedicated to institution-building issues, hence no Reports in Short were produced for that session.

2nd session

Country specific mandates

Thematic procedures

Advisory Committee of the Human Rights Council


On this page you will find ISHR's reports on the Advisory Committee. For more information on what the Advisory Committee does and how it works, please see the Advisory Committee page in the Human Rights Council section of this website.

  • Analytical Overview of the 1st session of the Advisory Committee, Geneva, 4 to 15 August 2008
  • Analytical Overview of the 2nd session of the Advisory Committee, Geneva, 26 to 30 January 2009 
  • Analytical Overview of the 3rd session of the Advisory Committee, Geneva, 3 to 7 August 2009


Browse our articles:






ISHR commences work to develop an international Declaration on the Rights of Human Rights Defenders


ISHR publishes first Human Rights Monitor, connecting human rights defenders on the ground with international human rights systems and developments


ISHR facilitates global civil society engagement with the Second World Conference on Human Rights, which leads to the strengthening of women’s rights, the affirmation of universal rights, the adoption of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action and the establishment of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights


ISHR provides training, technical assistance and support to its 1000th human rights defender


After 14 years of ISHR lobbying, advocacy and negotiation, the UN General Assembly adopts the landmark Declaration on Human Rights Defenders


UN Secretary-General appoints Hina Jilani as inaugural UN Special Representative on Human Rights Defenders, strengthening protection of human rights advocates at risk worldwide.


ISHR leads a successful campaign for the appointment of a Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights


ISHR co-founds and supports a range of international and regional human rights coalitions, including the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition, the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project and the West African Human Rights Defenders Network


ISHR contributes to the establishment and institution building of a new global peak body for human rights issues, the UN Human Rights Council


ISHR leads and coordinates the development of the Yogyakarta Principles on sexual orientation and gender identity, strengthening legal recognition and protection of LGBT rights worldwide


ISHR’s sustained advocacy on the issue of reprisals and intimidation faced by human rights defenders leads to adoption of landmark UN Human Rights Council resolution condemning and strengthening protections against reprisals


Working with key NGO partners such as Amnesty International, ISHR leads civil society efforts to strengthen UN human rights treaty bodies, prevent their weakening and better connect their work with victims and human rights defenders on the ground


Working with supportive states and NGOs, ISHR advocacy leads to adoption of historic Human Rights Council resolution calling on all States to review and amend national laws to respect and protect the work of human rights defenders