Universal Periodic Review (UPR)
On 17 March 2016, the Australian Government appeared before the Human Rights Council to respond to the recommendations made as part of its second Universal Periodic Review. The Australian Government's Response is available here.
NACLC made an Oral Statement before the Human Rights Council, commenting on the Australian Government's response. The Oral Statement is available here.
A recording of the Australian Government's response and comments, as well as of NACLC's Oral Statement live is available here.
The NACLC Media Release in relation to the response is available here. The Australian NGO Coalition Media Release is available here.
To inform the Government's response NACLC and the Australian NGO Coalition prepared a submission, available here.
For information about NACLC, CLC or NGO engagement in Australia's Universal Periodic Review, please contact:
Director Policy and Advocacy (NACLC)
amanda_alford at clc.net.au
Overview of Universal Periodic Review
The Universal Periodic Review is a process undertaken by the United Nations Human Rights Council. It involves review of the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States once every four years. It provides an opportunity for all Member States to outline what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries, with the ultimate goal of improving the human rights situation in that country. The UPR assesses the extent to which States are complying with their international human rights obligations under the UN Charter, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, international treaties to which the State is a party and commitments made by the State and international humanitarian law.
The reviews are based on information provided by the State under review through a national report; information from the reports of independent human rights experts and groups and other UN entities; as well as information from other stakeholders including national human rights institutions (such as the Australian Human Rights Commission) and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).
Open the link to view more information on the UPR process from the: UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Australia and the UPR
Australia's first review took place in January 2011. Australia's second UPR occured during the 23rd session of the Human Rights Council in November 2015.
More information about Australia and the UPR is available from the following websites:
Australia's UPR 2015
On 9 November 2015, the Australian Government appeared before the Human Rights Council for its second Universal Periodic Review. Over 100 countries made over 200 recommendations to Australia across a range of areas. Media releases and comments made by NACLC and the NGO Coalition are available here and here .
The Australian Government's Opening Statement before the Human Rights Council is available here.
The Draft Report of the Working Group (which contains the recommendations made by other countries) is available here. The Report of the Working Group was adopted by the Human Rights Council on 17 March 2016.
NGO Engagement in Australia's UPR 2015
NACLC and a range of other Community Legal Centres and NGOs engaged in Australia's second Universal Periodic Review in November 2015.
A small Coordinating Committee, consisting of Amanda Alford (National Association of Community Legal Centres), Anna Brown (Human Rights Law Centre) and Emma Golledge (Kingsford Legal Centre) coordinated a NGO Coalition. The NGO Coalition undertook a range of work as part of the UPR, including holding workshops, coordinating a joint submission, meeting with and lobbying other Member States prior to the appearance; liaising with the Australian Government; and working on monitoring and implementation of the UPR recommendations.
Joint NGO Submission and Fact Sheets
The submission prepared by the NGO Coalition as part of Australia's 2015 UPR is available here, open the link to view: Joint NGO Submission on Aus UPR
The coordination and drafting of each specific section of the joint submission was done by a lead NGO (or number of lead NGOs) in each thematic area. The table available here outlines which NGOs were responsible for coordinating each particular thematic area.
The fact sheets which provide more detailed information on the issues and recommendations in the submission are also available. The fact sheets are available below and address each of the key thematic areas:
(Please contact NACLC if you would like an accessible version of any of the fact sheets).
The Joint NGO submission was endorsed by 190 NGOs across Australia. The submission was prepared following input received through NGO workshops and teleconferences and was guided by an Advisory Committee comprised of representatives from a range of community organisation. Each section has been prepared by lead NGOs representing vulnerable groups or with particular subject matter expertise, using a variety of consultation methods, and the whole report was reviewed by the Advisory Group and expert reviewers.
Read a joint media release from the NGO Coalition here.
The Coordinating Committee facilitated a number of workshops across Australia, including in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra and a webinar. Open the link to view: the powerpoint presentation from the workshops
Lobbying and and Meetings in Geneva
In October 2015, Australia’s human rights record was the focus of discussions in Geneva at a series of meetings between a delegation of NGO representatives, including NACLC and the Human Rights Law Centre and representatives from over 50 United Nations Member States.
This a a link to the delegates youtube channel so you can view the video updates recorded during the lobbying in Geneva: AusUPR2015
The key dates for Australia's 2015 UPR are:
- 30 January 2015: Contributions from Lead NGOs Due
- 23 March 2015: NGO Report(s) Due
- 20 July 2015: Australian Government 'National Report' Due
- October 2015: Pre-Session meetings and briefings in Geneva
- 9 November 2015: Australia's Appearance at the UN in Geneva
- December 2015: NGO Engagement with Australian Government
- 30 January 2015: Contributions from thematic areas due to UPR Coordinating Committee
- 17 March 2016: Australian Government response and adoption of the 'Outcomes Report'.
Key Documents (2015 UPR)
Documents for Review
Official UN Materials:
NGO Coalition Documents
- UPR NGO Coalition Lead NGOs/Advisory Committee Contact Details
- Joint NGO Submission on Aus Gov Response to UPR Recommendations
- Joint NGO Coalition Submission on Aus UPR
- Joint NGO Coalition Consolidated List of Proposed Recommendations
- Joint NGO Coalition Background Document on UPR
Key Documents (2011 UPR)
The official UN documents from the 2011 UPR are available here.
- Last UPR Joint NGO Submission
- Last UPR Factsheets
- Last UPR Table of Recommendations and Australia's Response
The Rights of Older Persons
The Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWGA) was established by the UN General Assembly in December 2010. The role of the working group is to consider the existing international framework for the human rights of older persons and identify possible gaps and how best to address them, including by considering, the potential for a new international convention.
NACLC endorsed representatives to attend the last four OEWGA meetings, held in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017.
NACLC endorsed Bill Mitchell from Townsville Community Legal Service to attend.
Bill was able to make an intervention speech discussing the benefit of a global standard around the freedom from violence, neglect and abuse for older persons, open the link to view: Intervention- Bill Mitchell
These documents will be used to inform the work of the 8th OEWGA session.
The 6th working session of the OEWGA was held in New York from 14-16 July 2015. NACLC endorsed Bill Mitchell from Townsville Community Legal Service to attend.
The Proposed Organization of Work is available here
Bill was able to make an intervention speech highlighting the need for a new Convention on the Rights of Older Persons, open the link to view:
In November 2015, NACLC joined NGOs across the world in signing an open letter in support of the work of the OEWGA, available here
The 5th working session of the OEWGA was held in New York between 30 July and 1 August 2014.
NACLC endorsed two experienced representatives to attend, Bill Mitchell from Townsville Community Legal Service and Vivienne Campion, from the Seniors' Legal and Support Service at Caxton Legal Centre.
The focus of the session was on the human rights and care of older persons, violence and abuse against older persons, planning for end of life care, and recent developments. Bill and Vivienne were involved in important discussions with government and civil society representatives from around the world. Bill was able to make two intervention speeches and Vivienne asked an important question of Ms Rosita Kornfeld-Matte, the Independent Expert of the Enjoyment of all Human Rights by Older Persons, open the link to view: Report of the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons.
Open the link to view more information about the: 5th session of OEWGA
NACLC's interventions at the 5th Session of the OEWGA:
Open the links to view: Intervention - Bill Mitchell
The 4th session of the OEWGA was held in New York between 12 and 15 August 2013.
NACLC endorsed two experienced representatives to attend, Bill Mitchell from Townsville Community Legal Service and Kim Boettcher from the Aged-Care Rights Service NSW. Open the link to view more information about the: 4th session of OEWGA
Open the links to view: Intervention - Bill Mitchell
NACLC has also been involved in other work in relation to the rights of older persons and the potential for a new international convention.
For example, NACLC submitted a written statement to the 27th session of the Human Rights Council, open the link to view: Statement of NACLC to HRC 27 Session