Participants at a two-day training on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) held on September 24 to 26, 2018 at La Palm Beach Hotel in Accra, Ghana, have resolved to compile the human rights situation in their various countries for the UPR
The two days programme, organized as side event to Forum on Internet Freedom in Africa 2018 (FIFAfrica18), explained the significance of the UPR process as a United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council mechanism for reviewing human rights situations of all 193 UN Member States.
The training provided an opportunity for participants to view how their countries claimed to have upheld human rights and what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries based on recommendations and what challenges they have overcome. It comprised of two sessions, a training on the first day and practical session on the second day.
The Training also shared best human rights practices around the globe. Currently, no other global mechanism of this kind exists.
The workshop brought together civil society actors, lecturers, government officials and internet rights advocates to expand their understanding on issues relating to the UPR process and to share experiences with others.
Participants were made to understand that the ultimate goal of the UPR is to improve the human rights situation in all UN member states; that the UPR is designed to prompt, support, and expand the promotion and protection of human rights on the ground.
The training also encouraged civil societies organisations to submit information which can be added to other stakeholders’ reports which are considered during the review. Information they provide can be referred to by any of the States taking part in the interactive discussion during the review at the Working Group meeting.
Trainers disclosed that civil society representatives can attend the UPR Working Group sessions and can make statements at the regular session of the Human Rights Council when the outcomes of the State reviews are considered.
Participants prepared recommendations based on the issues affecting human right online and offline in their various countries. There was simulation exercise in which each participant lobbied Ambassadors to support their recommendations.
Participants went through www.upr-info.org to get information on States under review and other UN member States and learned how to navigate the website easily.