Universal Periodic Review

Published on July 05, 2024
We welcome the recommendations made to Malaysia on the ratification of the 1951 Refugee Convention (and its protocol) and regret the noting of the same. Malaysia currently fails to adequately recognise refugee status, and UNHCR registration provides only limited protection against arbitrary arrest, detention and refoulement. Malaysia is yet to provide clarity on how it determines the refugee status of detainees, and indeed the UNHCR has been denied access to immigration detention centres for almost five years now. This is concerning given current policies and the prevailing climate of xenophobia towards refugees and migrants.
Published on July 04, 2024
We regret the noting of recommendations pertaining to providing access to information and education on sexual and reproductive health. Nigeria is failing to meet its obligations to provide such information, with private institutions left to bridge the gap in access to evidence-based, accurate information. Everyone has the right to learn about one’s body, sexuality, and sexual and reproductive health. We call on Nigeria to ensure access to comprehensive sexuality education for all, as part of its obligation to ensure that everyone enjoys the right to a quality education.
Uploaded on April 29, 2024
The 47th session of the Universal Periodic will take place from 4 to 15 November 2024. 14 Countries are under review during the session: Norway, Albania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Portugual, Bhutan, Dominica, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Brunei Darussalam, Costa Rics, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Qatar and Nicaragua. In collaboration with our partners, the SRI submitted reports for Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Bhutan and Albania.
Published on April 26, 2024
The 46th session of the Universal Periodic will take place from 29 April to 10 May 2024. All of the review sessions will be live-streamed on UN Web TV. 14 Countries are under review during the session: New Zealand, Afghanistan, Chile, Cyprus, Uruguay, Yemen, Vanuatu, North Macedonia, Comoros, Slovakia, Eritrea, Viet Nam, Dominican Republic and Cambodia.
Uploaded on April 09, 2024
The 46th session of the Universal Periodic will take place from 29 April to 10 May 2024. 14 Countries are under review during the session: New Zealand, Afghanistan, Chile, Cyprus, Uruguay, Yemen, Vanuatu, North Macedonia, Comoros, Slovakia, Eritrea, Viet Nam, Dominican Republic and Cambodia. In collaboration with our partners, the SRI submitted reports for Cambodia and North Macedonia.
Uploaded on April 09, 2024
The 45th session of the Universal Periodic was held from 22 January to 02 February 2024. 14 Countries were under review during the session: Saudi Arabia, Senegal, China, Nigeria Mauritius, Mexico, Jordan, Malaysia, Central African Republic, Monaco, Belize, Chad, Congo and Malta. In collaboration with our partners, the SRI submitted reports for Malaysia and Nigeria.
Published on March 25, 2024
The implementation of these recommendations is especially urgent given the shortcomings of the Government’s engagement with civil society in this fourth UPR and its overall lack of accountability on international human rights compliance. These shortcomings include a lack of federal leadership, limited information accessibility, unequal opportunities for civil society participation, and no clear process for monitoring and follow up of recommendations.
Published on March 25, 2024
The functional denial of sexual and reproductive rights is connected to the denial of other rights, including the rights to health, non-discrimination, education, and freedom from violence. We are disappointed Canada did not fully accept several recommendations in support of broader health equity, particularly on access to services for undocumented people.
Published on February 12, 2024
Last year, our work continued to highlight how sexual rights are profoundly impacted by the interrelated global crises brought on by capitalism through rampant neoliberalism, unchecked extractivism and climate degradation, violent populism and nationalism, soaring inequality within and between states, and entrenched patriarchal, racist, classist and ableist systems of oppression. Read below for our highlights of 2023.
Uploaded on December 11, 2023
The 44th session of the Universal Periodic was held from 6 to 17 November 2023. 14 Countries were under review during the session: Turkmenistan, Cabo Verde, Uzbekistan, Germany, Canada, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Tuvalu, Djibouti, Bangladesh, Azerbaijan, Cuba, the Russian Federation and Cameroon. In collaboration with our partners, the SRI submitted reports for Canada, Bangladesh and Azerbaijan.
Published on September 29, 2023

We regret that Botswana received and noted several recommendations on decriminalising abortion, on repealing Section 167 of the Penal Code, and on ensuring access to legal gender recognition. Botswana must eliminate discrimination against women and ensure their access to legal, safe, and affordable sexual and reproductive health services, including abortion, which Botswana still criminalises, and gender-affirming care.

Published on July 10, 2023
JOICFP delivers this statement on behalf of 9 partner organizations on the issues related to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR in short). We deeply regret that Japan did not accept the recommendations it received on decriminalization of abortion, removal of spousal consent requirement for abortion, revision of law that forces sterilization to trans-persons under the legal gender recognition process, and implementation of comprehensive sexuality education.
Published on July 10, 2023
We regret that Pakistan did not receive any recommendations on its HIV/AIDS response, as Pakistan has one of the highest rates of new HIV infection in South Asia. Only 12% of people living with HIV can access treatment, and the public healthcare delivery system faces uneven distribution of health professionals among provinces and towns, a deficient workforce, insufficient funding and limited access to quality healthcare services.
Published on July 10, 2023

We welcome the recommendations made to Pakistan on protecting women’s rights, the rights of transgender people, and sexual and reproductive rights.

We are concerned by the recent regressive ruling by the Federal Shariat court, which struck down key sections of the Transgender Persons Protection of Rights Act 2018.

Published on July 07, 2023
We regret Switzerland’s inconsistent approach to recommendations received on addressing racism and racial discrimination. We remain concerned by structural racism in Switzerland, and its varied manifestations as illustrated through barriers to accessing affordable health services or housing, through restrictive immigration rules and related border harassment, or through a lack of accountability for racial profiling, police harassment, brutality, and murder- as recently exemplified through the acquittal of the police officers who murdered Mike Ben Peter.
Published on July 07, 2023
Although progress has been made in Zambia’s HIV/AIDS response including a general drop in new infections, there has been an increase in new infections amongst youth and adolescents. Zambia needs to increase the roll out of youth-friendly health services, clarify the policy position on the age of consent to health services, and it needs to ensure that young people and adolescents have access to HIV testing, treatment and care.
Published on July 07, 2023
We regret that Guatemala has noted all the recommendations pertaining to the closing of civil society space, creating an enabling environment for civil society organisations to operate, protecting the rights of human rights defenders, and pertaining to meeting its obligations to respect, protect, and fulfil sexual and reproductive rights, the rights of women and the rights of LGBT+ persons.
Published on March 28, 2023
We welcome the numerous recommendations made to South Africa on adolescent and youth SRHR, access to modern contraceptives, termination of pregnancy services and on accelerating a funded, coordinated, and measurable response to gender-based violence and femicide. We regret the lack of recommendations pertaining to comprehensive sexuality education and remain concerned about its delivery in schools.
Published on March 28, 2023
We welcome the Netherlands’ support of the recommendation on bringing the legal definition of rape in line with international human rights law, including the Istanbul Convention. We also regret that the Netherlands noted the recommendation to fully implement guidelines for a more gender responsive and intersectional approach to gender-based violence and sexual harassment.
Published on March 27, 2023
We regret that India did not receive any HIV/AIDS-related recommendations, despite India having the third highest prevalence of HIV in the world. India needs an efficient HIV prevention programme which includes PrEP rollout, improved access to routine HIV screening and testing, and most crucially, treatment and excellent patient care.
Published on March 27, 2023
Indonesia must adopt evidence-based policies to ensure that adolescents and young people have adequate access to sexual and reproductive health information and services. Adolescents and young people, particularly in the eastern part of Indonesia, still lack the information they need to help them to exercise their agency, and to make more informed decisions for their bodies and lives.
Published on February 14, 2023

As we embark on another year of activism for sexual rights, we wanted to share with you our highlights of 2022. While the UN human rights system continues to be confronted by multiple challenges –from funding shortages, geopolitical tensions and polarisation and attempts to undermine multilateralism to the presence and influence of regressive and conservative actors, we have made steadfast progress in advancing sexual rights in this system. Read below for our highlights of 2022.

Published on December 15, 2022

The 42nd session of the Universal Periodic review begins on the 23rd of January 2023. The working group session will take place from 23 January to 3 February 2023. 13 Countries will be under review during the session: Czechia, Gabon, Benin, Switzerland, Argentina, Ghana, Guatemala, the Republic of Korea, Pakistan, Japan, Sri Lanka and Zambia. In collaboration with our partners, the SRI collaborated on reports for Guatemala, Japan, Pakistan, Switzerland and Zambia.

Published on December 14, 2022

Below is our list of sexual rights-related highlights from each UPR41 review. This list presents recommendations made related to sexual rights, including State responses to date.

In collaboration with our partners, the SRI collaborated on reports for South Africa, India, Poland and the Netherlands for this session.

Uploaded on November 03, 2022

The 41st session of the Universal Periodic review begins on the 7th of November 2022, and this session marks the beginning of the fourth cycle of the UPR. The working group session will take place from 7 November to 18 November 2022. 14 Countries will be under review during the session: Bahrain, Ecuador, Tunisia, Morocco, Indonesia, Finland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, India, Brazil, Philippines, Algeria, Poland, Netherlands and South Africa. In collaboration with our partners, the SRI collaborated on reports for South Africa, India, Poland and the Netherlands.

Uploaded on December 11, 2023

This submission reflects on the progress that Azerbaijan has made since its last review to meet its obligations to respect, protect and fulfil human rights. Azerbaijan received and supported recommendations during the last cycle of the UPR on gender equality, violence and discrimination against women, as well as women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) issues. These include bodily autonomy, reproductive health and family planning, sexual orientation and gender identity, maternal and infant morbidity and mortality, and child marriage. These sets of rights are cornerstones of democratic societies.

Uploaded on December 11, 2023

This report examines gaps in Canada’s obligation to respect, protect, and fulfil the right to abortion. Abortion is a decriminalized healthcare procedure and is enshrined in numerous human rights instruments and ratified conventions. Despite this, many people in Canada face barriers when seeking abortion services and some are ultimately unable to access care.

Uploaded on June 06, 2023

Whilst the buying and selling of sex is not llegal in Botswana, there are a number of legal provisions in place that prohibit a wide range of activities associated with sex work such as soliciting clients, public indecency or living on the earnings of sex work. This means that sex work is nevertheless criminalised - a status quo that poses a material risk to sex workers, and violates their rights to work, to health, to bodily autonomy and to be free from violence.

Uploaded on June 06, 2023

In September 2022, SAT Botswana, a youth-focused organisation, convened a workshop to consult with other youth-led and focused organisations, with ten organisations present. The objective of the meeting was to deliberate and develop a report for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on critical issues, focusing on the state of adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health and rights in Botswana. In addition, the workshop discussed issues concerning adolescents and young people, highlighting some of the increasing sexual health challenges emanating from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Uploaded on June 06, 2023

The Romanian Constitution guarantees equal treatment of all citizens before the law and public authorities, without any privilege or discrimination. This includes explicit reference to sexual orientation as a protected ground, and legal protection against hate crimes. Despite this, Romania is not respecting, protecting and fulfilling a broad range of rights related to sexuality and gender, particularly as pertains to sexual and reproductive health and rights. This failure is marked by an inability to provide adequate access to contraceptives, the lack of accessibility and availability of abortion services despite abortion being legal in the country, and the failure to invest in HIV/AIDS programming to prevent new cases in the country.

Uploaded on June 06, 2023

This report is a joint submission by autonomous collectives in Botswana, whose work is centred on the promotion and protection of LGBTIQ persons, women in the margins of society and young queer persons ’rights and freedoms, with the support of Iranti, Sexual Rights Initiative and Southern Africa Litigation Centre.

Uploaded on June 06, 2023

The 42nd session of the Universal Periodic review begins on the 23rd of January 2023. The working group session will take place from 23 January to 3 February 2023. 13 Countries will be under review during the session: Czechia, Gabon, Benin, Switzerland, Argentina, Ghana, Guatemala, the Republic of Korea, Pakistan, Japan, Sri Lanka and Zambia. In collaboration with our partners, the SRI collaborated on reports for Guatemala, Japan, Pakistan, Switzerland and Zambia.

Uploaded on May 01, 2023

The 43rd session of the Universal Periodic review begins on 1 May 2023. The working group session will take place from 1 to 12 May 2023. 14 Countries will be under review during the session: France,Tonga, Romania, Mali, Botswana, the Bahamas, Burundi, Luxembourg, Barbados, Montenegro, the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Liechtenstein and Serbia. In collaboration with our partners, the SRI collaborated on reports for Romania and Botswana.

Uploaded on December 15, 2022

2. This joint submission assesses the Zambian Government’s human rights record since the third cycle of UPR in 2017, and highlights some of the emerging or increasing challenges, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. It specifically assesses Government’s fulfilment of adolescent and young people’s sexual reproductive health and rights, providing follow-up recommendations on key areas of concern Government should prioritise in the coming cycle.

Uploaded on December 15, 2022

This report is submitted by SEXUAL HEALTH Switzerland and the Sexual Rights Initiative. It examines the human rights situation in Switzerland, with a focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).

Uploaded on December 15, 2022

This joint stakeholder report assesses Pakistan’s progress since its third cycle review in meeting its obligations to respect, protect, and fulfill the sexual and reproductive health and rights obligations it has towards young people, particularly women and transgender persons. The submission focuses on access to safe abortion, the sexual rights of LGBT people, and access to sexual and reproductive health information, education and services.

Uploaded on December 15, 2022

2. This report is jointly submitted by nine (9) national, regional, and international civil organizations striving to promote SRHR. It highlights ongoing issues concerning SRHR in Japan with a focus on six (6) topics: access to contraceptives including emergency contraception, access to safe abortion, redress for victims of forced sterilization, discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression (SOGIE), law reform of the crimes of sexual violence including rape, and universal access to comprehensive sexuality education.

Uploaded on December 15, 2022

This report is submitted by REDJUAMUGEN, The PACT and SRI and the Sexual Rights Initiative (SRI). This report is the result of a consultation convened to contribute to the UPR in Guatemala, led and implemented by REDJUAMUGEN, was carried out through a multisectoral analysis. This identified the needs and demands of Guatemalan youth, guaranteeing the gender approach by investigating the current national situation in different sectors, forming a holistic analysis, then generating milestones to formulate recommendations for the country and the diverse Guatemalan youth.

Uploaded on November 03, 2022

In this joint submission, we examine the Government of South Africa’s human rights record since its third-cycle universal periodic review (UPR) in 2017. Specifically, we assess the government’s fulfilment of adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health and rights. To this end, we analyse South Africa’s implementation of recommendations received relating to these issues and provide specific, action-orientated follow-up recommendations at the conclusion of this submission. Between the 9th and 10th of March 2022, 15 youth led, serving and focused organizations in South Africa convened in person and virtually to deliberate on how COVID-19 has affected the HIV, SRHR and GBV/F outcomes of adolescents and young people in their diversity.

Uploaded on November 03, 2022

This report has been jointly prepared by the African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA), the Sexual Rights Initiative (SRI) and Sisonke, South Africa. It seeks to highlight the existing and ongoing human rights violations against sex workers due to restrictive and punitive laws and policies in South Africa It also outlines South Africa commitment to provision and protection of rights through various national and international mechanisms, including the previous cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and the relevant recommendations.

Uploaded on November 03, 2022

This report is submitted by Rutgers and the Sexual Rights Initiative (SRI) and focuses on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and rights in The Netherlands. In general, SRHR in the Netherlands are well respected, however, challenges remain with regards to the provision of comprehensive sexuality education, the persistence of sexual violence and access to information, education, contraceptives and services for marginalized groups.

Uploaded on November 03, 2022

This report is submitted jointly by the Federation for Women and Family Planning, Poland and the Sexual Rights Initiative. The report focuses on violations of women’s sexual and reproductive rights in Poland and the stark impact of the restriction on abortion introduced in November 2020 that amounts to quasi total abortion ban in Poland. The report also addresses barriers in access to contraception, neglect and demonisation of comprehensive sexuality education, and the decrease in ante-natal care.

Uploaded on November 03, 2022

This report is jointly submitted by CREA and the Sexual Rights Initiative (SRI). The report outlines the current legal and policy context as relates to sex work - and the threat posed by ongoing legislative and executive initiatives that conflate trafficking with voluntary adult sex work. It focuses on how criminalization of all forms of sex work harms sex workers in India, and violates their fundamental rights as contained in the Constitution of India and in international treaties and norms, exposing sex workers to violence, police harassment, and hindering access to justice and healthcare.

Uploaded on November 03, 2022

This submission, prepared ahead of the 4th Cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) for the Republic of India, looks at the challenges faced by the adolescent and youth population in India in relation to their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), HIV and human rights. Three key issues, in particular, that affect the country’s adolescents and young people, i.e., SRHR including abortion for adolescents and youth with disabilities and HIV (AL&YPLHIV) have been researched. The report also provides recommendations to the state of India with respect to these issues.

Published on July 01, 2022

Statement by the Uganda LBQ Loose Network, a collective working towards increasing the voice and visibility of lesbian, bisexual and queer women in advocacy, feminist leadership, and women’s rights in Uganda, CREA, the Coalition of African Lesbians and the Sexual Rights Initiative to the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of Uganda at the 50th session of the Human Rights Council.

Published on March 01, 2022

The 40th working group session of the UPR took place 24 January 2022 - 04 February 2022 and 09 February 2022. Eleven states were reviewed: Togo, Syria, Iceland, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Lithuania, Uganda, Timor-Leste, Moldova, South Sudan, Haiti, and Sudan.

Published on December 02, 2021

The 39th session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) was held in Geneva, from November 1-12, 2021. Thirteen countries were reviewed during UPR39: Antigua and Barbuda, Eswatini, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Papua New Guinea, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Suriname, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, and Trinidad and Tobago.