Universal Periodic Review

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a State-driven peer-review process before the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council. Under the UPR, the human rights record of each country is reviewed by other UN Member States. This provides an opportunity for States to discuss their domestic human rights framework as well as measures taken to promote and protect human rights in their country.

To learn more about the UPR, see The Universal Periodic Review Process.

Canada and the Universal Periodic Review

Canada’s third Universal Periodic Review

Canada’s third UPR will take place in April/May 2018 during the 30th session of the UPR Working Group (the exact date is not yet known). During each UPR, Canada prepares a national report. The report is prepared in collaboration with federal, provincial and territorial government officials. The deadline for the submission of Canada’s national report is February 9, 2018.

Human rights institutions and civil society organizations also have an important role to play in the UPR process and can submit their own reports to the UN on Canada’s human rights record. The deadline for the written submissions of human rights institutions and non-governmental organizations and Indigenous groups in relation to Canada’s third UPR is September 21, 2017.

Canada’s third UPR report

Since Canada, including all 14 federal, provincial and territorial governments, must limit the length of its report to 10,700 words (or approximately 20 pages), as required by the UN, it will not be possible to address all potential issues in the third UPR report. It will therefore be necessary to prioritize which issues will be addressed in the report.

The Government of Canada is currently seeking the views of civil society and Indigenous groups to:

  • Identify any key issues that have not been included in the outline;
  • Prioritize the issues for inclusion in the report; and
  • Identify the key successes and challenges related to those priority issues.

To request a copy of the draft outline of Canada’s Third Report under the UPR, please email PCH.epudroitsdelapersonne-uprhumanrights.PCH@canada.ca.

Canada's second Universal Periodic Review

Canada's second UPR took place on April 26, 2013.

A major focus of Canada's second national report was on measures that relate to the recommendations and voluntary commitments it accepted during its first UPR in 2009.

Forty-eight reports were submitted to the UN by domestic stakeholders for Canada’s second UPR, including by the Canadian Human Rights Commission, non-governmental organizations and Indigenous groups.

Following Canada’s appearance, the UPR Working Group issued its report, which included the 162 recommendations Canada received from other States. The recommendations focused primarily on issues related to the ratification and implementation of international human rights treaties; Indigenous peoples; violence against women and girls; national security and public safety; poverty, homelessness and food security; racial and religious discrimination; and the situation of vulnerable groups, including women, children, persons with disabilities, older persons, and immigrants and refugees.

Canada’s Response to the Recommendations was submitted to the UN on September 16, 2013. Canada's response was prepared in close collaboration with federal departments and provincial and territorial governments. The response was informed by views expressed by civil society and Indigenous groups throughout the UPR process. Canada accepted, in full, in part, or in principle, 121 of the recommendations received.

Documents related to Canada’s second UPR, including Canada’s national report and response and a compilation of information from stakeholders, can be found on the Universal Periodic Review Second Cycle website.

Canada's first Universal Periodic Review

Canada’s first UPR took place on February 3, 2009.

The national report for Canada’s first UPR was submitted to the UN in January 2009. The report provided an overview of the framework for the promotion and protection of human rights in Canada as well as related policies and programs, including socio-economic issues, Indigenous issues, women’s rights, immigration, and anti-discrimination initiatives.

Fifty reports were submitted to the UN by the Canadian Human Rights Commission, non-governmental organizations and Indigenous groups in relation to Canada’s first UPR.

Canada received 68 recommendations from other States that covered a number of topics, including reducing inequality for disadvantaged groups, Indigenous issues, poverty and homelessness; violence against women; and racism and discrimination.

Canada’s Response to the Recommendations, submitted in June 2009, was prepared in close collaboration with federal departments and provincial and territorial governments in accordance with UN guidelines. Canada accepted, in part or in full, 54 of the recommendations. It also made nine additional voluntary commitments that complemented the accepted recommendations.

Documents related to Canada’s first UPR, including Canada’s national report and response and a compilation of information from stakeholders, can be found on the Universal Periodic Review website.

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