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UN Human Rights Council

Human Rights in China has submitted two NGO parallel reports to the United Nations Human Rights Council, in advance of the 2013 and 2009 Universal Periodic Reviews of China. (HRIC's other submissions to UN bodies include those to various UN treaty bodies and the World Summit of Information Society.)

Universal Periodic Review

The Universal Periodic Review  (UPR) is a peer review and dialogue-based mechanism whereby the human rights practices of each UN member state is examined once every four and a half years by other countries. The UPR, conducted at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, is based on three official documents: a national report submitted by the State under review, a compilation of UN information prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and a summary of reports submitted by non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders, also prepared by the OHCHR. The UN encourages each government to broadly consult with the public and civil society at the domestic level when preparing its national report.

In recent years, Chinese citizens have publicly demanded transparency and accountability in China's international human rights reporting, including in the drafting of its UPR national report.

2013 Universal Periodic Review of the People's Republic of China

On October 22, 2013, China underwent its second Universal Periodic Review. China submitted its national report on August 5, 2013. This review will focus on China's implementation of the recommendations it had accepted following the 2009 review and on any new developments or outstanding issues in fulfilling its human rights obligations and commitments. Member and observer states of the Human Rights Council will pose questions and make recommendations to China during an interactive dialogue with the Chinese delegation on October 22. China can either accept or reject these recommendations during the dialogue and/or provide a written response by the next plenary session of the Human Rights Council in early 2014, when its UPR outcome report will be formally adopted.

On March 20, 2014, the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) officially adopted the Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) for China’s second UPR, a comprehensive evaluation of its human rights obligations under the UN system. As the official record of China’s review and its commitments, the report documents the questions, comments, recommendations, and China’s statements made during the interactive dialogue.

Of the 252 recommendations made by HRC member and observer States, China accepted 204 and rejected 48.And of the 204 accepted recommendations, China stated that 31 have already been implemented, and eight are being implemented.

HRIC has organized the 252 recommendations into the four charts below by the outcome category:

Chart 1: Accepted Recommendations

Chart 2: Accepted and Already Implemented Recommendations

Chart 3: Accepted and Being Implemented Recommendations

Chart 4: Not Accepted Recommendations

The charts group the recommendations by topic, and include the text of the recommendations as advanced by the member states and the names of the member states. Charts 2, 3, 4 also include China’s comments, as stated in the Addendum to the Report of the Working Group, Views on conclusions and/or recommendations, voluntary commitments and replies presented by the State under review.

HRIC Report, submitted to the Human Rights Council

The report outlines key concerns and recommendations, including cooperation with UN special procedures; administration of justice, rule of law, and the right to life, liberty and security of the person; and freedom of religion, expression, association, and peaceful assembly, and the right to participate in public life.

Related official documents:

  • 25th Session General Debate Item 4, Human Rights situations that require the Council’s attention, EU statement (March 18th): English
  • Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: English
  • China's 2013 national report: Chinese
  • OHCHR’s compilation of UN information for the 2013 PRC review: English
  • OHCHR's summary of stakeholders' submissions for the 2013 PRC review: English
2009 Universal Periodic Review of the People's Republic of China

China underwent its first UPR on February 9, 2009, which HRIC attended. During the session, member states orally presented their comments and raised issues and questions regarding specific areas of China’s human rights practices. One hundred and eleven member states signed up to present their oral statements. Due to time limits, most member states were not able to speak. China received more than 100 recommendations, of which China accepted 42 and rejected 50;

HRIC Report, submitted to the Human Rights Council

Post-UPR HRIC items

HRIC also prepared four charts that track recommendations regarding China made during the February 2009 Universal Periodic Review session:

Related HRIC items:

Related official documents:

  • China's 2009 national report: English, Chinese
  • OHCHR’s compilation of UN information for the 2009 PRC review: English
  • OHCHR's summary of stakeholders' submissions for the 2009 PRC review: English, Chinese
  • Member states’ advance questions for China’s UPR in 2009: English
  • UPR webcast of the 2009 review (February 9, 2009)
  • China’s opening statement at the adoption of the 2009 UPR outcome report: English (June 2009)