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Australia's Universal Periodic Review

The Universal Periodic Review aims to improve the human rights situation in all countries and address human rights violations wherever they occur.

The United Nations Human Rights Council reviews the human rights records of all 192 member states once every four years.

Australia's first review took place in January 2011.

The national report

Each member state under review must produce a national report which is submitted to the Human Rights Council before the review.

Australia lodged its national report with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in October 2010.

The report is available for download below:

The review is also available online:

If you require assistance accessing the report email upr@ag.gov.au.

Australia's interactive dialogue before the Human Rights Council

Australia's interactive dialogue was held in Geneva on 27 January 2011.

During the interactive session fifty-three countries asked questions of, and made recommendations, to Australia.

Australia received 145 recommendations in total. These recommendations are set out in the report prepared by the Universal Periodic Review Working Group:

In addition to responding to questions and recommendations, a number of voluntary commitments during the dialogue were also announced including:

  • establishing a full-time Race Discrimination Commissioner in the Australian Human Rights Commission
  • tabling in Parliament the concluding observations of United Nations Treaty Bodies and recommendations of the Universal Periodic Review
  • establishing a systematic process for the regular review of Australia's reservations in international human rights treaties
  • increasing funding for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Asia-Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions
  • establishing a public online database of recommendations from the UN human rights system
  • an intention to use the recommendations of the Universal Periodic Review accepted by the government to inform the development of Australia's National Human Rights Action Plan.

On 3 March 2011, the UN Draft Report was tabled in Parliament.

The ministerial statement can be found below:

Australia's response to the review recommendations

Australia appeared before the UN Human Rights Council to formally respond to the recommendations made as part of Australia's first Universal Periodic Review on 8 June 2011.

At this session of the report and response were formally adopted by the council.

Australia's response was developed following an extensive consultation process across Australian Government departments, state and territory governments as well as non-government organisations and the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Australia accepted more than 90 per cent of the recommendations. A copy of the response can be found below:

National Human Rights Action Plan

The National Human Rights Action Plan was released on Human Rights Day, 10 December 2012. It was developed in consultation with state and territory governments and non-government organisations and constitutes Australia's interim report to its 2011 Universal Periodic Review at the United Nations.

The action plan was informed by a baseline study that was developed in consultation with state and territory governments, non-government organisations and the general public.

Submissions on draft baseline study are also available.

Australia's Second Universal Periodic Review

Australia's second Universal Periodic Review National Report is due to the UN Human Rights Committee on 20 July 2015. Australia's second universal periodic review is scheduled during the 23rd session of the UN Human Rights Council between October–November 2015. Further updates on preparations for Australia's second universal periodic review will be made available on this website.

More information on the process is available on the Universal Periodic Review page.

For more information on UN reporting, there is a publicly accessible online database that draws together UN human rights recommendations from treaties and reviews that Australia is a party to. To view this information, visit the UN Human rights recommendations database page.

For more information about the UPR visit the Australian Human Rights Commission or United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights website.