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Australia’s Universal Periodic Review

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a UN Human Rights Council peer-review process, in which the human rights record of each UN Member State is considered every five years. The review is unique because it is led by Member States and covers a broad range of international human rights obligations. The UPR differs from United Nations human rights treaty body reviews that are led by committees of experts and focus on specific treaties. As part of each UPR cycle, Member States submit a national report and appear at the United Nations in Geneva for an interactive dialogue with other Member States.

Australia's second-cycle UPR took place in 2015, in which Australia received 290 recommendations from 104 Member States. Australia's third-cycle UPR will take place in 2021.

Australia's Third Universal Periodic Review

Australia is due to submit its third UPR national report to the United Nations in October 2020. The report will respond to the recommendations Australia received during its second-cycle UPR in 2015.

Consultation with civil society is an important part of the UPR process. The draft national report will be available for download between 1 July and 29 July 2020. Submissions are due by 5pm (AEST) Wednesday 29 July 2020.

Australia is due to appear in Geneva for an interactive dialogue with other member states in January-February 2021. This date is currently tentative due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Australia's Second Universal Periodic Review

Final report

Australia submitted its second UPR national report to the United Nations in August 2015.

Australia's opening statement

Australia appeared in Geneva for an interactive dialogue on 9 November 2015. During the session, 104 Member States delivered statements and made recommendations regarding Australia's human rights record. Australia received 290 recommendations.

For further information visit the Universal Periodic Review monitoring page.

Report of the UPR Working Group and Australia's response

The Report of the UPR Working Group on Australia's UPR, including recommendations received and Australia's response, was formally adopted at the 31st session of the UN Human Rights Council on 17 March 2016.

Australia lodged its response to the second-cycle UPR on 26 February 2016.

In developing Australia's response, the Australian Government consulted with relevant departments and Ministers at federal, state and territory level, and with civil society to the widest extent possible.

Australia's statement to the UN Human Rights Council 

Australia made a statement to the UN Human Rights Council at the adoption of the Report of the UPR Working Group on 17 March 2016.

Australia's statement provides additional detail about Australia's response to UPR recommendations.

Australia's mid-term report 

As part of the UPR process, it is open to each UN Member State to provide a mid-term report to the Human Rights Council, on a voluntary basis, to demonstrate their commitment to implementing the recommendations received.

Australia's mid-term report was delivered in 2018 and consists of an update to Australia's UPR monitoring webpage, and oral and written statements presented to the Human Rights Council on 21 September 2018

Australia's First Universal Periodic Review

First national report

Australia lodged a national report for its first UPR in October 2010.

Australia's formal response to the UPR recommendations

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

During the interactive session 53 Member States delivered statements 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.

Australia formally responded to the recommendations made as part of Australia's first UPR on 8 June 2011. 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. 

More information

For more information about the UPR visit the following external websites 

Contact details

Human Rights Unit
3-5 National Circuit Barton ACT 2600
(02) 6141 6666
Humanrights@ag.gov.au