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The Australian Government has made changes to functions overseen by the Attorney-General's Department and Department of Home Affairs. These changes involve the transfers of:

  • identity and biometrics functions into the Attorney-General's Department
  • protective security policy and government and major event security functions to the Department of Home Affairs.

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 5 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 has completed 3 UPR cycles, participating in interactive dialogues in 2011, 2015 and 2021.

Australia's Third Universal Periodic Review

National Report

Australia submitted its third cycle UPR national report to the United Nations in December 2020.

Australia's opening statement

Australia appeared in Geneva and via video conferencing for an interactive dialogue on 20 January 2021. During the session, 122 Member States delivered statements and made recommendations regarding Australia's human rights record. Australia received 344 recommendations.

Report of the UPR Working Group and Australia's response

The Report of the UPR Working Group on Australia’s third cycle UPR, including recommendations received and Australia's response, was formally adopted at the 47th session of the UN Human Rights Council on 8 July 2021.

Australia lodged its response to the third-cycle UPR on 2 June 2021. Australia’s response was developed in consultation with federal, state and territory departments and ministers, as well as the Australian Human Rights Commission and relevant non-government organisations.

Australia made a statement to the UN Human Rights Council at the adoption of the Report of the UPR Working Group on 8 July 2021. This statement provides additional detail about Australia’s response to UPR recommendations.

Australia's Second Universal Periodic Review

National report

Australia submitted its second cycle 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 second cycle 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. They also consulted with civil society to the widest extent possible.

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

National report

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

Report of the UPR Working Group and Australia's response

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
Humanrights@ag.gov.au