Ireland and the Universal Periodic Review (UPR)

What is the Universal Periodic Review?

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves a periodic review of the human rights records of all 193 United Nations Member States.

It provides an opportunity for States to declare how they have improved the human rights situations in their countries. The UPR also includes a sharing of best human rights practices around the globe.

What is the goal of the UPR?

The ultimate goal of UPR is to improvethe human rights situation in every country, with significant consequences for people around the globe. The UPR is designed to prompt, support, and expand the promotion and protection of human rights on the ground.

How is this achieved?

To achieve this, the UPR involves assessing States’ human rights records and addressing human rights violations wherever they occur. The UPR also aims to provide technical assistance to States and enhance their capacity to deal effectively with human rights challenges and to share best practices in the field of human rights among States and other stakeholders.

The UPR assesses the extent to which States respect their human rights obligations set out in:

  • the UN Charter;
  • the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
  • human rights instruments to which the State is party (human rights treaties ratified by the State concerned);
  • voluntary pledges and commitments made by the State (e.g. national human rights policies and/or programmes implemented); and
  • applicable international humanitarian law.

How is Ireland reviewed?

All UN member States are reviewed once during each four-year review cycle. The reviews are conducted by the UPR Working Group which consists of the 47 members of the Council; however any UN Member State can take part in the discussion/dialogue with the reviewed States. Each State review is assisted by groups of three States, known as “troikas”, who serve as rapporteurs. The selection of the troikas for each State is done through a drawing of lots following elections for the Council membership in the General Assembly.Reviews take place through an interactive discussion between the State under review and other UN Member States. This takes place during a meeting of the UPR Working Group. During this discussion any UN Member State can pose questions, comments and/or make recommendations to the States under review. The troikas may group issues or questions to be shared with the State under review to ensure that the interactive dialogue takes place in a smooth and orderly manner.

Ireland was reviewed during the first cycle in 2011, the second cycle in 2016 and the third cycle in 2021.

Ireland’s UPR Submissions










Ireland’s UPR Outcomes

Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review 2021 

Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review 2016

Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review 2011