The Universal Periodic Review: State Department's Human Rights 'Listening Session' in Berkeley

On March 25th WILD hosted a groundbreaking consultation between a diverse range of civil society representatives and federal officials in preparation for the United States’ participation in the United Nation’s Universal Period Review (UPR).  The UPR process consists of each member of the UN Human Rights Council filing a report regarding its own human rights record every four years with the Council.  The consultation was part of a ‘listening tour’ led by the Department of State designed to allow government representatives to gather information about U.S. compliance with its international human rights obligations directly from domestic human and civil rights groups. 

The day’s activities were facilitated by Lecturer-in-Residence Ali Miller, Senior Fellow at the Miller Institute, and Faculty Director of WILD and featured panels on Health and Education panel, moderated by Henderson Center Executive Director Wilda White, and State Accountability, moderated by Professor Kate Jastram, (‘87) Lecturer in Residence  and Senior Fellow at the Miller Institute.  Panelists included speakers from Justice Now, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, the Transgender, Gender Variant and Intersex Justice Project, Mujeres Unidas y Activas, WILD, and the Center for Justice and Accountability among others.   Representatives from the U.S. Departments of State, Justice, Education, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services, among other federal agencies, participated on the government’s panel. 

The input from the Berkeley consultation, and from similar consultations held in other U.S. cities, will ultimately inform the December 2010 U.S. government report to the United Nations Human Rights Council.  The Council will review the government report, as well as reports filed directly by civil society groups, and respond with recommendations for greater compliance by the US of international human rights law.

Agenda from the 3.25 listening session

WILD for Human Rights' written submission to the U.N. Human Rights Council 

For more information on the UPR process, visit the U.S. Human Rights Network for an overview of the process and links to written reports submitted by civil society groups to the U.N.

Through the Department of State's website, you can view a summary of civil society consultations, learn more about the UPR Process, and read a copy of the final report submitted by the United States to the Human Rights Council on its human rights record.