Periodically the UN reviews, and looks at ways to improve the state of Human Rights in all 193 member states. This is done approximately every 4.5 years, with the UK recently having had its turn to submit a report on the current state of human rights in the country. This certainly makes interesting reading for any organisation working closely with human rights and to ensure equality and adequate protection for all groups in society.
The Ministry of Justice has now published its 'Third Universal Periodic Review: national report' ahead of the review in May. The UK government maintains that "the UPR [Universal Periodic Review] is a constructive process for States to learn from and to help each other in protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms. The UK remains fully committed to the UPR and to promoting human rights internationally". Furthermore in light of the triggering of Article 50 - "The UKG [UK Government] remains committed to reforming the domestic human rights framework" and "will consider further the Bill of Rights once we know the arrangements for the EU exit and consult fully on our proposals in the full knowledge of the new constitutional landscape that will create".
Following the publication of this report the UN Human Rights Council will meet to respond and consult representative from Civil Society before making suggestions for improvement in a joint report.
The UK and the rest of the world are facing interesting yet challenging times. Against this background it is important that even the most established of democracies continue to be questioned and checked by both those who they represent and by supranational bodies working in the interest of humanity as a whole. It will be interesting to see in the coming months how the UN responds to this report and where the UK has room to adapt and improve!