U.S. Engagement with the Universal Periodic Review Process (UPR)

The Center for Constitutional Rights has a strong practice of engaging with international human rights bodies to bring attention to our issues and uplift the experiences of those most impacted by the U.S. government’s failures to protect and uphold human rights. Independent human rights experts regularly review whether governments are in compliance with their human rights obligations. The Center for Constitutional Rights engages with these experts by drafting shadow reports and other advocacy materials, providing testimony, lobbying, and working in coalition with our partners to use these opportunities to highlight serious human rights violations.

The Center for Constitutional Rights has played a critical role during periodic reviews of the U.S. government by UN treaty bodies, including those that review the U.S.’ compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racism (CERD), and during the cumulative Universal Periodic Review (UPR). Additionally, CCR advocates before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (the regional rights body for the western hemisphere).

2019-2020 Universal Periodic Review - Center for Constitutional Rights Submission

The Center for Constitutional Rights condemns the United States' continued disregard for international human rights, which, coupled with rising xenophobia and white nationalism, threatens the protection of human rights worldwide. This report considers developments since the United States' Second Review in 2015 and provides brief updates and analysis on four areas of deep concern: 1) the continued, arbitrary, and indefinite detention of Muslim men at the Guantánamo Bay prison; 2) the suspension of human rights for non-white refugees and asylum seekers; 3) the legalized repression of human rights defenders, including advocates for Palestinian rights, Indigenous water protectors, and Black activists organizing for racial justice; and 4) the legalized discrimination and heightened criminalization of queer and transgender people.

2015 Universal Periodic Review - Center for Constitutional Rights Submissions

In May 2015, the U.S. government was reviewed for the second time under the Universal Period Review (UPR) process, a process in which a country’s entire human rights record is examined by the United Nations Human Rights Council. Through shadow reports and civil society dialogue, the Center for Constitutional Rights urged the U.S. government to move from rhetoric to action and to take concrete steps towards complying with its full international human rights obligations.

2010-2011 Universal Periodic Review - Center for Constitutional Rights submissions

In March 2011, the United States government accepted recommendations made by the UN Human Rights Council. This marked the first time the United States was reviewed under the UPR process. In response, the Center for Constitutional Rights released the following analysis:

CCR engaged with the 2010-2011 process by contributing to or authoring the following reports:


Last modified 

March 16, 2021