U.N. Universal Periodic Review of Cuban Human Rights

On November 15, 2023, in Geneva, Switzerland, the U.N. Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review Working Group of the 47 members of the U.N. Human Rights Council will conduct its three and a half hour peer review of the Cuban human rights record over the last four and a half years. (From November 6 through 14, thirteen other states will go through their UPRs.) [1]

Background for these Reviews

These reviews will be based upon the following documents:

  • National Report: information prepared by the State concerned, presented orally during the review;
  • UN Compilation: information contained in the reports of relevant UN mechanisms and entities to be compiled in a report by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR); and
  • Summary of Stakeholders: information provided by other relevant stakeholders including non-governmental organizations, national human rights institutions, human rights defenders, academic institutions, research institutes, and regional organizations, also to be summarized by OHCHR.

The review for each State is facilitated by groups of three Council members from different regional groups, also called troikas, who act as rapporteurs.

Final Outcome of These UPRs

The final outcome of the this session of the UPR Working Group will be adopted by the plenary of the Human Rights Council at its 55th regular session taking place in February/ March 2024. During one hour, in addition to the State reviewed and other States, UN resident coordinators, country directors of UN entities, national human rights institutions and non-governmental organizations can also take the floor.

Objectives of the Universal Periodic Review

The objectives of the universal periodic review are the improvement of the human rights situation on the ground; fulfilment of the State’s human rights obligations and commitments and assessment of positive developments and challenges faced by the State; the enhancement of technical assistance, in consultation with, and with the consent of, the State concerned; the sharing of best practice among States and other stakeholders; support for cooperation in the promotion and protection of human rights; and, the encouragement of full cooperation and engagement with the Council, other human rights bodies and OHCHR.

The implementation of UPR recommendations aims to strengthen national human rights protection systems. In addressing the root causes of human rights violations, the implementation of recommendations can have a preventive effect.


Subsequent posts will examine the documents and meetings regarding Cuba’s UPR.


[1] U.N., Human rights records of 14 states to be examined during a universal periodic review (Nov. 1, 2023). U.N., Universal Periodic Review.