UN’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR): a tool for change – a tool for the church!

Published On: May 11, 2023
Every five years, each country in the world comes up for a human rights review at the United Nations. Churches, charities, and NGOs have a voice in this review process, speaking up for vulnerable people and speaking out for justice.

In 2023, four Asian countries are on the list: Malaysia and China (reporting deadline 18 July)
and Cambodia and Viet Nam, reporting on 28 September. Once a report is submitted to the UN,
other country delegations can sign on, agreeing to and giving weight to the recommendations in
the report.

The World Evangelical Alliance is working to assist faith-based organisations and Evangelical
Alliances in speaking out. With guidance from the WEA team at the UN and expertise from the
World Freedom Network (WFN), national Evangelical Alliances and local NGOs can produce
short reports on exploitation and human trafficking – with impressive impact.

In Switzerland, local organisations worked with the WEA UN office to produce a two-page UPR
report (What is the current situation? What change is needed?) that resulted in raising the age
for legal prostitution in the country from 16 years to 18.

Wissam al-Saliby of the Geneva office explains the goal of the review process. “ With regards to
the UPR, the outcome is a commitment (accepted recommendations) by the government under
review. …In my assessment, it’s always helpful to engage with the UPR when doing local public
advocacy on human trafficking. A UPR report and engagement is just one more tool for local

The Asia Freedom Network team is ready to work with faith-based anti-trafficking organisations
and national Evangelical Alliances across Asia to prepare recommendations for the Universal
Periodic Review and ensure that laws and government practices protect and serve our most
vulnerable people.

Contact us if you’re interested in learning more!

Is your country on the list? Check the UPR Info to see which States are under

Share This Story

World Freedom Network Launches Asia Freedom Network; Appoints Humanitarian and Mental Health Advocate as Director for Asia
Interview with Director of newly established Asia Freedom Network.