How ‘universal’ is the United Nations’ universal periodic review? An examination of the discussions held on female genital mutilation in the first cycle of review

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Abstract

Hailed as the most innovative and unique human rights monitoring mechanism at the United Nations, the Universal Periodic Review process promises to promote and protect the universality of all human rights issues and concerns in an objective, universal, and transparent manner. With the interactive dialogue session being at the heart of the review, coupled with the possibility of peer States potentially raising any international human rights norm to hold States accountable, there is a possible challenge to the universality of human rights norms, vocalised by State representatives when certain contentious issues are raised during State reviews. Selecting one such issue, this paper uses the issue of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as a focus to explore whether, and to what extent normative claim of universality of international human rights norms in relation to FGM is challenged during the State reviews in the first cycle of the UPR process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-226
JournalIntercultural Human Rights Law Review
Volume12
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2017

Bibliographical note

Published at 12 Intercultural Human Rights Law Review (2017) in press.

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