The Universal Rights Group’s work is organised around four broad Programmes. The Programmes are:
- In focus: domestic implementation of universal norms
- Contemporary and emerging human rights issues
- International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes
- Beyond the Council – human rights protection outside the main Geneva-based human rights mechanisms
- In Focus: human rights and religion
Under each of these four broad Programmes, specific projects are set by the Board, meeting at least once a year. Projects are chosen due to their contemporary importance and relevance – and their potential to generate change. The current Programme of Work (2016-2019) foresees around 17 individual projects.
In addition to the four Programmes, the Group also focuses on one cross-cutting theme – namely improving the visibility of and understanding around the international human rights system. This theme is designed to bring the international human rights system closer to the people it is obligated to protect – i.e. people on the ground whose rights have been, or are being, violated and who need support and protection.