The Universal Rights Group’s work is organised around four focus areas. These focus areas are:

Human rights institutions and mechanisms

The international community has a comprehensive institutional machinery to respond to human rights concerns (i.e., the HRC, the Special Procedure system, the Treaty Body system, the UPR, and OHCHR). It is of great importance for the promotion and protection of human rights that these institutions, mechanisms and processes operate to their fullest potential and successfully fulfil their mandates. URG works to strengthen the capacity of international human rights mechanisms and processes to deliver on-the-ground improvements in human rights.

Human rights implementation and impact

URG has worked with UNICEF, UNFPA, and UNEP to track and measure the implementation of UPR, Treaty Body and Special Procedures recommendations on children’s rights, the right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment (R2E), and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) respectively, gathering good practices on UN Country Teams support for States. URG has also led in the development of National Mechanisms for Implementation, Reporting and Follow-up (NMIRFs) as a way to ensure the national impact of the UN human rights system.

Thematic human rights issues

URG aims to be ahead of the curve in identifying and offering timely policy analysis and advice on human rights concerns relevant to today’s world and mobilise concerted action, especially at the Human Rights Council.
To do so, URG partners with States, civil society organisations and private actors to develop recommendations and best practices for incorporating a human rights-based approach to these new issues. In doing so, URG focuses its work on ‘linking the international and the national,’ both through capacity-building activities with developing countries, and by working with UN agencies

Prevention, accountability, and justice

The Human Rights Council is mandated to prevent gross human rights violations, and to secure accountability when those happen. The Council and its mechanisms, and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) play a central role in the prevention agenda as well as in accountability, through COIs, Special Procedures, and international, impartial independent mechanisms. URG seeks to promote and strengthen the UN’s human rights pillar preventative capacity and bring scrutiny to the question of whether UN mechanisms set up to secure accountability are able to fulfil this mandate.