Skid Row resident and Community Organizer, Deborah Burton is headed to Geneva to attend the United Nations’ (UN) Universal Periodic Review.
Created by resolution through the UN General Assembly in March 2006, the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all 192 UN Member States once every four years. The UPR is a State-driven process, under the auspices of the Human Rights Council, which provides the opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfill their human rights obligations.
As one of the main features of the Council, the UPR is designed to ensure equal treatment for every country when their human rights situations are assessed. The UPR is a cooperative process which, by 2011, will have reviewed the human rights records of every country.
The UPR is one of the key elements of the new Council which reminds States of their responsibility to fully respect and implement all human rights and fundamental freedoms. The ultimate aim of this new mechanism is to improve human rights situations in all countries and address human rights violations wherever they occur.
As an organizer with LA CAN and the LA Human Right to Housing Collective, as well as an impacted tenant, Deborah will be there to hear just how the UNITED STATES reports its housing situation, which should include homelessness, predatory lending, public housing, and section 8 programs. She will also have the opportunity to testify directly to violations of the human right to housing she has personally experienced and/or viewed. Lastly, Deborah will be networking with social organizations and other officials from around the globe.
To view Deborah and other human rights defenders in action–at the United Nations–watch the Day 1 & 2 excerpts below. Excerpts provided by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty.