Tonga’s human rights record will be examined by the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group for the fourth time on Monday, 01 May 2023.

Tonga is one of 14 States to be reviewed by the UPR Working Group during its upcoming 43rd session from 01 to 12 May 2023. Tonga’s first, second and third UPR reviews took place in May 2008, January 2013, and January 2018, respectively.

The documents on which the reviews are based are: 1) national report – information provided by the State under review; 2) information contained in the reports of independent human rights experts and groups, known as the Special Procedures, human rights treaty bodies, and other UN entities; 3) information provided by other stakeholders including national human rights institutions, regional organisations, and civil society groups.

The UPR is a unique process which involves a periodic review of the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States. Since its first meeting was held in April 2008, all 193 UN member States have been reviewed thrice within the first, second and third UPR cycles. During the fourth UPR cycle, States are again expected to spell out steps they have taken to implement recommendations posed during their previous reviews which they committed to follow up on and highlight recent human rights developments in the country.

The delegation of Tonga will be led by Fekitamoeloa ‘Utoikamanu, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Tourism.

The three country representatives serving as rapporteurs (“troika”) for the review of Tonga are Benin, Czechia, and Maldives.

The UPR Working Group is scheduled to adopt the recommendations made to Tonga on Friday, 5 May 2023. The State under review may wish to express its positions on recommendations posed to it during its review.