Sexual Violence Against Women, Feminicides, Forced Disappearances, and Safeguarding Journalists and Human Rights Defenders among the main concerns during Mexico´s Universal Periodic Review

Sexual Violence Against Women, Feminicides, Forced Disappearances, and Safeguarding Journalists and Human Rights Defenders among the main concerns during Mexico´s Universal Periodic Review


Alfredo Naim Navarrete Piter

International Justice and Human Rights Researcher

Global Human Rights Defence

Every four to five years, each country is subject to a Universal Periodic Review (UPR), an evaluation of the general situation of human rights in the country in question by the international community within the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). This body, composed of 47 member states, through a working group, issues recommendations after evaluating the information provided by the member state in question through a national report. The information is also gathered from other UN bodies, such as national offices and special procedures like the special rapporteurs, and from interested parties such as national and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) through the so-called "shadow reports".

On January 24th, the Working Group of the Universal Periodic Review (WGUPR) held an audience to assess the efforts of the Mexican State towards fulfilling its human rights obligations for its fourth cycle of UPR. The state representatives restated Mexico's commitment to human rights and its international obligations, as well as its openness to international scrutiny. They also mentioned that, after the previous UPR cycle, the state has submitted several reports to regional and universal monitoring mechanisms, as well as special procedures of the UN. Additionally, it was mentioned that the Mexican government has put special emphasis on social policies aimed at addressing poverty and insecurity at their roots, reducing poverty by five percent and increasing minimum wages to address the recommendations of the last UPR cycle. However, the state recognized that there are significant steps to be taken regarding gender gaps in terms of income and gender violence, as well as grave problems that need attention, such as forced disappearances, the security issues suffered by journalists and human rights defenders, feminicide, and sexual violence against women.

During the audience, several states issued more than 300 recommendations for Mexico. Among them, the most pressing and recurrent were: Firstly, the implementation of technical and budgetary measures to ensure that the national mechanism for the protection of journalists and human rights defenders effectively protects them, opening safe channels for the communication of aggressions and threats and through measures for the effective the protection of their lives. Secondly, the implementation of laws and administrative measures to address the high level of forced disappearances in the country and the implementation of institutional procedures and techniques for the identification of bodies of disappeared people. Thirdly, addressing the problem of sexual violence against women, implementing measures to proscribe impunity regarding feminicides and their investigation, as well as taking measures to address the economic gender gap between women and men. Finally, several states recommended that Mexico take measures to effectively protect migrants and refugees from discrimination, ensuring their well-being and safety, as their vulnerability endangers them against criminal organizations.

The procedure will end with the issue by the WGUPR of a final report named "Outcome of the Review," in which the recommendations, questions to the state under review, and its answers will be summarized. With the recommendations made by evaluating states, Mexico will have an objective parameter to assemble strategies and policies to tackle the human rights issues in its territory. These concerns of the international community will be addressed in its following UPR cycle to track the progress made by the state on the matter.

Sources and further reading:

Barragán, A. (2024, January 26). La ONU condena la violación a los derechos humanos en México. El País México.

Basic facts about the UPR. (n.d.). OHCHR. Retrieved 8 April 2023, from

Mexico Review—45th Session of Universal Periodic Review | UN Web TV. (2024, January 24).