IFLA has worked with FAIFE committee members from Croatia and the United States to prepare submissions for the Universal Periodic Reviews organised by the UN Human Rights Council.

Universal Periodic Reviews (UPR) evaluate the human rights situation in UN Member States every 5 years, track changes and issue recommendations based on these assessments.

Stakeholder input plays a crucial role in this process, and interested parties can get involved by sending in information about important human rights developments in their fields. Their contributions are summarised in a stakeholder report – one of the key outcome documents of a UPR.

IFLA submissions to the UPRs in Croatia and the United States outline the experiences of libraries protecting and promoting human rights in their countries. They mark their achievements, discuss the opportunities and highlight the challenges that libraries face.

We sincerely thank Davorka Pšenica and Laurie Bridges for their work in collecting information and developing these submissions.


IFLA’s submission for Croatia highlights the work of libraries to ensure better access to information – an integral part of intellectual freedom rights – for persons with disabilities and children in vulnerable situations; from bibliobuses to publishing books in accessible formats.

They also help to realise the educational and cultural rights of ethnic and linguistic minorities – for example, through a network of Central Minority Libraries, or by organising informal learning opportunities for Roma youth.

Read IFLA’s submission for the Universal Periodic Review in Croatia: [PDF – English]

United States of America

In its contribution focusing on the United States, IFLA highlights the work of American libraries to come up with new ways to bridge the digital divide, helping people realise their rights to education and access to information. Furthermore, a growing number of libraries have decided to abolish or limit overdue fees to expand access to knowledge and information, given the evidence of their potential negative effect on some groups.

Libraries are also taking on many roles which help promote people’s rights to health and access to public services: helping their users find medical or insurance information online, offering tax help, or collaborating with social workers to protect their most vulnerable users.

Read IFLA’s submission for the Universal Periodic Review in the United States of America: [PDF – English]

Read our blog to find out more about the UPR, why it matters to libraries, and how they can get involved!
You can also read a joint submission prepared by the Italian Library Association and IFLA for the Italian UPR review in April 2019.