Head Chair: Allyson Velez Vice Chair: Chris Hales Moderator: Raymund Magtibay
Position papers will be due on February 2, 2018. The position paper format, and all other important conference documents, can be found on our conference website, http://lhhsconference.weebly.com/. Email all position papers to our committee email: email@example.com. Feel free to contact us via email if you have any questions or concerns!
Hello delegates! My name is Allyson Velez and I will be your head chair for this conference. I am a senior in my sixth year of MUN and I am currently a member of the LHHS MUN Secretariat where I serve as the USG of International Week. Aside from MUN, I am Varsity cheer captain, one of the founders/secretary of LHHS’s Think Pink! club, a member of NHS, a coach to Saddleback Valley Pop Warner’s special needs cheer team, and a Dual-Immersion student.
Hello deleguys and delegirls, my name is Chris Hales and I will be your vice chair. I am a senior and am actually in my first year of MUN. Outside of MUN, I am the captain of the LHHS Varsity Swim Team, an active member of both CSF and NHS, and the Chief Executive Officer of my non-profit organization Goggles for Guppies, where we are the USA Swimming Foundation’s main distributor of donated equipment to help encourage people everywhere the life saving ability of learning to swim. For my efforts, I have received the USA Swimming Hero Award and the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award from President Obama.
Hi delegates, my name is Raymund Magtibay, and I will be your moderator for this committee. Although I am new to Laguna Hills and to MUN, I will do my best to facilitate this conference using my years of leadership experience in other activities I was involved in. During my three years attending Westmont High school, I was house legislator and lobbyist in Youth and gov., I was also a linebacker for three years in Westmont, I was also in the musical “Thoroughly Modern Millie”, and one of the members of Bee club. Although I am limited in my experience in participating in Laguna Hills, I am committed to accommodate and provide help in this upcoming conference.
We will explain our sombreros at committee!
Topic 1: Rights of Civilians in War Zones Background: The horrors of war have plagued human society throughout its existence, and has unfortunately affected millions of lives in a adverse way. Combatants that participate in this systematic chaos will undoubtedly come back ingrained with trauma after the war, or won’t even come back. The chaos of war also affects civilians even though they are not involved, fortunately countries realized the horrid effects of war. To limit these affects, countries proposed neutrality and good conduct of war. The first Geneva convention was the first response to the adverse effects of war (also led to the creation of Red Cross). It created a set of rules that protected civilians and mandated humanitarian treatment of soldiers and civilians alike. This sets a precedent for limiting the violence and chaos of war, as well as providing the foundation for Hague conventions (treaties and declarations that provide specific rules and conduct of war, and prevented unlawful applications of the instruments of war). Although this set of treaties was a great first step of limiting the adverse effects of war, unfortunately many countries violated this set of treaties in WW1 and WW2. Although a lot of countries signed the treaties in the second Geneva conventions, there are still violations that occur in modern times such as the conflict in Syria which has killed 99,140 civilians, the Iraqi civil war which has killed nearly 1900 civilians, and the modern conflicts between Israel and Palestine, and between Russia and Ukraine. Currently the conflicts aforementioned are still going on, such as the Syrian civil war; which pits the Syrian government and its allies against various rebel groups such as SDF, and various jihadist groups such as ISIL. Another example would also be the Russian-Ukraine crisis that started with Russia annexing Crimea; currently peace is still far from a viable option between Ukraine and pro-Russian rebel groups. These conflicts have unfortunately affected many civilians, so our agenda for this committee is to provide humanitarian aid to civilians that are affected by these wars, we will look to find the unilateral agreement for countries currently involved in armed countries to uphold the rights of citizens.
UN Involvement: Throughout the past 60 years, civilians have suffered the most during war; from bombings to invasions, pillaging to genocide, civilian life during wartime is extremely stressful and dangerous. The United Nations dedicates much of its efforts in protecting the rights of civilians in war zones. Currently, the UN has 15 peacekeeping operations, in Haiti, Africa, Kosovo, Pakistan, Cyprus, Israel, Lebanon, and the Lebanon-Syria border. Throughout the UN’s history, 50 other operations have occurred. The efforts of these operations aim to protect innocent civilians in these countries and prevent any casualties. They are permitted to use deadly force if necessary, and the UN has helped bring an end to many conflicts with the help of the UN Security Council. During armed conflicts, civilians are targeted, with attacks such as forced displacement or conscription, sexual violence, mutilation, and genocide, to name a few. The United Nations passed Resolution 1265 in 1999 in an effort to have greater review in the protection of civilians in war zones. In 2005, the Secretary-General argued that the efforts to prevent civilian damages have been too little, and he called for an increase in the attempts to protect civilians. In 2006, the UN passed Resolution 1674, committing itself to take even more action in the protection of civilians. IHL (International Humanitarian Law) has created special laws protecting civilians. For example, the enemy country must treat them humanely, and any forces bringing supplies and health aid to wounded civilians, such as the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) can not be attacked. Civilians cannot be murdered or tortured. Certain groups are specifically singled out for special protection: women and children, the elderly, and the wounded are to be treated first in case of accidents. States must take all appropriate steps in protecting and keeping families together. Though states ignore the mandates from the UN, many still do their best to adhere to the IHL. Country Blocs: Western Bloc: Many nations in the Western bloc are not currently experiencing war so the civilians in this region are not being deprived of their basic rights. Because many western nations are also economically stable, the majority of humanitarian efforts to assist civilians in war zones originates in these nations. Latin Bloc: Although many Latin nations are not considered to be at “war”, many nations are experiencing political and social turmoil. Drug cartels in Mexico and Columbia and political unrest in Venezuela are only two examples of Latin conflicts that are resulting in violence; it is these conflicts that are creating dangerous regions in Latin America and are depriving civilians of their rights. African Bloc: Countless nations in Africa have either been at war in the past decades or are currently experiencing times of violence. Past examples of conflict such as the Rwandan Genocide, the South Sudanese Civil War, or violence caused by Boko Haram represent the many conflicts this region have undergone in recent decades. It is evident then that the tension in many African nations is depriving citizens of their rights specifically during times of war. Asian and Middle Eastern Bloc: Many regions in Asia and the Middle East are threatened by ongoing conflicts. More specifically, terror groups in nations such as Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq are causing many civilian casualties as well as the destruction of civilian poverty. In order to assist those being terrorized by war in these regions, it is important to address the cause of the conflict and ways to protect the civilians present. Questions to Consider:
Is it necessary to provide more funds to hospitals treating victims of war? If so, how will hospitals in war zones be assisted in order to accommodate to patients?
What preventative measures can be taken to protect civilians from being injured?
If individuals are displaced during war, what aid will be offered to them in their temporary sites of residence?
Are certain rights, such as freedom of expression or the press, inalienable even in times of turmoil and violence?
When citizens are caught in war zones, children cannot attend school, parents cannot work, and health care centers become overcrowded. What is the most important right civilians are being deprived of during war?
Topic 2: Fighting Modern Day Slavery Background: In today’s modern society, slavery is considered immoral and illegal in most nations, but unfortunately many criminals are still engaged in modern forms of slavery, such as human trafficking forced labor, forced marriages and child slavery. An estimated 40.3 million people are in modern slavery around the world. Many of these victims are people from poor economic conditions, and are often manipulated or kidnapped against their will to participate in these contemporary form of slavery. Modern slavery is very prevalent in African countries; an example would be the resurgence of slave trade in Libya and Asian countries; an example would India’s prevalent child sex trafficking ring, unfortunately the number of people who are being forcibly partake into modern slavery will only increase if we don’t do anything to prevent this atrocious act. Your research should focus on how to combat contemporary slavery, what to do with the contemporary slaves after freed, prevention of modern slavery, and education on how to stop it. UN Involvement: Though we may think slavery ended centuries ago, it is still persisting today. The United Nations has taken many steps to combat the horrors of slavery. The UN Declaration of Human Rights states, "No one shall be held in slavery or servitude: slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms." In many parts of the world, slavery still exists as debt bondage, procreation for child labor, and child marriages. The UN established the International Labor Organization (ILO), which estimates that there are around 21 million people in forced labor today. The ILO estimates that around 90% of slaves are exploited by individuals or corporations, while the other 10% are exploited by the state, forced to work in government jobs or the military. The ILO also estimates that 22% of slaves are sexually exploited. There have been many different UN organizations created by the UN to combat slavery and bring assistance to those affected by it. UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) has created many subdivisions, such as The Trafficking and HIV/AIDS Project at the UNESCO Bangkok Office, to combat the institution of slavery and provide help to those affected by it. The UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) created a joint initiative between the EU and themselves called the GLO.ACT. It’s main objectives are to prevent migrant trafficking and migrant smuggling all across Africa, Asia and Latin America. The UNODC also have tried to combat modern slavery directly by disseminating information about modern slavery and creating trust funds for those who are victims of modern slavery. Recently, on September 21, 2017, the UN passed Resolution 2379, which effectively calls upon the Secretary General to establish an Investigation Team. This team, lead by a Special Advisor, supports efforts to bring justice to those affected by slavery, specifically perpetrated by ISIS in Iraq.
Country Blocs: Western Bloc: Many nations in the Western bloc are generally stable in regard to the economy and politics. As a result, many western nations such as the United States and United Kingdom are very active in fighting modern forms of slavery. In addition, the majority of nations in this bloc, such as Norway, Belgium, Sweden, and so on, do not experience high levels of conflict thus, many of the governments in this region are willing to contribute to the abolishment of slavery. Latin Bloc: Slavery was abolished in Latin America over a century ago however, many nations struggle to eradicate new forms of slavery that are associated with human trafficking. Slavery has been documented in countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras, Paraguay, Perú and Uruguay because fo drug cartels and a prevalent lack of education in rural regions. Latin slavery accounts for about 11 percent of the slave population in the world. Unfortunately, the majority of governments in this region are not active in responding to the issue and many civilians are vulnerable to the many forms of slavery that persist. African Bloc: African nations dominate the Global Slavery Index. Because many African nations are threatened by corruption, war, poverty, and lack of education, countless forms of slavery are potent in the region. The rate of modern slavery is highest in Africa, with 7.6 victims for every 1,000 people in the region. Asian Bloc: Many nations in this region exhibit weak rule of law, corruption and poverty, all of which increase individuals risk to modern slavery. All nations in this region outlaw slavery (with the exception of North Korea) but Asian governments, specifically rural regions of the continent, are not active in preventing slavery. As a result, the Asian bloc has the second highest rate of slavery with 6.1 victims for every 1,000 people.
Questions to Consider:
Are current international regulations of human rights (i.e. Human Rights Declaration of Rights) sufficient to eradicate contemporary forms of slavery? If not, what must be altered?
How can other nations influence governments to monitor modern slavery without infringing on a country’s sovereignty (i.e. economic sanctions, diplomatic negotiations, international pressure, military intervention, etc.)?
There are varying definitions of slavery across the globe; some nations consider serfdom, forced labor, forced marriage, the trafficking of persons, child servitude, and sexual exploitation modern forms of slavery. What does your nation consider slavery?
It is evident that slavery must be eradicated. In order to accomplish this task, basic steps must be taken such as educating the public. Education is often seen as one of the most effective solutions possible however, what specific education initiatives must be implemented and who will the education be directed towards (i.e. general education in public schools for children ages 5-12, preventative education for adults in certain regions, etc.)?
Slavery is detrimental to a nation’s future as well as present. Aside from the steps that must be taken to abolish slavery on a global scale, what measures must be taken to accommodate and assist the current victims of slavery (i.e. therapy, security, healthcare, etc.)?