Working Paper Controversies Wade into WCW

“World Conference on Women.” Words displayed on the screen in front of Room Back Bay A triggered my curiosity as I strolled my way through the busy, crowded hallway on the Second Floor last night. Carefully, I pushed open the wooden doors ahead of me and tiptoed in, only to find myself in the middle of a heated discussion on Topic Area A of the World Conference on Women: The Legality of the Commercial Sex Industry.

The delegation of the United States argued for the importance of working paper 1.5, a working paper that would be accessible to the varying policies of different governments. Describing other working papers as being “only specific to one policy and one aspect of the problem, such as criminalization, legalization, etc,” U.S. called attention to working paper 1.5 again, urging for its significance on resolving the existing problems prevalent in the sex industry. In agreement with the U.S., the delegation of Belgium was in strong support of working paper 1.5, which would undertake existing problems of the legalization of the sex industry, particularly the protection of sex workers, the enforcement of laws in countries, availability of contraceptives, and the issues of sexually transmitted diseases.

The delegation of Iran, on the other hand, disagreed. Suggesting working paper 1.1 would be the only paper that “suggests effective solutions to the key problem, sexual trafficking,” Iran emphasized on the necessity of establishing organizations to support victims who suffer from STDs, as well as a close-knit collaboration between nations on an international level to combat the issue of sex trafficking.

Following Iran’s strong support of working paper 1.1, the delegation of Myanmar introduced working paper 1.2 after its successful merge with working paper 1.3. The delegation of Myanmar claimed “it is hard for find jobs for prostitutes,” urging the importance of implementing a rewarding system between nations.

Throughout this committee session, the World Conference on Women had an array of underlying dissents within nations on the issue of the legality of the commercial sexual industry. The passing of working-paper seemed difficult in a short time with five different working-papers on the table and delegates’ inclination to focus on one aspect of the issue that concern them the most. Nevertheless, the merging of several working papers shed light on potential consensus and a faster dynamic within the committee in the future.

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