The UNHRC, a difficult but successful merging process

Yesterday, the United Nations Human Rights Council was just starting to discuss merging six working papers dealing with Child Trafficking. According to working paper 1.1, one promising solution was “the implementation of education, economic infrastructures employing multilateral collaboration of various nations, […] and raising awareness”.

Once all working papers were read and presented, delegates started arguing on how they could merge these papers in order to reach a final draft resolution. For instance, the Russian Federation strongly believed that the first, fourth and fifth working papers had similar strengths and weaknesses, and that combining them would make them more significant and efficient. Those three working papers aimed to both prevent child abuse and reintegrate victims in conflict zones. Furthermore, the fourth working paper explicitly stated the causes of human trafficking, such as “Gender-based discrimination”, and ” Violence against women”.

On the other hand, Australia incited the other countries to read its working paper (1.1), saying that, if combined with the 1.3 working paper, that one would become much more specific.

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“supporters of the 10 Point Plan (left) and of the Unity Pact (right)”

Eventually, after long hours of debate, all countries chose to merge the first, third and sixth working papers into the 10 Point Plan draft resolution, and the second, fourth and fifth working papers, into The Unity Pact. On the one hand, Serbia was in favor of The Unity Pact, as it “provides comprehensive and realistic solutions addressing education”. It emphasizes on improving the pre-existing organizations rather than creating new bodies. On the other hand, countries like Georgian delegate was convinced that The 10 point plan was much more comprehensive, solving the problem at its roots. That is to say education, rehabilitation and awareness”.

This way, the committee finally reached an agreement, taking a step forward in the writing of the draft resolution.

The Times of India.

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Human trafficking is an aggravating problem, especially with the increase in wars around the globe. The most vulnerable group are the children, in fact, over 1.2 million children are trafficked each year.

The United Nations Human Rights Council has decided to face this issue head on due to immensity of its implications. They believe that both the traffickers and the clientele should be prosecuted due to their direct contribution in the violation of human rights. A contentious issue on the floor was the ability of NGOs to address the problem at the root level as delegates were polarized on whether or not they had the funds to carry out the actions necessary. The delegate of Congo said, “NGOs should be involved and the assets that are seized from child trafficking rings should be put into an anti-trafficking fund. Congo believes in a comprehensive six-point solution including things such as border control and sex education”. Regarding the issue of education, the delegates believe that it would lead to children entering the legal labor force. Honduras expressed the belief that violence, especially the proliferation of firearms were a threat to children.

UNHRC believes that the issue of child trafficking is mainly an economic one and recognizes the need to provide developing countries financial aid to tackle child trafficking because they are the most vulnerable to such practices. The bloc spearheaded by  Brazil believe in the provision of rehabilitation services and taking long term preventive measures. The developed countries formed a separate pack because they do not properly understand the causes as this problem mainly concerns their developing counterparts. They said that they were communicating with smaller countries to fund NGOs and trust funds.

The Dais mentioned to CNN that they would like the committee to think about long-term solutions and not just restrict the debate to funding. They expressed their hope that the countries would share data regarding child trafficking to form a stronger network to combat it. In terms of short term solutions, they vehemently believed that emerging crises and wars, both of which aggravate the problem of child trafficking, should be addressed specifically due to the prevalence of such situations worldwide.

The crisis that surfaced in the committee was regarding a Syrian boy of 12 years who was forced to flee the country and had his father killed in the effort. Him and his mothered managed to reach Turkey but due to their lack of resources she sold him to a sweatshop and he had no option for education. This caused the impassioned delegates  to talk about the psychological-depression, PTSD- and physical trauma that human trafficking causes and the need to help susceptible children attain medical and educational facilities. They believed firmly that women should not have the option of selling their children to make ends meet. They believed awareness as to the impacts of human trafficking would, in the long run, deter people from being exploited into selling their children. Some delegates pointed out that the fact that the child had no option of education means that NGOs or the government could not reach the vulnerable groups, which prompted them to demand further research to discover human trafficking rings and sweatshops.

The delegates of UNHRC expressed a strong desire for a solution that recognizes the unique situation of countries where child trafficking occur and tailor any solutions to best suit each country.

Humans Write About Human Rights

Human rights belong to every person right from the second they’re born. They are inalienable, indivisible, interdependent… A person has them by virtue of being a human. Just that. They can’t be taken away or violated – their violation is a cause for international concern. The United Nations Human Rights Council was founded on this important principle.

The Guardian wondered why the UNHRC was moving so slowly while the speaker’s List was underway. Notably, delegates from Chile, Serbia, Nigeria, Somalia, and Zimbabwe spoke. These nations asserted that whatever plan the HRC comes up with must individual demographic of each country. They also claimed that all countries need to collaborate and cooperate to ensure that child trafficking can be wiped out as efficiently as possible. But when the Speaker’s List started to run low, the United States stepped froward.

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The delegate of the USA introduced his 4-tier plan to the committee – prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnership. It involved the prevention of child trafficking by increasing education, awareness, and law enforcement; the protection of victims of child trafficking, and efforts to rescue them; the prosecution of consistent perpetrators of the crime; and the partnership of all countries in order to end its horrors. This sparked Pakistan’s plan to promote education and increase employment and Greece’s proposal to set up social service, rehabilitation, theatre and fine arts programs for children in war- zones.

The Guardian believes that all countries need to work to make sure that the inherent rights of their citizens are not violated. Human rights are ridiculously important. Anyone who’s been in danger of having them taken away can testify that. The Guardian’s reporter hopes the delegates of the UNHRC arrive at a consensus and can solve the matter at hand before too many more people get hurt.

 

Save the Children

On Floor three in Fairfax A, the UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) is hard at work solving one of the world’s most pressing issues: child trafficking. The International Labor Organization posits that each year, around 1.2 million children are subject to trafficking. This includes forced labor, sexual trafficking, and children in armed forces and drug trades. Recognizing the complexities of the topic, the delegate from Togo astutely pointed out that “there has never been a concrete solution” to the issue. However, that was no impediment to these delegates., who welcomed the challenge.

In tackling the multifaceted issue, delegates have thus far proposed two strong working papers that address the economic, social, and legal aspects of child trafficking. A delegate from Sweden, working with countries such as Japan, Germany, and the United Kingdom, described his working paper, titled PACT – a “Plan Against Child Trafficking,” a five point plan. PACT’s first consideration is to clarify the definition of child trafficking, which is currently stated to be the “recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, and/or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation.” Although the delegate was unable to provide a redefinition, the purpose of such a plan seemed to be not to rearrange the current working, but rather to seek a more widespread understanding of such activities.

PACT also considers collaboration between countries, the issue of financing the efforts against trafficking, bringing awareness through social media awareness and to border officials and police forces, and rehabilitation of the victims. As the delegate from Sweden emphasized, rehabilitation is perhaps “the most important” issue, given that it unites child trafficking and the equally important topic of mental health.

Across the room, the delegates from Congo, Brazil, Pakistan, and Nigeria were in deep discussion, formulating their own plan. Their informally named “six point plan” also considered educating the people, rehabilitating victims, and how to best fund these projects. In regards to rehabilitation, the delegate from Pakistan pointed out that currently, the “gap between victims being saved and going back into normal society” is far  too large. Unlike PACT, the six point plan further encompassed pushing for new laws, increasing border security, and formulating an international database to aid in cross country collaboration.

Delegates from the six point plan emphasized that their working paper is specifically meant to target the interests of smaller, underdeveloped countries, saying that they hope to represent the “ideas of people.” From the outside, this working paper seems to effectively target a wider range of issues. However, the delegate from Japan – a supporter of the PACT paper- had some reservations: the six point plan, he criticized, “has unrealistic goals” and doesn’t go into enough detail.

From the outside, one can see that these two plans are really quite similar: they work to educate the people, help the victims in the recovery process, and figure out a way to fund their projects. Throughout their speeches, delegates reminded their constituents of the importance of cross-country collaboration. This is now being put to the test.

The real question is, can the countries from both these workings papers unite to form one cohesive solution?

 

 

Welcome to HMUN 2017!

The Press Corps Staff welcomes you to HMUN 2017.