Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee
The Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee of the United Nations is tasked with dealing with issues surrounding social, humanitarian and human rights issues from around the world.
chair: alis yoo
Hi! My name is Alis. I'm a senior history major from Palisades Park, New Jersey. I'm interested in studying U.S. history, particularly contemporary race relations, and plan to go to law school. You can imagine I'm a pretty boring person. When I have free time, I like to go to the gym with my friends or take mindless Buzzfeed quizzes like Make a sandwich and find out your dream career (I got lawyer). But just because I'm boring doesn't mean PMUNC will be. Hope to see you in November!
Send Position Papers To: firstname.lastname@example.org
topic a: Preventing Human Rights Abuses in Prisons
With the world prison population having topped 10.35 million in 2016, it is imperative that countries begin to earnestly address physical, emotional, and psychological abuses happening in prisons worldwide. Regardless of their country’s constitution and per capita income, it is likely that detained persons suffer inhumane, and sometimes fatal, physical and mental mistreatment from correctional officers. Solitary confinement, though condemned by the U.N. in 2011, is still used as punishment, even against people with mental illnesses and juveniles. In several countries, detained persons are forced to work for a few cents per hour, or for no compensation, an infringement of human rights reminiscent of slavery. Detained citizens of a country oftentimes lose their ability to vote, an injustice they face for the rest of their life. SOCHUM must ensure that detained persons are not deprived of their personhood in a physical, psychological, political, or economic sense, and that prisons and jails are not just punishing, but also rehabilitating their detainees.
topic b: Freedom of speech: the persecution of journalists
A free press is the bulwark against governmental tyranny; it is essential to the maintenance of democracy. Freedom of the speech and press are rights endowed in almost all countries’ constitutions and freedom of expression is enshrined in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, yet all states regularly infringe upon the rights of the people, particularly journalists. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 262 journalists were imprisoned in 2017, and the number of journalists killed has risen steadily since 1992. Investigative journalists or journalists in conflict zones face intense scrutiny from governments, often being detained or having their devices searched, and can find themselves in life-threatening situations. SOCHUM faces the two-fold objective of protecting journalists and news agencies in dangerous regions and from states that inhibit a productive and open media environment.