Human Rights Committee
Full-length backgrounds for each topic will be posted
Topic 1: Police Brutality.*
What exactly is police brutality? Is it a result of individuals who
cross a line and forever change what is acceptable and what is not or
the symptom of a greater problem? History would argue the later of the
two; police brutality is not an isolated incident that only takes place
occasionally in large cities and in totalitarian governments. Police
brutality is one of the most pressing Human Rights issues worldwide.
The excessive use of force by police officers, including unjustified
shootings, severe beatings, fatal chokings, and rough treatment, persists
because overwhelming barriers to accountability make it possible for
officers who commit human rights violations to escape due punishment
and often to repeat their offenses. Police or public officials greet
each new report of brutality with denials or explain that the act was
an aberration, while the administrative and criminal systems that should
deter these abuses by holding officers accountable instead virtually
guarantee them impunity. What can be done to curb this problem in an
The United Nations power is limited, in that; each nations
sovereignty is extremely important and precious. However, in certain
instances, when the Security Council finds it necessary, proactive means
may be implemented. Please view this as a last resort rather than a
normal function. This committee, rather, will try to create ways for
the nations that have police brutality issues to correct themselves
before other nations intervention is needed.
Perhaps one of the best ways to end this type of abuse is for the more
developed nations to lead as examples to the developing nations. Also,
the impact of global pressure on a nation with serious police brutality
issues cannot be over emphasized. The collective peer pressure can often
cause nations to alter their behavior to avoid international ridicule
and possible loss of economic investors due to human rights controversies.
The police are routinely violent, and when they are violent, unfortunately
the appropriate authorities do not investigate adequately," said
James Cavallaro, the Brazil office director of Human Rights Watch/Americas.
"It's precisely the impunity that is guaranteed police officers,
which guarantees that their crimes will continue.
So what can be done to stop police brutality and hold the police and
the governments that support them accountable for their abuses of Human
Rights? This committee has in its hands the tools of change. Neither
the use of armed intervention nor the creation of yet another investigative
committee would be a constructive solution to this problem. No, we have
a more difficult task. This committee is charged with dealing with this
problem by having each nation police itself and act in an ethical and
moral manner to end this terrible abuse. The Universal Declaration of
Human Rights is our touchstone on this issue and all possible courses
of action must be measured up to it.
sites worth looking at:
Topic 2: Women in Bangladesh.
When rejecting or reneging on a marriage contract women in Bangladesh
are subjected to
mutilation by acid. While this practice is, perhaps, a result of a religious
vision of male dominance, it is
not in itself a religious ritual.
Topic 3: A Right to Food.
The right to food and food security are two topics that are being hotly
debated in the UN. With millions of men women and especially children
living in constant hunger or at the brink of starvation, this does seem
to be one of the Human Rights Commissions largest problems that
has yet to be dealt with fully. The definition of food security/ the
right to food is different depending on whom you may ask. But in the
end this subject is of vital importance and must be dealt with in a
through manner before progress can be seen. There are many ways to look
at this issue and avenues by which to try and solve this problem at
least in part. To narrow this to a reasonable agenda for our conference
I will suggest a few areas for the Commission to focus.
First, try and reach a consensus on a definition of the right to food.
Search the UN website and other UN sources to make sure overlap does
not take place. Remember the wealthy nations are likely to recognize
a right to food in a ceremonial fashion but not be particularly interested
in protecting this right. The developing nations on the other hand are
going to wish for strict interpretation of this right and wish the UN
to send aid to protect it.
Then once a definition is found there are several problem areas of food
disbursement and allocation that need to be addresses. For very intriguing
data on amounts of food aid that is given to what nations and by who
search the FAOs site in their statistics section. There it can
be seen how food aid seems to be allocated not based totally on need
but also on the political relations on the nation with the world as
a whole. (Hint: Look at the amounts of food aid sent to Iraq in comparison
to other nations of similar size and need.) Statistically the agricultural
producers of the world produce more than enough food to feed all six
billion of us, but it is the distribution mechanism that needs to be
established or strengthened that can possibly bring and end to this
Finally, look at the affects of sanctions and embargoes. Do they affect
Food security in the nations on which they are placed? If so determine
if some adjustment should be made in their enforcement to better allow
the right to food to be carried out. As ABDUSSALAM SERGIWA (Libya) said:
The United Nations was now ruled by undemocratic principles, he
said. It passed resolutions that deprived people of their right to food,
for example, which occurred because of hegemony in its bodies. The sanctions
imposed on his country had exposed the vulnerable to hardships. They
were, therefore, a violation of basic rights. The international community,
on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights, should assess the situation and make the necessary
Whether your nation is in favor of sanctions or opposed to them you
must look at the effects of sanctions of the food security of a nation
and take it into account when you are deliberating on this topic.
Food security is the most pressing issue that is being presented at
this meeting of the Human Rights Commission and I urge you to open it
quickly and spend an appropriate amount of time discussing this issue.
Every nation on earth has hungry people in it so all nations need to
see this as our top priority.
worth looking at:
*This will be the resolutionless topic for the Human Rights
committee. Do not submit resolutions on this topic.