Human Rights Council

Topics

Topic 1 Rights of the Indigenous communities
Topic 2 Freedom of expression in a digital age

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Committee Description

The Human Rights Council (HRC) is responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe and for addressing situations of human rights violations and make recommendations on them. It has the ability to discuss all thematic human rights issues and situations that require its attention throughout the year. The Council is made up of 47 United Nations Member States which are elected by the UN General Assembly.

Topic 1 | Rights of the Indigenous communities

Indigenous communities live throughout the whole world, from Canada to Australia, from Argentina to India. They live in over 70 countries worldwide, making a group of over 370 million people. However, the definition of ’indigenous’ is still not adopted by the United Nations due to the complexity of this term. As commonly accepted, an indigenous community is a particular locality, being a non- dominant group of the society originating from pre-colonial or pre-settler ages, which developed its distinct language, culture and beliefs, with individuals identifying themselves as members of the community and trying to maintain or re-establish their ancient circumstances of living.
Struggling to define this term, the United Nations concluded that it would be more appropriate to identify indigenous people rather than try to define them. Although self-identification is a basic human right, oppression and negative connotations often lead to denial of origins. Apart from the term ’indigenous’, the following expressions can also be used to refer to groups meeting the abovementioned criteria: tribes, first nations, aboriginals, ethnic groups, hunter-gatherers, peasants, nomads and hill people.
Losing their dominance during history, many indigenous tribes have to face inequality in the country they live in. Although their ancestral land plays a fundamental role in their cultural and physical survivor, many of them face growing territorial limitations and outsourcing. Also, these communities are often the neglected segments of societies, not having given the opportunity of self-determination, political representation and participation, or access to social services. Furthermore, both their individual wealth and life-expectancy are usually below average and they often face severe discrimination.

Topic 2 | Freedom of expression in a digital age

The freedom of opinion and expression is one of the fundamental rights engrained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, governments and other power players around the globe manage to obstruct it. While some of the infringements are well-intended, for an example to limit hate-speech and racism, others are intended to suppress opposing opinions. Both cross the boundaries of traditional and new, of public and private and digital and physical outlets.
Newspapers are imposed with high taxes, social networks banned or replaced by ones monitored by officials. Radio and TV networks are censored or forced off the air if they criticize the ruling political parties. Journalists brave enough to protest risk imprisonment and their lives, solely for exercising their right to share information and voice their opinion. The debate will focus on the freedom of speech for individuals and the press and how it is impacted by technology.

Country Matrix

Albania Albania
Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bolivia
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Congo
El Salvador El Salvador
Germany Germany
Kenya Kenya
Mexico Mexico
Netherlands Netherlands
Philippines Philippines
Russian Federation Russian Federation
Switzerland Switzerland
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Algeria Algeria
Botswana Botswana
Côte d'Ivoire Cote d’Ivoire
Ethiopia Ethiopia
Ghana Ghana
Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan
Mongolia Mongolia
Nigeria Nigeria
Portugal Portugal
Saudi Arabia Saudia Arabia
Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
Bangladesh Bangladesh
Burundi Burundi
Cuba Cuba
France France
India India
Latvia Latvia
Morocco Morocco
Panama Panama
Qatar Qatar
Slovenia Slovenia
Togo Togo
Viet Nam Vietnam
Belgium Belgium
China China
Ecuador Ecuador
Georgia Georgia
Indonesia Indonesia
Maldives Maldives
Namibia Namibia
Paraguay Paraguay
Korea, Republic of Republic of Korea
South Africa South Africa
United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates

Chairs

Iris Lassahn

Chair

My name is Iris and I am currently studying German Philology and North American Studies in Göttingen, Germany. My passion for Model UN started when I participated in a United Nations simulation at my High School. The combination of international politics, the organizational challenges and the intense intercultural exchange fascinate me until today. The vital network that developed between MUNs around Europe and the dedication with which participants and Chairs contribute to it make this experience so special to me. When not studying, working or MUNing, you can find me reading, binge-watching TV shows or obsessing over colorful socks. I run on tea, chocolate and anything circus related. I am looking forward to meeting you in the HRC in November!

Hamza Naeem

Chair

Ladies and Gentlemen! It gives me immense pleasure to introduce myself. I am Hamza Naeem, an Electrical Engineer of the National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad. Currently, I am working with a French Multinational, ENGIE (formerly referred to as GDF Suez), in the capacity of an Operations Engineer in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates.
I am truly honored to serve as the Committee Chair for United Nations Human Rights Council at this year’s edition of KAMUN. I have been an integral part of the Model United Nations circuit since 2006. .
In the course of recent history, I have been part various international Model United Nations in the capacity of a Committee Director. These comprises of few of the Europe’s most prestigious MUNs, including Paris International Model United Nations, Hamburg Model United Nations, Rome Model United Nations etc.
In general, for Model United Nations, engaging in rhetoric on various international affairs and mastering the art of diplomacy along with the committee dynamics is what defines a diplomat.
Let’s make KAMUN 2018 an exciting and adventurous tenure and aim to make the best out of this little time! Looking forward to a great opportunity of making memories!
Yours,
Hamza Naeem