Human Rights Council
I am absolutely ecstatic to welcome you to the sixty-sixth session of the Harvard National Model United Nations Conference! My name is Hope Kudo and I am honored to be serving as your Director for the United Nations Human Rights Council! I hail from the Big Island of Hawaii and I am a rising sophomore at Harvard College, studying Environmental Science and Public Policy with a secondary in Computer Science.
In high school, the first committee I was ever a delegate for was the UNHRC, and I served as the Assistant Director for this committee at last year’s HNMUN and at the National High School MUN Conference last year, so the Human Rights Council clearly has a special place in my heart and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have all of you in my committee! This year I am also serving as a Director of Business for HMUN (our sister conference for high schoolers) and as a Chair for the WorldMUN Conference! Outside of MUN, I serve on the Executive Board of HackHarvard, I write for the Harvard Political Review and the Harvard Crimson, and I play on the Harvard Club Tennis team. As a first-generation and low-income student I work on bolstering the FGLI community on campus through my position on our Primus Board and co-founding Project Access at Harvard! In my free time you can probably catch me re-watching The Office or searching out coffee shops for a good cup of chai tea.
I’m excited to delve into our topics for the UNHRC this year. Topic A: “Rights of Disabled Individuals” and Topic B: “Extrajudicial Killings,” present a wide range of areas to address. Both have many implications for human rights around the world, and as the UNHRC works to promote and protect human rights around the globe these issues are pertinent within our committee. These are topics with both major social and political ramifications. Topic A discusses the broad issue of the mistreatment of individuals with disabilities including discrimination and lack of accessibility in all spheres of life. Topic B, meanwhile, pertains to abuse of government power when it comes to unethical killings, as extrajudicial killings directly contradict the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Through these two diverse topics we have the opportunity to focus on bolstering human rights and looking at solutions in a collaborative context.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts and seeing how your solutions come to life during committee. Best of luck in your preparation for conference and as I mentioned earlier, I am so excited to meet all of you! If you have any questions please feel free to reach out. I would love to get to know you beforehand and I am looking forward to an amazing HNMUN 2020!
Director, United Nations Human Rights Council
Topic Area A: Rights of Disabled Individuals
In 2006, the General Assembly adopted the Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). However, there is still work to be done in addressing stigmas that impair disabled individuals’ ability to live a quality life, as well as their exclusions from legal protection, employment opportunities, access to healthcare, and the education system. This topic looks toward addressing the struggles that disabled people face in their daily lives, as those with disabilities face greater disadvantages and discrimination due to their impairment. This issue is often felt the most in many developing nations. Disabilities remain stigmatized, hindering individuals with disabilities from attaining basic rights and facing little to no prospects for an education or future work. Delegates will look at how disabled individuals are treated in developing nations and how a lack of resources in educational infrastructure intersect. Delegates will also look at ways to best incorporate the disabled into the workforce while combating violence and discrimination.
Topic Area B: Extrajudicial Killings
The right to life is paramount when discussing human rights, and this right should be protected with the utmost dedication as recognized by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Defined as the killing of a person by governmental authorities or individuals without the sanction of any judicial proceeding or legal process, extrajudicial killings are a large human rights concern in areas all around the world. An unethical and inhumane way of killing, targets are typically leaders in politics, prominent religious figures, dissidents, and social figures who stand out as threats to state authorities. The most common forms of extrajudicial killings are induced by excessive intervention by government authorities, indiscriminate killings of civilians, and murder by state security forces of paramilitary groups. Additionally, in some countries there has been the targeting of those who identify with a socioeconomically disadvantaged demographic or ethnic minorities, leading to a disproportionate amount of killings committed unlawfully. This topic will focus on policies that look to prevent and mitigate extrajudicial killings by exploring alternative punishments, strengthening justice systems, and encouraging trial by due process of law. Delegates will have the opportunity to work with others in crafting a comprehensive plan to reduce these direct violations of human rights. When approaching this topic, think about how to provide different strategies for different areas and how to address incidences of extrajudicial killings in diverse settings.