The UN Human Rights Council

UNHRC Committee


Topic A: Modern Day Slavery

Contemporary slavery, known as modern slavery or neo-slavery, refers to institutional bondage that continues to occur in present-day society. Underdeveloped countries that lack education, economic freedom, the rule of law and a proper societal structure can create an environment that fosters the acceptance and propagation of slavery. Enslavement is prevalent in countries with vulnerable minority communities, though it also exists in developed countries. Sadly, slavery did not end with abolition in the 19th century. Instead, it changed its forms and continues to harm people in every country in the world. Some of the types of slavery may refer to forced labour, human trafficking, child slavery or forced and early marriage.

Neo-slavery is less about people owning other people, but more about being exploited, completely controlled by someone else, with no escape. In the older form of slavery, slave-owners spent more on getting slaves. The cost of keeping them healthy was considered a better investment than getting another slave to replace them. While today, people are easier to get at a lower price so replacing them becomes easier. Slaves are used in areas where they could easily be hidden while also creating a profit for the exploiter.

There are 40.3 million people defining neo-slavery. Their lives are controlled by their exploiters, they no longer have a free choice and they have to do as they’re told. Thus, the UNHRC committee is here to find new innovative solutions to finally put an end to this unbelievable and sad trauma.

Topic B: The Capital Punishment

The arguments for and against the death penalty have been analyzed, dissected and mangled in legislative halls, churches, journals etc. It seems that everything that can be done to these arguments has already been done; and yet the controversy goes on, now and then bursting into flames as prison riots and heinous crimes deeply shock public opinion and provoke protests and clamorous demands for action. We must then conclude that the controversy has many more sides that it appears to have at first glance, and those who have engaged in it tended to give simple answers to very complex problems.

Although international law says that the use of the death penalty must be restricted to the most serious crimes, meaning intentional killing, many believe that the death penalty is never the answer. As it stands, statistics show that death penalty support ticks up after years of decline with the majority of executions taking place in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Iraq.

It will be helpful to remember that both crime and punishment are functionally related to the culture in which they occur. Many countries that retain the death penalty cite perceived public support for the punishment as a key barrier to progress towards abolition. When the majority of citizens support capital punishment, abolishing the death penalty risks undermining public confidence in the rule of law. Thus, the arguments of retribution, deterrence and reform must be kept in mind when deciding convicts’ fates.

Country Matrix: 

1. Afghanistan16. India31. Saudi Arabia
2. Argentina17. Iran32. Somalia
3. Australia18. Iraq33. Spain
4. Austria19. Italy34. Sweden
5. Belarus20. Japan35. Switzerland
6. Belgium21. Lithuania36. Syria
7. Botswana22. Mauritania37. Thailand
8. Brazil23. Mexico38. The Netherlands
9. Cambodia24. Mongolia39. The Russian Federation
10. Canada25. Nigeria40. The United Kingdom
11. Egypt26. North Korea41. The United States of America
12. Finland27. Pakistan42. Turkey
13. France28. People’s Republic of China43. Ukraine
14. Germany29. Portugal44. Vietnam
15. Greece30. Romania