United Nations - 3rd Committee of the General Assembly
About the Committee
The Third Committee of the General Assembly (GA), known commonly as the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee, has the broad mandate of helping protect human rights and fundamental freedoms with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as its main reference guide. First convened in 1948, the Third Committee of the General Assembly, deals mainly with issues in the social and cultural framework and collaborates with various organizations to implement the GA resolutions. Having all UN Member States represented within the Committee, the Third Committee allows space for varying experiences and positions, providing a forum for equitable discussions and negotiation among countries.
Topic Area A: Trafficking of women and girls in vulnerable countries.
Trafficking of women and girls is defined as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of females through force, fraud or deception, for various purposes, such as forced labour, sexual exploitation, criminal activity, and forced marriage.
Women’s poverty and restricted economic opportunities, displacement, violence against women and discrimination contribute to trafficking in women and girls. The breakdown of essential services, justice systems and social and economic structures caused by crises and situations of conflict and humanitarian emergencies, hampers prevention and response efforts, and provides new opportunities for traffickers to deceive, coerce and exploit women and girls.
Especially in countries with lower GDP per capita, trafficking is detected even more with children as victims, with the aim of sexual exploitation and child labour. Among children, girls aged between 14 and 17 years old appear to be particularly targeted. In low-income contexts, factors such as unequal access of girls to and their completion of education can contribute to the trafficking in girls and young women as a way for families to generate income and assets.
The most common form of human trafficking is sexual exploitation, followed by forced labour. it is related to deep-seated gender ideologies and may also include exploitation for prostitution, entertainment, and pornography. Among the different forms of trafficking of females for forced labour, trafficking victims for the purpose of domestic servitude work and live with the perpetrators of exploitation, making them particularly vulnerable while abusing them sexually, physically, and psychologically.
It is evident that trafficking of women and girls, especially in vulnerable countries, has many aspects of social and human rights violations. While crises all around the world are constantly emerging, putting more and more females into danger, it is vital to find ways to address the problem.
Topic Area B: Defending the rights of LGBTIQ+ communities.
The rights of the LGBTIQ+ communities remain a controversial topic of discussion in many states worldwide. According to the Article 7 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, every human being, despite its sexual orientation or any other form of preference has the right not to be treated with discrimination.
However, LGBTIQ+ individuals carry the stigma of an unaccepted social group. They are treated with discrimination, marginalization, bullying, even with violence, abuse and rape. There is limited legal framework, providing fundamental freedoms and recognition to this social minority, even in developed countries. Nowadays in 77 states, especially Arabic, Asian or African, homosexuality, lesbianism or transgenderism are penalized, while the death penalty for those “crimes” thrives in 7 of those. Stereotypes and prejudices of them carrying diseases remain a fact, even in civilized urban areas and cities. They lack basic healthcare support and hospitalization. At the space of work, the recruitment of a homosexual or lesbian candidate is still considered a taboo and easily leads to their rejection, a situation that violates the Article 23 of the same Declaration. It is also quite common, children with different sexual preferences to get excluded from basic education or to receive abusive behaviors from their domestic or school environment. Of course, the legal right of gay marriage and adoption is still a phenomenon rare, if not inexistant.
Fortunately, gay right movements and humanitarian organizations across the world gradually expand their influence to spread awareness of these conditions and find solutions. UN SOCHUM would be a perfect committee for fruitful conversations upon this topic.