The Human Rights Counctil will, for the remainder of this MUN, concern itself with the following issues:
Freedom of assembly as a cornerstone of democracy and the threat of its restriction
The right to peaceful assembly is a cornerstone of our Human Rights system, democracy, and rule of law. According to recently conducted research, if at least 3.5% of the population is actively participating in a demonstration, the chances of achieving the change desired, rise to 50% (Erica Chenoweth, 2017). Therefore, it is generally recognized that the right to protest must be given high protection due to the value of political speech in democracy: if Governments can repress opposition, it will allow them to stay in power. Nevertheless, recent events such as Black Lives Matter, Anti-corona protests, US Capitol assault, Russian protests in support of the opposition leader Alexei Navalny and many others, combined with tied corona restrictions due to public health reasons, raise many questions on how to implement and ensure the right to assembly. New dimensions of protests were born such as online, solo or picket demonstrations. Is the right to protest under threat? How should it be balanced with public health concerns or should it be restricted at all?
Child soldiers and armed conflicts: the aftermath.
Children participating in armed conflicts is a widely known and acknowledged problem within the international community. Many boys, not even reaching the age of 8, are abducted or sold by their parents involuntarily, to fight in the front lines, participate in suicide missions or act as spies or messengers. Girls are forced into sexual slavery and forced to have children. The aftermath results in soldiers who are perfectly trained, submissive, and fearless, ready to obey any order and thus, perfect fighters. Recently, however, the International Criminal Court found Dominic Ongwen, a former Ugandan child soldier who became a commander of the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army, guilty for committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. Ongwen, was abducted when he was only 10 years old, when violence and horror became everything he knew. This case sparked a feverous discussion on whether it is fair to hold former child soldiers accountable. What is the aftermath of child soldiers? Is it just to impose criminal responsibility on them ,or should they be provided with mitigating circumstances?