United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization

 
 

Topic Summary

In accordance with the definition provided by UNICEF, a child soldier is “any child, boy or girl, under the age of 18, who is part of any kind of regular or irregular armed group in any capacity.” In many parts of the world, thousands of children who fit this definition are currently being exploited by armed groups for purposes ranging from military use to forced sexual intercourse.

Regardless of the case, it is important to consider that this issue creates many immediate concerns such as increased risk of child deaths, injuries, and sexual abuse, in addition to longer-term effects including psychological and emotional negative impacts leading to increased attempts of suicide, alcohol and substance abuse, violent conduct, and decreased mental health in the future.

Therefore, in this committee, members of the United Nations Human Rights Council shall focus not only on protecting the rights of children in areas where these forms of child abuse are present and on preventing the future recruitment of child soldiers by armed groups (both forced and voluntary), but also on the many other critical facets related to the topic of “child soldiers.” This includes addressing the involvement of specific types of armed groups in the exploitations of children such as terrorist organizations and drug trafficking organizations, and also discussing the ways in which female child soldiers are directly impacted in particular.

Director’s Letter

Dear Delegates

Welcome to the objectively best committee, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. My name is Kalos Chu and I am inexpressibly excited to serve as your Director for HMUN 2020!

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I am currently a sophomore at Harvard College studying either Psychology, Sociology, or Government (it changes based on the weather) with a secondary in Educational Studies. I am from San Diego, California, a place where it is 72 degrees and sunny about 360 days a year (so for those of you coming from warmer climates who have to bear the Boston winter, I feel your pain). In high school, I did lots of Model UN (shoutout to the PHHS MUN Club!) and found it to be an immensely enjoyable activity, but also a rewarding one. The public speaking, research, and communication skills I gained—along with the wonderful friends that I made—are what motivated me to continue with Model UN in college. I currently serve as the Under-Secretary-General of Delegate Relations for HNMUN (Harvard’s college-level MUN conference) and am also a member of Harvard’s competitive travel team (ICMUN). Outside of MUN, I am a writer for The Harvard Crimson, a board member of the Chinese Students Association, and a member of the Honor Council; I also enjoy eating large quantities of sushi, reading teen romance novels, and listening to Broadway musicals.

Education, aside from being an incredibly pertinent and imperative global issue, is something that I assume many of you have had years of experience with. Given that HMUN is a conference with delegates from a myriad educational backgrounds, I hope that you can take this opportunity to share differences in experiences—whether between public and private, Canada and Venezuela, elementary and middle, the diversity of your own personal educational narratives is a valuable resource in thinking about this issue.

If you have any questions or concerns (or just want to share a particularly funny meme), I encourage you to reach out to me. I look forward to meeting you all in January.

Sincerely,

Kalos Chu

Director, United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization

Harvard Model United Nations 2020