“Are the other countries waiting for permission from their companies?” and how the Human Rights committee plunged into deep theories which were finally sliced by demands for practical solutions
Day two of the Human Rights committee would've gone disturbingly calm, had it not been for the Russian delegation to stir up the waters (as quoted in the title) by addressing the important issues and determinedly reminding the present of the need to discuss practical solutions and waste less time on already established theories.
Germany was the first one to take the floor and continue the discussion from the previous day, bravely reminiscing about their not so distant history, an unforgettable human tragedy storming amongst the fires of WWII, and brought up the 3P paradigm: prosecution, prevention, protection. Then they sliced through it by saying that too much attention is paid to those three and the questions of reintegration and regression need to be developed further. Russia was not pleased with the history speech and demanded to hear of their plan of action instead. Germany countered the demand with an explanation of their actions: focusing on the victims, not only perpetrators, and giving assistance and developing the necessary tools to prevent further victimisation.
Sweden broke the tension with a sizzling question that had been lingering on the minds of many: What about Russia? How many refugees had Russia taken in? Then Sweden refreshed everyone's memory on the raw facts – 47% of the refugee influx in Europe was divided between the Swedish and German territories. No one else had taken such an initiative and indeed, their solidarity needs to be recognised.
Italy showed full support by promising to provide less fortunate countries with all possible means of help in order to fight the human trafficking such as education, financial aid, legislative advice, etc. Then turned to the developed nations with a plea for them to also take the lead and help as much as they can. China retorted by stating the obvious: different situations, different data in every country and of course, different or lack of differentiation between migrant smuggling and human trafficking.
“Why are we all here today?” Syria asked the present and startled them out of the pervading monotony, “We should focus on the common points we all share and work from there.” then proceeded to explain the lack of application of the laws against human trafficking in their country due to their current crisis situation.
Israel informed everyone of their increase of convictions in forced slavery, which is always good news, and expressed their predisposition to negotiate further strategies to improve the situation.
Yemen recognised their position as a country of origin for the traffic of children and laid out the plan of action they had taken which mainly consisted of promoting awareness, creating shelters and organisations that would fight against human trafficking. Internal practical solutions were also done, such as workshops, but Yemen agrees that it is not enough and further international cooperation is needed.
A moderated caucus was set in motion by Congo: The exploitation of natural resources by foreign countries and its impact on human trafficking.
Congo expressed its willingness to punish companies for their crimes.
Russia did not oppose the exploitation of natural resources in other countries but did underline the importance of abiding by the laws of the country their businesses were located in and being fully respectful to the employees.
China included a rather bitter remark: they feel incredibly exploited by the Western world and due to the rising production, the incredible contamination had become a number one priority. The western countries would have to pay for the incessant and long-lasting damage inflicted upon the Chinese citizens and the environment. The Chair reminded China of their own lack of control and assessment of work conditions and advised them to concentrate on that issue before pointing fingers.
South Africa suggested that national legislation should be stricter to face these problems.
USA suggested the use of the Pigovian tax to soften the impact inflicted by private enterprises.
Afghanistan pulls everyone's feet back to the ground and reminds them that this is not simply a matter of money, therefore further sanctions and penalisations should be developed to face this.
Congo brought up the idea of creating a brotherhood, a union that would protect the vulnerable countries in Africa and Asia from the west.
Nigeria provided another solution: tackling the problem from within the enterprises' countries of origin to minimise the damage.
In conclusion, a lot of bitterness, a lot of disdain for the west became apparent in the committee and not without logical reasoning, however, if the affected countries wish to shake off the human loss in this matter, they would have to also be stricter about their own rules and protect their people better.
The committee was ready to tackle yet another very important and finally, practical caucus: Measures to combat human trafficking.
Sweden listed the influence of several factors in this matter: inequality, poverty and discrimination. And who else fights for equality more than Sweden? In 2007 programs were launched to help the refugees integrate better (find jobs and courses) and to Sweden, immigration is not a problem but a force. Thanks to including new additions in the legislation regarding prostitution in 1999, the issue has gone down 66% since.
USA added an interesting idea: the creation of a common fund, so other less fortunate countries could afford to take the necessary measures.
Japan requested more regional commitment and less global approach, so every country could adapt to their own reality and circumstances and the enforcement of the borders between neighbouring countries. Congo, however, disagreed with this statement and pointed out that different countries would handle things different and some countries could not be able to address the issues as well as others.
Germany provided three steps of action: sentencing the perpetrators, empower the victims and work with third parties. In their opinion, stricter border laws would make victims even more vulnerable.
A few countries expressed the need for the problem to be attacked from inside the country and catch it in its inception by educating their people, creating laws that highlight the difference between migrant smuggling and human trafficking and the dire need for supervision in order for the laws to be correctly implemented in their full potential.
USA suggested the restriction of passports belonging to people with criminal history in sex offenses.
Many countries agreed on increasing the number of border police, making the sentences even more severe, reducing the military presence in their countries, concentration on victm integration, backing up America's idea of launching a fund, the creation of international standards and separate, independent commissions which would control the functionality of said standards, monitoring the Internet data, creating more shelters
The next caucus focused on the topic of sex tourism and its inclusion as a definition by the UN.
Brazil and Russia agreed on the need to stop the crises at its core – the clients from rich countries.
Border control was opened as another topic of discussion and the creation of minimal standards (USA), empowering women (India), organisation in African countries to control the borders but be regulated by Scandinavian countries and Saudi Arabia, treating every country's borders as an equally important matter (Russia), Brazil's desire to strengthen the Triple Frontier.
The lobby, unmoderated caucus and random negotiations between the delegates were enthusiastic and very extensive – large groups were gathered around the Russian, American and the African representatives.
Keep tuned to find out more about the agreements shaped by the countries and their objectives; only mere outlines were gathered today, so why spoil the surprise and not wait until the culmination of these alliances?