UNHRC: United Nations Human Rights Council

Topic A: Mental Health Care within Refugee Camps

Although mental health is a topic pertinent to people and places throughout the world, refugees are notably at an elevated risk of developing mental health issues in response to their circumstances and situations. The United Nations High Council for Refugees (UNHCR) calculates that there are an estimated 23 million refugees worldwide, roughly half of whom are children. These individuals have faced traumatic events that can negatively affect their mental health to a point of damaging their educational opportunities, hindering their social abilities, and endangering their chances of proper reintegration into new communities. The availability of quality mental health care professionals is limited due to language barriers between professionals and their patients, gender biases, and even a complete disregard for mental health in some areas. It is of the utmost importance for the UNHRC to develop a framework for ensuring that quality treatment is delivered to refugee families as they seek a healthier, improved life.

Topic B: Protecting Against Widespread Child Detention

The global overuse of detention of children has received international attention due to the inherent violation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child (CRC), which states that child detention should only be a means of “last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time.” Despite this being a widely accepted international standard, countries across the world have continued to overuse the detention of children as an unjust punishment. According to UNICEF, it has been estimated that more than 1 million children are currently being detained globally. Many of these children have been arrested on vague or inaccurate charges, are barred from reaching their educational potential, and face mass human rights violations, often at the hands of guards or adult inmates within the same institution. Delegates will debate global overuse of child detention as well as incarceration alternatives, nurturing imprisoned children's’ futures, and the right to legal representation.

Background Guide: 
Update Paper: