SOCHUM: Third Committee, Social, Humanitarian, & Cultural

Welcome to the Third Committee of the General Assembly at SCMUN 2019!

Background Guide will be available on February 1.

The Third Committee of the General Assembly, the Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee (SOCHUM) focuses on issues of fundamental human rights and the violation of these rights. The international community is able to come together in a forum under SOCHUM and discuss these issues while exploring and investigating them thoroughly to find the best solutions.

The committee considers the local and international community while also calling upon special rapporteurs, independent experts and chairs of working groups as mandated by the Human Rights Council. The resolutions passed in SOCHUM are not binding and are simply recommendations for member states to adjust and specify.

The aim of this committee is to promote and enforce basic freedoms and ideals meant to be enjoyed by the entire international community such as the right to life, the expression of cultures, the freedom of political participation, the protection of children’s rights, and the promotion of social development, among many others.

Topic 1: Violence in Central America’s Northern Triangle

This topic addresses violence in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras – commonly referred to as Central America’s Northern Triangle. Not only is this a topic with a deep and complex history, often stemming back to foreign election intervention, but it still has profound impacts on our world today. All three countries are in the world’s top ten for greatest amount of homicides. Embedded within the topic of violence within these countries is the presence of gangs and drug wars, both sub-topics imperative for delegates to address if they wish to seek a genuinely comprehensive resolution. The heavy presence of violence within this region also results in quite a large percentage of unauthorized immigrants travelling through Mexico, often with intentions of entering the United States to seek asylum. Since 2012, five times more people from the Northern Triangle have sought asylum worldwide. Thus, in addressing this topic, the committee has the capability of touching upon topics of promoting peace between gangs, how to alleviate drug trafficking, and how to minimize dangerous immigration through the betterment of one’s home country.

Topic 2: LGBTI Rights

This topic addresses gender identity and sexual orientation-based violence. Violence and prejudice based on sexual orientation and gender identity continues to be an issue in every region of the world that can be carried out by both state and non-state actors. Sexual orientation and gender identity are underdeveloped in current international human rights laws, so it is crucial that the global community addresses it - especially as there is an increasing number of members in the LGBTI community. Throughout the UN, there has been increased conversation about the support for human rights legislation expressing the LGBTI community as a protected group. However, there are member states that do not support the inclusion of LGBTI in international human rights laws because they are not explicitly stated in an human rights document.