This year, the Third Committee of the General Assembly (the Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee—or SOCHUM) deals with human rights issues around the world, specifically focusing on vulnerable populations such as refugees, women, and children. This year at DUMUNC, SOCHUM will be tackling issues relating to the human rights of health and privacy. I hope that all delegates will learn to embrace and be able to articulate and defend the human rights frameworks employed by the nations that they represent!

Topic One: Privacy in the Age of Terrorism: One of the most pressing human rights debates to date is the debate over privacy rights in the age of terrorism—and more importantly, in the age of counter-terrorism. In response to large-scale acts of terror around the globe, technologically advanced nations have increased surveillance of citizens and noncitizens with no criminal history and only potential ties to terror groups, and have used this surveillance to find evidence for detaining individuals. Many nations without their own surveillance system have cooperated with nations that do. Most people under surveillance have no involvement with terrorism. The central question is: to what extent can individual privacy be subverted for the sake of global security?

Topic Two: Rights of Prisoners

Background Guide

Chair: Ian Jaffe

Hi everyone! My name is Ian Jaffe and I am excited to be chairing SOCHUM at DUMUNC this year. I’m a sophomore studying biology and global health, I participated in Model UN in high school, and I was actually the assistant chair for SOCHUM last year. Outside of MUN, I’m a member of Duke Emergency Medical Services and do sports photography for our student newspaper, The Chronicle. My other academic interests are infectious diseases and disaster management. I’m looking forward to a fantastic committee!