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35th Annual Conference • March 18-21, 2009


S o c i a l , C u l t u r a l a n d
Humanitarian Committee
General Assembly Main Committees
 2008-2009 International Model United Nations Association, Inc. Used and distributed under license.
The 35th Annual Conference • March 18-21, 2009

Nick Stefanizzi
Secretary-General September 2008
Boston University

Rosa Akbari Dear Delegates,

McGill University
Welcome to NHSMUN 2009! My name is Daniel Nowicki and I’m the Under-Secretary General (USG)
Nancy Henry of General Assembly Mains Committees (known affectionately as GA Mains). I am a junior at
Conference Director Georgetown University in Washington, DC, where I’m studying international politics and security
Tufts University studies with a minor in international development. While I love Washington, New York will always be
“the city” to me. Living right across the water in New Jersey for my formative years, I have come to
Michelle Shevin
New York often, especially in the past few years that I have been on NHSMUN staff. Like clockwork,
Chief of Staff
Barnard College we gather here each March to discuss the most pressing international issues of our generation.

Cristina Rade This semester I am studying abroad in Argentina’s beautiful metropolitan capital, Buenos Aires, where
Chief of External Relations I will be living until December. If you enjoy traveling and have not yet visited South America, Bs. As. is
Adelphi University
your gateway city to some amazing natural wonders, great leather products, Texas-style steakhouses,
Ryan Burke and friendly people. On my free time, I enjoy playing fútbol with some porteño friends, adventure
Director of Security traveling, talking politics with my host family, visiting museums, and frequenting the many restaurants
University of South Carolina and clubs for which the city has become infamous. I find that I play in to the familiar Mark Twain
saying of never letting “my schooling interfere with my education.” I suggest that from now until
Matthew Low March you all find time to reflect on your academic, social and intellectual goals and discover that thing
University of California,
about which you are truly passionate.
My international travel has not precluded me from completing my NHSMUN responsibilities. This
Daniel Nowicki conference holds a special place in my heart because of its wonderful staff, the intellectually stimulating
Under-Secretary-General topics, the high quality of debate, and of course, its delegates. Over this past year, I have edited the
Georgetown University
background guides in your respective committees and procedurally and substantively prepared directors
Deanna Maxfield for the rigors of chairing debate. At the conference, my job is to help you enjoy the substantive aspects
Under-Secretary-General of committee sessions. You can find me roaming the hallways of the Hilton, checking in on
University of Southern committees and bringing you completed draft resolutions from our administrative staff, among other
California tasks.
Emily Robertson
Under-Secretary-General Enjoy reading the attached background guide, research well, and get excited for March! Feel free to
Duke University contact me with any questions about NHSMUN, and I’ll be happy to talk with you.

Lisa Cuesta Until then,

University of Pennsylvania
Daniel Nowicki
Jerry Guo den4@georgetown.edu
Under-Secretary-General 732.522.2865
Dartmouth College
Georgetown University
37th and O Streets McCarthy Hall #627
Washington, DC 20057
NHSMUN is a project of the
International Model United
Nations Association, Incorporated
(IMUNA). IMUNA, a not-for-
profit, all volunteer organization, is
dedicated to furthering global
issues education at the secondary
school level.
The 35th Annual Conference • March 18-21, 2009

Nick Stefanizzi September 2008

Boston University

Rosa Akbari
McGill University
Dear Delegates,

Nancy Henry Hello and welcome to NHSMUN 2009! My name is Maya Le Gall and I will be your director for the
Conference Director Social, Cultural and Humanitarian Committee this spring. I’m so excited about the work we will be
Tufts University doing come March and am looking forward to the serious discussion we will be have on our two
committee topics–Myanmar and the Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Child Soldiers. Both of these
Michelle Shevin
Chief of Staff topics are very relevant on today’s international scene and I hope that everyone will be ready to discuss
Barnard College them in detail at the Conference! I’m also very much looking forward to reading all of your position
papers and coming across new solutions and perspectives on these two important subjects.
Cristina Rade
Chief of External Relations First of all, however, I’d like to take the chance to tell you all a little bit about myself. I’m a sophomore
Adelphi University
at Princeton University in my own home state of New Jersey. Although I’m not completely decided, I
Ryan Burke will probably be majoring in Politics. Apart from NHSMUN, at Princeton I am involved in our Model
Director of Security UN program as well as serving as the co-Chair on my residential college’s council. I have loved my
University of South Carolina time at Princeton so far and would be happy to answer anyone’s questions about either Princeton in
particular or college in general! Apart from an immense amount of school work, Model UN, and other
Matthew Low
extracurriculars, I enjoy spending time with my friends, reading, and watching old movies and
University of California, television marathons.
Back to NHSMUN—I really hope that all of you take our two topics seriously and read the
Daniel Nowicki background guide carefully. It is a good place to start off your research and will make clear to you
Georgetown University
which elements of these topics we will be discussing in committee. If you have any questions about the
background guides, the topics, something you come across in your own research, or really anything
Deanna Maxfield else, I do hope that you will get in touch with me! The best way to get in touch with me is by e-mail,
Under-Secretary-General but if it is urgent and you’d like to call, feel free to do so and leave a voicemail if I can’t pick up.
University of Southern

Emily Robertson Sincerely,

Duke University Maya Le Gall
Lisa Cuesta (908) 812 6544
University of Pennsylvania
4482 Frist Center
Jerry Guo Princeton, NJ 08544
Dartmouth College

NHSMUN is a project of the

International Model United
Nations Association, Incorporated
(IMUNA). IMUNA, a not-for-
profit, all volunteer organization, is
dedicated to furthering global
issues education at the secondary
school level.
The 2009 National High School Model United Nations
Social, Cultural and Humanitarian Committee


Delegate preparation is paramount to a successful and exciting National High School Model United Nations
2009 Conference. We have provided this Background Guide to introduce the topics that will be discussed in
your committee; these papers are designed to give you a description of the topics and the committee. They
will not give you a complete description of the topic areas and they will not contain the most up-to-date
information, particularly in regards to rapidly evolving issues. We encourage and expect each delegate to fully
explore the topics and be able to identify and analyze the intricacies of the issues. Delegates must be prepared
to intelligently utilize their newly acquired knowledge and apply it to their own countries’ policy. You will
find that your nation has a unique position on the topics that cannot be substituted for or with the opinions
of another nation.

The task of preparing and researching for the conference is challenging, but it can be interesting and
rewarding. We have provided each school with a copy of the Delegation Preparation Guide. The Guide
contains detailed instructions on how to write a position paper and how to effectively participate in
committee sessions. (Note: some position papers have unique guidelines that are detailed within respective
committees’ Background Guides.) The Guide also gives a synopsis of the types of research materials and
resources available to you and where they can be found. A brief history of the United Nations and the
NHSMUN conference are also included. The annotated rules of procedure complete the Delegate
Preparation Guide.

An essential part of representing a nation in an international body is the ability to articulate that nation’s views
in writing. Accordingly, it is the policy of NHSMUN to require each delegate (or double-delegation team) to
write position papers. The position papers should clearly outline the country’s policies on the topic areas to
be discussed and what factors contribute to these policies. In addition, each paper must address the Research
and Preparation questions at the end of the committee Background Guide. Most importantly, the paper
must be written from the point of view of the country you are representing at NHSMUN 2009 and
should articulate the policies you will espouse at the conference. All papers should be typed and double-
spaced. The papers will be read by the Director of each committee and returned at the start of the
conference with brief comments and constructive advice.

You are responsible for sending a copy of your paper to the Director of your committee. Additionally, your
delegation is responsible for bringing a bound copy of all of the position papers—one for each committee to
which your school has been assigned—to the conference (to be submitted during registration). Specific
requirements of the bound copy have been sent to the faculty advisor/club president. In addition to position
papers, each delegation must prepare one brief summary statement on the basic economic, political, and
social structures of its country, as well its foreign policy. Please mail country summary statements to the
Director-General of NHSMUN 2009 at the address below. All copies should be postmarked no later than
February 16th and mailed to:

Rosa Akbari, Director-General Maya Le Gall

3631 av. Henri-Julien 4482 Frist Center
Montréal, Québec H2X 3H4 Princeton, NJ 08544

(Country Summaries) (Position Papers)

Delegations are required to mail hard copies of papers to the Director-General and Directors.
NHSMUN Staff will not consider e-mail submissions as an adequate substitution.

Delegations that do not submit position papers to Directors or Summary Statements to the
Director-General will be ineligible for awards.

The 2009 National High School Model United Nations
Social, Cultural and Humanitarian Committee

The General Assembly (GA) is the main deliberative organ of the United Nations. It is made up of 192
Member States, two non-member observer states (the Holy See and Palestine), as well as 64 organizations
with observer status (A/INF/62/6). The Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee (SOCHUM) is one
of the six main committees, (SOCHUM being the “Third Committee”) that make up the GA. Since the UN’s
inception in 1945, SOCHUM’s mandate and role in the organization has not shifted as it continues to find
solutions to the world’s ongoing social, cultural, and humanitarian crises.

The GA meets annually from September to December. Each Member State of the UN receives one vote in
the GA, making it the only UN body with equal representation of each Member State. Resolutions are drafted
in the individual committees before being brought before the entire GA and, except for important questions,
are passed by a majority vote. These resolutions, however, apart from budgetary decisions, are nonbinding

Directed by the UN Charter’s Fourth Article, SOCHUM has the power to consider “any questions relating to
the maintenance of international peace and security brought before it by any Member of the United Nations,
or by the Security Council” and “may make recommendations with regard to any such questions to the states
or states concerned or to the Security Council” (“Charter”).

SOCHUM’s agenda, like those of all the GA Mains Committees, is set by the GA at its plenary meeting. The
Third Committee’s yearly agenda includes a range of social and humanitarian questions as well as a number of
human rights issues that span the globe. The GA even charges the Third Committee with responding to the
reports of the Human Rights Council, established in March of 2006, which often includes recommendations
to the GA (A/C.d/61/1).

Most recently, the Third Committee has had the opportunity to explore such topics as the protection of
children’s rights, indigenous issues, the elimination of racial discrimination, gender equality, international drug
control, the right to self-determination, and social development problems (“Social, Humanitarian &
Cultural”). In working to create the most successful solutions to these major world issues, SOCHUM works
closely with a number of other UN bodies, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR), the Commission for Social Development, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), the
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
These bodies often send reports to the Third Committee that include suggestions or necessary information
for further discussion of current agenda topics (“Main Committees”).

The role of the Third Committee in the United Nations is an important one, partly due to its broad
jurisdiction. Unlike some UN committees that have a very specific jurisdiction, the Third Committee has the
power to look at a number of different, but often overlapping issues, which in turn can allow it to create
more comprehensive draft resolutions. SOCHUM is vital to the inner workings of the UN, both in its
individual work on pressing humanitarian and social issues as well as in its coordination of efforts by smaller
and more specialized UN bodies.

The 2009 National High School Model United Nations
Social, Cultural and Humanitarian Committee

The Social, Cultural and Humanitarian Committee at NHSMUN 2009 will simulate, as closely as possible, the
real workings of the Third Committee of the United Nations. In order to do so, the delegates of SOCHUM
will use proper parliamentary procedure to debate the two topics allocated to the Committee and formulate
policies to respond to the issues at hand. The solutions that delegates formulate will first be written as
working papers. The Third Committee will discuss and edit these solutions and they will subsequently be
formatted and presented to the body as draft resolutions. These draft resolutions will then be voted upon in
the committee, with each Member State receiving one vote on each resolution presented before them. In
order to insure the quality of those proposals created in committee, it is essential that each delegate seriously
prepare for discussion on each topic before the conference. All delegates should read the Background Guide
to begin their research and then do further research on the topic, focusing in particular upon their country’s
policy on each issue. In this way, we can ensure that all countries are properly represented in the committee
and that we will all be presented with new and interesting solutions to these real world problems.

In order for our simulation to work effectively, all of the delegates of the committee must show an
appreciation for the founding tenants of the United Nations—consensus building and diplomacy. By working
together and formulating draft resolutions that present ideas from a number of blocs within the committee,
the solutions that you propose will have more weight not only within the committee itself, but when
presented before the whole General Assembly as well. Just as in the real United Nations, resolutions of the
General Assembly committees do not represent legally binding documents in International Law, but rather
recommendations to other bodies of the UN. For this reason, it is essential that the draft resolutions leaving
our committee room represent the beliefs of a large majority of Member States. In this way, countries are
committed to ensuring that the suggestions are taken seriously and enforced by member states. This being
said, it is also important that each delegate remember they are representing the policies of a specific nation
and cannot always compromise those policies in the name of diplomacy.

This committee will run according to the rules of parliamentary procedure. Much of the time spent in
committee will be spent in formal debate, which follows a very distinct set of procedures. During formal
debate, the committee will run from a speakers’ list, in which one country at a time is recognized to speak for
an allotted period. This is a good time for the delegate to present his or her country’s policy and suggest
possible solutions that he or she has begun to think about. A delegate may also accept questions, should time
allow for them, during which he or she can answer questions from other countries represented in the
committee. When the committee is not in formal debate, SOCHUM will enter into either a moderated or
unmoderated caucus. In either type of caucus, the rules of formal debate are suspended. In a moderated
caucus, the speakers’ list is suspended and the director will call on delegations to speak for a short period of
time. No questions may be accepted during this time, nor can a delegate yield the remainder of his or her
time. A moderated caucus will always be entered into in order to speak on a specific element of the topic at
hand and it is important that delegates remain on this topic during this time. In an unmoderated caucus,
delegates may walk around the room, utilizing their time by speaking to groups of delegates about their ideas,
in an effort to create working papers or draft resolutions, and to create support for working papers or draft
resolutions that have been created in earlier committee sessions or are currently being created.

All delegates must remember that pre-written resolutions are not allowed at NHSMUN. While we do encourage
delegates to begin thinking about important elements of the solutions they would like to see implemented, at
not time will we allow a delegate to propose a resolution that has been written outside of the conference. This
is not conducive to compromise or consensus building within the committee. Instead, once delegates come to
the committee they may begin working on writing working papers.

If you are confused at any point during your research process or at the Conference, the Director and the
Assistant Director for the Third Committee will be here to answer questions you may have about

The 2009 National High School Model United Nations
Social, Cultural and Humanitarian Committee

parliamentary procedure or the substantive issues facing the committee. SOCHUM will also have a Chair
present in committee to oversee parliamentary procedure and to moderate debate. Please feel free to
approach any of us with any questions that you may have. All this being said, I only ask that during
committee sessions you all behave with the utmost respect and decorum that these issues deserve. During the
four days at the Conference, you are all representing members of the United Nations and must behave in this
manner. When delegates come prepared for committee and act in a manner befitting UN delegates, we will
then have a successful experience in creating relevant and important solutions to the issues before us.

The 2009 National High School Model United Nations
Social, Cultural and Humanitarian Committee



Myanmar is a country of about 50 million people located in Southeast Asia, bordered by China, India, Laos,
and Thailand. In 1989, the ruling military junta changed the country’s name from Burma to Myanmar. The
United Nations and a number of other countries recognized the name change and now refer to the country as
Myanmar. Some countries, however, have refused to recognize the legitimacy of the regime (including the
United States and the United Kingdom) and continue to refer to the country as Burma (“The EU’s

After independence from the British Commonwealth was achieved in 1948, General Ne Win ruled Burma
from 1962 to 1988. In September 1988, thousands of people formed an uprising that became a failed
revolution, ending in the death of over three thousand civilians. Though Ne Win resigned, the military
stepped in to rule and subsequently successfully resisted ceding power to a new elected government. Since
then, the international community has voiced serious concerns about the current human rights and
humanitarian situation in Myanmar. The authoritarian military government, called the State Peace and
Development Council (SPDC), has caused a host of humanitarian problems and has denied the society of a
number of basic rights and freedoms, including political and civil freedoms and property rights. Since early
2006, the SPDC has limited the operations of those humanitarian aid workers already in the country in an
effort to control the influence and access available to outsiders. The government no longer allows the
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to visit prisons and has begun closing some of the ICRC
field offices in rural Myanmar because of government limitations on travel and access to the country’s most
isolated and impoverished citizens (Human Rights Watch 4). In 2007 this situation deteriorated further, both
in terms of the denial of basic freedoms as well as the worsening of the humanitarian crisis. Currently, much
of Myanmar’s population is living in extreme poverty with quickly declining health and nutrition.

In August and September 2007, peaceful protests against the rule of the SPDC by Buddhist monks and local
civilians ended in the death of between 15 and 100 protestors, with radical differences in reporting (Human
Rights Watch 2). The protests began in Yangon, but soon demonstrations spread to cities across the country
that included thousands of monks and civilians. The government reacted by further limiting basic speech,
press, expression and assembly rights, along with Internet communication, in an effort to limit the coverage
of the situation worldwide. They used violence to put an end to the protests, dispersing riot police armed with
tear gas and automatic weapons, and detaining an unverified number of civilians and around three thousand
monks in Yangon alone (Human Rights Watch 3).

Recognizing the deteriorating situation in the country, the United Nations Human Rights Council
(UNHRC) in June 2008 passed Resolution 8/14, “Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar,” which calls upon
the government of Myanmar to address a number of issues currently plaguing the country
(A/HRC/RES/8/14). The impact of this resolution is still unclear. It is essential that the Third Committee
thoroughly explores the humanitarian and human rights issues in Myanmar and craft an appropriate response
to what may quickly become a humanitarian nightmare. In order to construct viable solutions to this urgent
problem, the committee must keep in mind the attitude of the SPDC, particularly towards sovereignty issues,
when discussing this topic. The Third Committee’s first concern, however, must remain the citizens of this
country whose human rights are being neglected.

The 2009 National High School Model United Nations
Social, Cultural and Humanitarian Committee


Myanmar is a country once known for its high literacy rates, excellent secondary and university education
systems, and an abundance of important natural resources that allowed for economic growth and
development. Under British rule the country was the wealthiest in all of Southeast Asia. By all accounts, it was
expected, after independence from Britain, to be one of the most successful independent Asian countries
(“Burma” 2). Instead, for the last forty years, Myanmar has been ruled by iron-fisted military regimes, that
have driven it to become a country void of essential freedoms, full of human rights abuses, and ignorant of its
disease problems and participation in the illegal drug trade. Today, Myanmar has the lowest economic growth
rate in the Greater Mekong Sub region, which is made up of Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and
Vietnam (“Burma” 4).

Myanmar’s modern history has been plagued by political troubles. In anticipation of independence in 1947,
Aung San was set to be the first Prime Minister of a democratically elected bicameral parliament in the
country. U Saw, a man hoping to become Prime Minister himself, assassinated both Aung San and members
of his cabinet. The British Governor then appointed U Nu to become the first Prime Minister, but his
government faced a number of insurgencies. In just a few years U Nu’s government controlled little land
outside of the capital itself. Factional and opposition groups took over land outside the capital until U Nu had
almost no remaining control (Seekins 27).

By 1958, afraid of continued civil unrest, U Nu asked General Ne Win to take control of the government. U
Nu reassumed power in 1960, believing he had made enough allies to hold onto control, but in 1962, General
Ne Win took total control and had U Nu arrested. A radical communist, General Ne Win established a type
of socialist-military government and implemented an isolationist policy for the country (Seekins 33).

During his years in power, General Ne Win mismanaged the government and led an incredibly repressive
regime. All of the democratic elements of U Nu’s government disappeared. From the beginning citizens
staged protests again this new regime, but the government quickly and violently suppressed all of these
(Seekins 39). Finally, in 1988, this led to a popular uprising, which lasted about one month and included
hundreds of thousands of civilians demanding an end to General Ne Win’s government and the one party
political system in Myanmar. Students, Buddhist monks, teachers, and even government officials joined in the
protests. General Ne Win ordered the army to put an end to the protests and in the process over three
thousand civilians were killed (Seekins 39).

Eventually, the General resigned and a coup d’etat quickly occurred in which General Saw Maung took
control of the country and formed the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), later renamed the
State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) in 1997. The SLORC promised to rule only until law and
order was reintroduced. During this time, the new government began instituting a number of positive
reforms meant largely to reinvigorate the failing socialist economy (Steinberg 2). In May of 1990, the SLORC
held what seemed to be a free and fair democratic election. When the results were tallied, the National
League for Democracy (NLD), the more democratic political party created in 1988 and led by Aung San Suu
Kyi, had won 60% of the vote and 82% of the parliamentary seats. The SLORC refused to transfer power to
the NLD and began a new regime of political repression, in which activists were jailed and political parties
were banned (3).

Although these actions show that the 1988 popular uprising did not lead to any true democratic
improvements, the uprising and the tragedy that followed caught the attention of Western democracies. Since
the beginning of General Ne Win’s rule, the government had successfully averted attention from the events
occurring in Myanmar. Finally, Western governments were paying attention and had a collective objective of
isolating “the military regime by denying it international legitimacy, aid, trade, and investment” in the hopes
of reinstituting democracy in Myanmar (Petersen 3). Despite this progress, today Myanmar remains a country
with many humanitarian and human rights concerns. This committee must examine the current social

The 2009 National High School Model United Nations
Social, Cultural and Humanitarian Committee

situation in Myanmar to determine the most pressing humanitarian concerns, and use this information to
craft recommendations for improving this dire human rights issue.

Humanitarian Concerns

While it is quite difficult to collect proper data on the humanitarian situation in many parts of Myanmar given
some of the remote locations and the high security precautions taken by the government, both surveys and
case studies suggest that much of the population is living in extreme poverty and the situation is continuing to
decline. According to government surveys conducted in 1997 and 2001, the percentage of the population
living under the poverty line grew from 23 to 32% in this four-year period (“Myanmar: The Politics” 6).

In an internal report of the UN called “Food Security in Myanmar: A Proposal to Deal with Natural Shocks,”
agricultural economists found that “widely scattered reports of spontaneous emergency feedings, purchase of
rice water for food, and reliance on inferior cereals such as millet all suggest increasing stress... The
conclusion must be that consumption of many families is less than usual, less than needed, and under
increasing pressure” (Dapice 13). Given this information, it is hardly surprising that malnutrition is
widespread, especially among young children.

Along with high poverty levels and declining health and nutrition levels, HIV/AIDS poses an enormous
threat, with an estimated 620 thousand infected people in 2005 (Steinberg 213). Malaria and tuberculosis also
pose significant risks, with these two diseases taking 300 thousand lives each year. In addition, the health
system in Myanmar is ranked the second worst in the world, the only worse system being that of Sierra
Leone. With military spending of 30 to 50% of its annual budget, the government only puts 2.2% towards
healthcare (“Burma’s Fight”). The health situation in Myanmar is on par with those of Rwanda, the Darfur
region of Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The SPDC destroyed the hopes of recovery
from those suffering from these diseases by forcing groups like Doctors Without Borders and the Global
Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria out of the country (“Burma’s Fight”).

The low rates of education only exacerbate these pervasive health concerns, as more than 50% of children in
Myanmar fail to complete even five years of basic education (Pedersen 34). The failings of the country to deal
with its health challenges and the lack of basic education suggests that future generations will be ill-equipped
to deal with further health issues and other development problems. These issues reflect how deep-rooted
many of Myanmar’s social problems are; the Third Committee must examine these underlying issues, such as
lack of basic education and aid infrastructure or lack of awareness at the governmental level. The Committee
must work to address these overarching problems, in order to ensure that any resolutions crafted on this issue
do not simply address the surface humanitarian concerns, but also address the root problems. It is only
through doing this that long-lasting, sustainable solutions can be created to improve Myanmar’s humanitarian

Situation of Internally Displaced Persons

The majority of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Myanmar live in either government-controlled
ceasefire areas or conflict areas that are not under government control. Limited information is available on
those living in the government-controlled areas because of lack of access to these areas by the outside world.
More information is available about those IDPs living in war-affected areas, as they are less regulated by the
government and their humanitarian situation tends to be much more dire. These IDPs are in need of
“physical security, food, health, and education. Other needs of the displaced include shelter, clothing,
blankets, mosquito nets and farming tools” (Shukla 10). One of the most pressing needs of these people is a
food source. Military attacks make it impossible for villagers to tend to their crops and when they are able to
cultivate crops the military often stops the villagers from harvesting them before they spoil during the harvest
season (Shukla 14). In order to survive, these people eat whatever they can find, usually non-nutritious foods
that are found in the jungle such as bamboo shoots and roots (Shukla 10). Healthcare for IDPs is also a huge

The 2009 National High School Model United Nations
Social, Cultural and Humanitarian Committee

problem, especially in conflict areas. Simple items like painkillers and bandages are incredibly difficult to
attain and there is almost no information about diseases such as HIV/AIDS. In a survey done of IDPs in
conflict areas in the interior of Myanmar, Human Rights Watch spoke to 46 adults, of which none had even
heard HIV/AIDS (Shukla 32). As is the case with many of Myanmar’s humanitarian concerns, the distressing
humanitarian situation of Myanmar’s IDPs reflects a lack of infrastructure, resources, and oftentimes political
will. Though humanitarian concerns are immediate, they are also partly a symptom of longer-term issues such
as lack of employment opportunities and limited income levels (Steinberg 211). In addition to providing
immediate, short-term relief to these IDPs, the committee must address these underlying issues in order to
provide lasting relief to this vulnerable portion of the Myanmar population.

V iolence Against Ethnic M inorities

Myanmar is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world. While unreliable census data makes it
difficult to ascertain the exact percentage of the population that is ethnic minorities, available data suggests
that more than 30% are not part of the main ethnic group, the Burman (“Campaigning for”). Ethnic
minorities have been trying to attain autonomy from the government since Myanmar received its
independence. During the period after independence, a number of ethnic minorities were able to convince
leaders to amend the 1947 Constitution to establish a federation of states, which would allow many of these
groups greater autonomy from the central government. This solution was set out in the Panglong agreement,
which was signed by leaders of the Shan, Kachin, and Chin peoples. Since General Ne Win took over control
in 1962, however, the work of these groups have been largely ignored and programs have been instituted to
block their attempts to gain greater power (“Myanmar Backgrounder”). The Four Cuts program, for
example, was instituted to cut minority groups’ links to foods, funds, intelligence and recruits, in an effort to
ensure they were unable to organize against the government (“Myanmar Backgrounder”).

Violations of human rights are widespread against ethnic minorities in the Karen, Karenni, Chin, and Shan
states. They include “forced labor, summary executions, sexual violence against women and girls, land
confiscations, and the use of landmines to disrupt civilian food production” (Human Rights Watch 6). All of
these methods are being used to either drive minorities out of the country or to quell their efforts to organize
in an attempt to win autonomy over areas populated heavily by minorities. Furthermore, the military regime
arrests and tortures those health workers that travel to the areas in which the Karen and Karenni ethnic
communities are located. This is part of their plan to disrupt the food and health distribution systems in these
areas and drive the ethnic minorities out of their communities and even out of the country (Human Rights
Watch 5).

In 2006, the International Committee of the Red Cross reported that “repeated abuses committed against
men, women, and children living along the Thai-Myanmar border violate many provisions of international
humanitarian law” (Human Rights Watch 6). In the northern area of Karen, 43 new army bases have recently
been erected using convict and forced labor (Human Rights Watch 7). The creation of the new army bases
suggests that the army offensive in this area is not going to be easily resolved or ended. In fact, the creation of
these new bases further suggests that the government may be newly committed to working towards driving
minorities out of the country.

The Third Committee has no mandate to address the political side of this conflict or control the continuation
of Myanmar’s military activity. What this committee must work to do, therefore, is address the roots of the
racial and ethnic discrimination that is fueling this conflict. The solutions to do this may not yield immediate
results; rather, they may be long-term solutions to address underlying social issues. It is important that the
Committee includes such solutions in any resolution that is crafted, however, in order to work to end the
cycles of abuse and violence that continue to create lasting humanitarian crises in Myanmar.

- 10 -
The 2009 National High School Model United Nations
Social, Cultural and Humanitarian Committee

Human Rights Abuses

The abuses of human rights in Myanmar are an incredibly worrying problem, particularly because they have
begun to escalate in recent years. Over the last few years, these abuses have caught the attention of both
international and regional NGOs, the United Nations, Western democracies, and a number of other
concerned countries and organizations. Groups like Amnesty International, the Free Burma Coalition, and
Human Rights Watch, among others, have been quick to report serious human rights. Aung San Suu Kyi, a
Nobel Prize Winner and the leader of the NLD party in Myanmar, has also worked hard to raise awareness
for human rights issues in her country (Human Rights Watch 3). These human rights abuses do not only
occur in areas with high concentrations of ethnic minorities, but all over the country, as a result of efforts to
suppress political uprisings, media attention, and the dissemination of information. The government both
political and civil freedoms and has shown blatant disregard for property rights, particularly in conflict-
affected ethnic areas. The government also continues to limit freedom of speech, assembly, and the press, and
to tightly censor has been instituted in order to ensure that dissidents are kept quiet, including peaceful
dissenters (Human Rights Watch 4). Physical abuse is also used to keep dissenters quiet. For example, in
April, government forces beat two members of the Human Rights Defenders and Promoters groups for
speaking out about human rights abuses. Political dissidents, leaders of the “88 Generation Students” group,
that were arrested in August and September 2007 are still being detained in unknown locations, with little
information available as to their treatment (Human Rights Watch 4).

Because little judicial independence exists, the military government uses the judicial system as a tool to protect
itself, particularly by arresting and imprisoning political dissidents, torturing prisoners, conducting trials with
almost no fair trial standards, and creating laws that criminalize the exercise of freedom of expression. They
have even used the judicial system to prosecute individuals who have tried to report human rights abuses.
The detention laws that exist in Myanmar “allow people to be held without charge, trial, or access to legal
counsel for up to five years” (Amnesty International 12). Although some due process rights are granted in
small criminal cases, this never happens in political cases, according to the United States of America State
Department (Amnesty International 13).

In addition to these problems with the judicial system, the International Labour Organization (ILO) reports
that the military government compels 800 thousand citizens into forced labor (ILO 16). They are forced into
labor-intensive programs such as agricultural production, military road projects, or even military service itself.
Much of the forced labor can be found in the poorest and more remote parts of Myanmar. This makes
responding to these abuses more difficult because the international community and human rights group have
almost no access and no communication with these areas (ILO 16).

In 2003, the government itself and the ILO created the Joint Plan of Action. This plan included such ideas as
raising awareness and making information more accessible on the abolition of forced labor, establishing a
facilitator who could assist victims of forced labor, and a program that would strictly enforce the prohibition
on forced labor. Over the last few years, however, this plan has not been implemented and has been largely
ignored (ILO 32). Very much aware of the forced labor situation, the ILO in their 2005 Global Report on
Forced Labor said that progress was impossible in the current political climate mainly due to the fact that no
political body was willing to clamp down on the use of forced labor, which was creating profits for both the
military and local authorities (ILO 32).

The difficulties the ILO faced in helping to implement the Joint Plan of Action are reflective of the overall
problems that exist in addressing the human rights concerns in Myanmar. Government suppression, judicial
compliance, and military corruption all contribute to the gross system of human rights violations that is in
place in Myanmar today. These issues are particularly difficult to address considering they often stem from
problems at the sovereign government level that the Third Committee has no jurisdiction to address. This
committee must seek solutions to end these human rights violations without creating a precedent of ignoring
national sovereignty and alienating national governments. In order to do this, the committee must balance

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the governmental concerns of Myanmar with the human rights concerns of the thousands of citizens
currently being denied basic rights.


In August of 2007, a series of peaceful anti-government protests began in Myanmar, first in Yangon, but
before long spreading to cities all over the country. The immediate cause of these protests was a rise in oil
prices that occurred after a decision by the SPDC to remove fuel subsidies. In one week, this decision caused
the price of gas to rise 100% and the price of natural compressed gas, necessary for buses, to rise 500% in
that same period. These price changes caused the costs of public transportation, food, and other basic goods
to rise to a point where few citizens could afford them (Human Rights Watch 1).

In response to this situation, supporters of democracy, Buddhist monks, students and other concerned
civilians began protesting across the country. In reaction to these peaceful protests, the SPDC began arresting
and interrogating protestors (Human Rights Watch 2). It was not until mid-September that a renewed
government crackdown occurred. Protestors were beaten and attacked with tear gas and troops sealed off
areas of the capital city in an effort to stop protestors from marching forward. In addition, a two-month night
curfew was imposed. This, however, failed to stop the monks and their fellow protestors from marching
further into the city. Realizing that their plan had failed, the junta then began entering monasteries and
conducing mass arrests of the monks that they found there. Soldiers began shooting into the air as well as
directly at protestors and shot a number of civilians including one Japanese photographer (“Burma’s Fight”).

In order to try and keep the international community from getting involved in the protests and to stop
dissidents from communicating with each other, the government cut off all internet access and cell phone
service. On October 11th, the Security Council issued a condemnation of the government of Myanmar for
their handling of the situation and a number of countries, including the United States, tightened their
sanctions against the country (S/PRST/2007/37). With thousands being detained and soldiers filling the
streets of all of the major cities, the protests were soon over, but the attitude throughout the country remains
one of dissatisfaction and anger. As of early February 2008, the government was still detaining over seven
hundred protestors another eighty were still completely unaccounted for (Human Rights Watch 2).

Myanmar made international headlines again in May 2008 when Cyclone Nargis, a strong tropical cyclone, hit
the country and caused over 90 thousand deaths (Marciel). The government, which was responsible for
reporting the deaths, grossly undercounted casualties in an attempt to minimize political fallout from their
handling of the relief efforts. After the cyclone hit, the military regime was initially wary about accepting any
foreign aid. By 6 May 2008, however, the delegation of Myanmar at the United Nations asked for conditional
assistance. The government stated that it was willing to accept some international assistance, but preferred
that the aid be bilateral, dealing with individual states, rather than larger NGOs or the United Nations itself.
The government did end up accepting aid from the United Nations after quite a bit of international pressure.
Many other countries that sent supplies, however, were not able to acquire visas for those individuals that
they sent with their donations and thus their aid remained undelivered. The government’s need to control aid
made it incredibly difficult for the available help to reach proper areas and provide necessary assistance

While the government did end up accepting actual aid, it refused to accept offers of expertise for the logistical
problems of aid distribution, insisting that it was capable of handling the distribution itself. A dire need for
helicopters was ignored, making it almost impossible to send supplies to the most inaccessible areas where
the most needy were often residing and making it impossible for doctors to reach sick civilians that needed
treatment. After two weeks, the UN estimated that only one in four citizens in need of help had been reached

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In the end, the UN reported that the government of Myanmar began to cooperate with the international
community, but the restrictions placed on international aid and rescue workers when they were most needed
was unacceptable. Even after two months, while international aid was allowed to flow quite freely into the
country, some bureaucratic hurdles continued.

The Myanmar government’s reaction to the humanitarian crisis following Cyclone Nargis demonstrates the
continued need for the Third Committee to examine the humanitarian situation in Myanmar. This committee
must examine closely the human rights violations that are occurring Myanmar, and work to address these
issues in a constructive manner, with the short-term goal of providing for the basic needs of Myanmar’s
citizens and the long-term goal of helping to create a stable society and prevent future social conflicts.



The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) is an economic and political organization made up of
ten countries in the region with aims of economic growth, social progress, and cultural development (Haacke
63). Myanmar has been a member of ASEAN since 1997. In recent years, however, the country’s human
rights record has put ASEAN under some international fire for failing to pressure Myanmar to fix its record
and work towards democracy. Myanmar agreed not to take its turn to hold the presidency of ASEAN in 2006
because of these concerns (Zaw 40). ASEAN members have stated publicly that they will not defend
Myanmar if it is discussed in any international conference setting. In September 2007, however, under
pressure from Western countries, the organization made a statement about the government of Myanmar’s
reaction to the August/September 2007 protests, saying that they were revolted by the military’s killing of
protestors and demanded an end to the violence. This statement by ASEAN was a break from their official
policy not to interfere in the internal affairs of members (44).

The European Union and the United States

Both the European Union and the United States have stressed that their main goal in relations with Myanmar
are for a legitimate, civilian-led government to take power in the country. The EU has withdrawn GSP
privileges, special trading privileges, due to problems of forced labor and instituted a visa ban and assets
freeze for senior military and government members and their families. In addition, EU-registered companies
are restricted from making capital available to state-owned companies in Myanmar. Political contact with the
government is use to highlight concern about democratization and progress on the Millennium Development
Goals (“The EU’s Relations”).

Since the crackdown on peaceful protests in 1988, the United States placed broad sanctions against Myanmar.
Similarly to the European Union, the United States has sanctions and boycotts in place against the
government. This has caused most US companies to withdraw from Myanmar.

People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation

China and Russia were the two countries that blocked actions by the Security Council to impose global
sanctions against the military regime in Myanmar during the protests in August and September 2007. These
two countries have long been defenders of the government in Myanmar and have expressed their
disagreement with further UN involvement in the country (Borger).

According to China’s UN representative, Wang Guangya, “as far as China sees it, …there are some problems,
but these problems at the moment do not constitute a threat to international and regional peace and security”
(Borger). China is Myanmar’s most important trading partner and both China and Russia have been suppliers
of weapons and defense supplies to the military regime there.

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Clearly, the humanitarian issues facing Myanmar are complicated and varied. They range from pressing
humanitarian concerns, like the lack of food in camps for displaced persons or the lack of basic healthcare for
many of the most impoverished, to human rights concerns, like allegations of forced labor or the violent
suppression of free speech. Many of the issues are interrelated or stem from similar root causes. A lack of
education or basic needs like food and healthcare fuel many of the prejudices and conflicts that create these
humanitarian issues, and exacerbate existing problems. The Third Committee must work, therefore, to look
at this issue from a broad perspective and keep in mind the interrelatedness of these social issues throughout
the country.

This being said, this committee must also ensure that any discussion that takes place on this topic stays within
the jurisdiction of the General Assembly. GA Mains Committees can make recommendations and
suggestions to the international community and the UN as a whole, but cannot enforce any decisions made
by the body. Furthermore, SOCHUM’s main concern is humanitarian issues; therefore, any political
discussions about the Myanmar government are irrelevant to the topic at hand. This committee must work to
address the humanitarian concerns of Myanmar without relying upon governmental actions. The committee
must, however, keep in mind the importance of sovereignty and diplomacy, and work to formulate solutions
that include the concerns of all groups involved, including the Myanmar government.

Lastly, the Third Committee should ensure that any solutions it discusses address both the immediate social
concerns of Myanmar’s populace, but also work to prevent future humanitarian crises by addressing the root
causes of these social problems. Myanmar has a long and complicated history filled with human rights issues;
the role of this committee is to discuss ways to prevent any future problems while solving the current human
rights problems as well.

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Children have been used in military operations throughout history, but it is only since the 1970s that the
global community has put a real emphasis on the problem of child soldiers. In an attempt to respond to the
crisis, a number of international conventions have been ratified to limit the use of children in warfare. The
UN set out to ensure that the international community recognized that children are the beneficiaries of
human rights just as adults are. This effort led, in 1989, to the ratification of the United Nations Convention
on the Rights of the Child, which spelled out in 54 articles (and now two Optional Protocols) the basic rights
children to which children are entitled. In addition to some of the more obvious human rights, the
Convention looks out for children in the realms of health care, education, and social services (A/44/25). The
two Optional Protocols to the Convention were added in 2000 to protect children from two of the worst
forms of abuse, forced participation in armed conflict and sexual exploitation. The Optional Protocol on the
involvement of children in armed conflict sets the age at which children can be legally recruited into the army
at 18 and requires governments to do everything possible to ensure that children under the age of 18 are not
involved in conflict (A/RES/54/263). Despite these efforts, the use of child soldiers remains widespread. An
estimated 300 thousand child soldiers are fighting worldwide today, 100 thousand of whom are involved in
combat in Africa, the continent with the highest number of child soldiers (Verhey 1).

While the use of child soldiers is reprehensible and requires continued international consideration, a related
and equally important issue exists that has not received as much global attention. This is the issue of the
rehabilitation and reintegration of those child soldiers who are freed from military combat. Having been
involved in armed conflict, child soldiers are troubled, generally underdeveloped both emotionally and
socially, and do not have a sense of community or family that would allow them to reintegrate into society
(Verhey 15). Much of the time, these children have lost family members in the region’s conflict and require
extensive physical and psychological support. In order to become fully functional members of society, they
require education and vocational training. Children cannot be expected to adjust to new circumstances
quickly or on their own. For this reason, the Third Committee must examine the current efforts of existing
programs working to help with the reintegration process, as well as areas that these programs are not
currently addressing. This committee must ensure that proper help is being allocated to those children leaving
the military and attempting to forge a new life in their communities.


Although the rehabilitation and reintegration of child soldiers was once deemed a hopeless effort, successes
over the last ten years show that while the process is difficult it can be successful when proper long-term
plans are created. In order for such plans to be put into place, both adequate funding and political motivation
must exist in a region. These elements must combine to create specific programs tailored to the needs of
children in the region and include these children in newly created and existing peace agreements and
demobilization programs (Verhey 22). Rather than creating blanket solutions and programs that can be
applied at the close of any conflict, some direction must be given to those regions looking to implement such
support programs. Governments and local aid groups must then take charge of building these programs
including specific cultural nuances into their plans.

Rehabilitation and Reintegration: the Process

Although the terms rehabilitation and reintegration are often used together when discussing the issue of child
soldiers, they denote two different but equally important processes. Rehabilitation focuses on resolving

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physical health problems and psychological issues, while reintegration works to ensure that recovered children
have long-term stable situations in a home community.

The rehabilitation process ideally occurs directly after a child is removed from combat. Many children leaving
combat have severe wounds from fighting, and those who do not are often malnourished and may face a
variety of diseases including the measles, diarrheal diseases, and even STDs. In addition to these physical
ailments, almost all demobilized child soldiers face difficult and varied psychological problems which can
range from depression, severe nightmares, paranoia, mutism, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), to
behavioral issues such as introversion and high levels of aggression (Singer 193). Victims of sexual abuse
during conflict times, particularly young girls who are often given to male combatants as “wives,” experience
severe depression and heightened levels of PTSD tied with an intense sense of personal shame. This shame
often makes them much less likely to participate in official rehabilitation programs, not wanting to reveal their
identities or the details of their experiences during the conflict (Singer 194).

One NGO working to carry out rehabilitation efforts with former child soldiers is the Gulu Support the
Children Organization (GUSCO) in Northern Uganda (“Description”). This program supports several
activities to facilitate the rehabilitation process. It runs a rehabilitation center in Gulu that provides for the
basic needs of child soldiers, such as food, shelter and health care. This center also runs psychological support
services for these children. Furthermore, GUSCO runs community awareness campaigns to procure support
for its efforts at the grassroots leadership level, and also runs children’s rights clubs in the areas surrounding
Gulu to educate children about their rights and the resources available to them (“Description”). The work of
this NGO is an excellent example of a rehabilitation program that is looking holistically at the rehabilitation
process in order to ensure that children are encourage to utilize available resources and that the resources
offered to them work to address both physical and psychological needs.

Rehabilitation efforts prepare children physically and mentally for the final recovery stage, reintegration into
society. This reintegration is a social and economic process that largely takes place at the community level, as
children struggle to define their new role and find a place in society. Reintegration programs usually seek to
find children permanent homes, sometimes by returning them to their families, and also, depending upon the
child’s age, a means of supporting themselves and receiving an education. In Rwanda, the United Nations
Children’s Fund (UNICEF) worked with Action Jeunesse et Environment, an international NGO, to
reintegrate former child soldiers into communities. These programs worked to move children from refugee
camps and rehabilitation programs back into wider society by helping create support networks and family
units for these children. The programs carried out extensive searches for remaining family members by
networking with other NGOs working in the region. When no family could be found, they organized children
into “family groups” to give them a sense of belonging, providing them supplies with to build their own
houses and cook and live together (“Description”). The creation of these family groups helped to facilitate
the reintegration of these children into wider society by providing them with a safety net of people who had
shared similar experiences.

Problems with Current Rehabilitation Efforts

The programs that have been put into place in the aftermath of conflicts to address this multitude of issues
have shared a number of faults. For one, the process of rehabilitation has been rushed. In order for
rehabilitation efforts to be successful they must encompass long-term goals and a long-term perspective.
Existing plans also have not been sustainable—they have been both unfeasible in terms of necessary
personnel as well as necessary funding. A good example of this occurred in the Democratic Republic of the
Congo (DRC), where a bloody civil war lasting from 1997 to 2005, followed by continued fighting today,
forced thousands of children to become soldiers. Rehabilitation efforts for the children in this area have been
slow; funding was delayed and unpredictable leading to the exclusion of more than 14 thousand child soldiers
from reintegration efforts (“Child Soldiers” 106). Too often, rehabilitation plans have depended solely on
international aid workers who may not stay long enough to see the programs through. Few programs have

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been created around local aid workers who are not only more aware of cultural sensitivities and practices, but
are also a more permanent fixture in the region (Singer 186).

Finally, while the more obvious part of rehabilitation is that former child soldiers must receive medical
attention and physical treatment for health problems, proper attention to their psychological problems is key
to ensuring their ability to return to society. Too often, rehabilitation programs have focused almost
exclusively on physical health, while neglecting the more difficult psychological issues that former child
soldiers face (“Child Soldiers” 28). One expert on rehabilitation said that “a child’s need for physical and
mental health treatment, counseling, and placement within a broader security environment are all integral and
interrelated” to the success of that child’s rehabilitation and subsequent reintegration (Singer 196). The
programs in place simply have not properly addressed these issues, particularly the psychological problems,
and thus have caused reintegration work to meet little success. In order for reintegration programs to work
and properly incorporate these children back into society, rehabilitation efforts clearly must be improved.

Problems with Current Reintegration Efforts

Proper reintegration of child soldiers into their homes and communities can only occur when these children
have received extensive rehabilitation. Attempts at reintegration in conflict stricken areas have often come too
quickly, after former child soldiers have undergone rushed rehabilitation. Most experts agree that the best way
to reintegrate child soldiers is by placing them back with their families (Thomas 5). Many factors, however,
make this a difficult process. Systems are not in place to trace and relocate families who are often moved by
the conflict in their areas. Family members are sometimes killed in conflict and other relatives must be
located. When these relatives are found, they are not always willing to accept children into their homes. This
is due to fears that the children may still be dangerous, have ties to the groups they fought with, or will
require more care and attention than the family is willing to give or can afford. A survey done in Africa
demonstrated that approximately 82% of parents with children that fought as child soldiers considered their
own children to be dangerous to the populations of their communities (Singer 200). Programs in place to
reunite children with their parents have failed to focus on the need for reconciliation between the children
and parents and have lacked the proper assistance required by both families and communities that are less
than excited about the prospect of accepting former child soldiers back into their neighborhoods (Singer

For children who have lost all of their relatives during a conflict or who are unable to locate their family, the
future is quite bleak under the current system. Some countries have tried to create special schools for children
who were demobilized and now require rehabilitation and help with reintegration. These schools, however,
have been mostly ineffective due to their lack of funding and personnel and the large number of child soldiers
without families in post-conflict areas (Verhey 15). In October 1994, for example, Rwanda created a special
military school, the Kadogo School, for the demobilization and rehabilitation of child soldiers. Because many
of the child soldiers had lost their families it was argued that they could not return home or be reintegrated
into their old communities. The school quickly filled up, soon housing almost three thousand children, twice
the number that it was built to hold. With only 41 teachers and 15 social workers, it was almost impossible to
rehabilitate these child soldiers. In two years, only four-hundred of the three thousand children were reunited
with their families and by 1998, it was decided that the school was to close as it did not have the personnel
nor the funding to remain open as a boarding institution (16).

Other countries have tried to deal with reintegration of orphaned child soldiers in other ways. In countries
such as Colombia and Afghanistan, “youth houses” have been created to try to address this same problem.
Children live together in the homes and participate in educational and vocational training in order to help
them reintegrate into the community. Much of the time, however, they are very young and have to stay in
these homes for years before they can become self-sufficient. When the children are old enough to leave the
homes and live on their own in the communities, often the communities do not accept them due to the
stigma and stereotypes surrounding their ex-soldering (Singer 199). Without the acceptance of the community

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and plagued by the stigmatization of their neighbors, proper integration into the society becomes almost
impossible for these ex-child soldiers.

Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration

Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) is a process used to ensure security and stability in
post conflict areas so that recovery and development of the region can commence. The process mainly
attempts to deal with ex-combatants who, at the end of a conflict, are left without jobs, without support, and
without medical care. All of the last seven peacekeeping operations created by the Security Council have
included provisions for the creation of DDR programs. These included those peacekeeping operations in
Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Sudan. In
addition to these programs set up through the United Nations itself, the UN has been supporting DDR
programs in Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia,
Niger, Somalia, and Uganda (“What is DDR?”).

The DDR process begins by collecting and disposing of small arms and ammunitions from both combatants
and often civilians as well. This is followed by the demobilization stage of the process, which officially
discharges combatants from the military or other armed groups. Finally, the rehabilitation and reintegration
phase of DDR occurs, during which ex-combatants receive medical and hopefully psychological support as
well as assistance that may include food, clothes, and shelter. This is followed by help with the process of
moving back into their communities as civilians with employment, income, and homes of their own (“What is

The rehabilitation and reintegration process usually occurs with the help of various UN organization,
governmental groups and NGOs. In Liberia, for example, numerous different groups have participated in the
rehabilitation and reintegration portion of the country’s DDR strategy. The Security Council created the UN
Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) in 2003 after a long civil war that began in 1989 (S/Res/1509). As part of this
Mission, the Security Council resolution created the National Commission on Disarmament, Demobilization,
Rehabilitation and Reintegration (NCDDRR). The NCDDRR’s mandate included a stipulation to pay
“particular attention to the needs of child combatants and women” (S/Res/1509). By early 2006 more than
one-hundred thousand former soldiers had been disarmed under this program, including more than ten-
thousand children, demonstrating the government’s commitment to the child portion of the NCDDRR
mandate (“Child Soldiers” 213).

The first rehabilitation and reintegration programs began in Liberia in June 2004, offering all disarmed
soldiers formal training options, such as computer classes, and vocational training in areas such as carpentry
or tailoring (“Liberia”). These programs were carried out with the support of number of UN organizations,
including the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Development Program
(UNDP), as well as multiple grassroots and international NGO groups. All of these efforts were coordinated
by the Joint Implementation Unit (JIU), an oversight body of the NCDDRR that helped plan and coordinate
the joint activities of various organizations and serve as a means of communication between different groups
(“Liberia”). The JIU helped prevent oversights and overlap in the Liberian DDR program, and facilitated the
use of local NGOs to carry out community rehabilitation and reintegration efforts.

Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration: Problems

When most DDR programs are created, the peace agreements that are relevant to the area and conflict will
state who is eligible for the program. This usually includes all members of a certain armed force or military
group, without discriminating based on age or sex. While officially this is the case, these programs often
overlook children, either because children do not realize that they must register for the program or because
they are fearful of exposing their names or their participation in the conflict (Singer 193). In Indonesia, for
example, the DDR program that was set up following the 2005 peace agreement in Aceh did not even

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address the issue of children involved in the conflict, despite the fact that it was clear children had been
actively involved. For this reason, child soldiers were not invited to participate in the process because there
was simply no provision that would allow them to do so (“Child Soldiers” 12). Even in Liberia, where
children were clearly a priority in the DDR program mandate, the rehabilitation efforts met with mixed
success, due to the rapidity of the disarmament efforts; this portion of the process did not adequately break
ties between child soldiers and their former commanders, thus increasing the likelihood that these children
would resume illegal and dangerous activities (“Child Soldiers” 213).

The oversight of child soldiers in many DDR programs is a grave matter that this committee must examine.
These programs play a key role in post-conflict recovery, especially because they are designed to address the
situation in the particular region. This committee should examine the current methods of designing the
rehabilitation stage of this process, and how this process can be improved or built upon to better incorporate
the concerns of former child soldiers.

Difficulties for Girls and the Disabled in Rehabilitation and Reintegration

Current programs in place to help former child soldiers do not include strategies to reach girls and children
disabled in combat. Most demobilization programs also neglect these two groups. Including these especially
vulnerable groups in these programs is far from insignificant. In some conflicts, girls have made up more
than 30% of the children directly involved in the conflict (“Child Soldiers” 10). In Liberia, three thousand
girls took part in the DDR process that ran through the end of 2004, however, more than eight thousand
more were directly involved in the conflict and received no support. Similarly, in the DRC, only three
thousand girls were officially included in the DDR program, while the remaining 85% are mostly
unaccounted for, having returned home or to new villages with no support or other help to reintegrate
(Wessells 87).

Girls are often overlooked in the creation of rehabilitation and reintegration programs because they do not fit
the definitions created for those programs. The programs usually target “soldiers” or “combatants,” and not
children who have served in support functions, like the roles that most girls would serve, such as “wives” or
cooks. The needs of girls who were often used as “wives” for older soldiers in combat and were physically
and emotionally abused differs from the kind of attention that male child soldiers usually require. In addition,
the services that many of these girls require in order to be properly rehabilitated and then reintegrated into
their communities differ greatly from what boys would need. Many girls are pregnant or have children after
conflicts have ended. In order to participate in any rehabilitation program or find employment after the end
of this process they would require childcare. Once girls do go looking for work they often have a very hard
time finding it due to the fact that level of education for females in many lesser-developed countries is poor
and discriminatory hiring practices are widespread (Wessells 88). Even if girls do make it through the
rehabilitation stages, many communities reject them because they are seen as impure and ineligible for
marriage to any of the men in the community (Singer 196).

Similar issues plague disabled child soldiers as well. The normal post-conflict treatment that other child
soldiers receive is often inadequate for their special medical and reintegration needs. In addition, they are
often separated into what some programs call the “military war disabled programs,” which are hardly able to
address the problems that plague adults disabled by the conflict (Verhey 21). These programs are completely
unable to address the physical problems that disabled children will face, not to mention the psychological
issues that they will need assistance with.

Child Soldiers in Detention

Another vulnerable group is child soldiers who are caught by government forces. In these cases, they are
often treated as criminals rather than children. Seeing as many times children were coerced into service, they
are usually victims of the war and warring groups as much as perpetrators of violence. Instead of treating

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them as victims in need of rehabilitation and reintegration into society and familial life, however,
governments often detain children based on their association with violent armed groups or particular violent
acts that they themselves have committed. Across the world, children starting from as young as nine years of
age have been imprisoned and even tortured and killed for having participated in the work armed groups.
When child soldiers escape from duty, they are often caught and imprisoned as deserters. Such practices have
been seen in Burundi, Iraq, Myanmar, the Philippines, as well as the Democratic Republic of the Congo
(“Child Soldiers” 11). Minors have been transferred from US custody in Afghanistan to the detention center
in Guantamo Bay after the government has designated them “enemy combatants,” and reports show that
some of these individuals are as young as thirteen years of age (12). This type of treatment must be discussed
and these children should instead be treated as victims in need of assistance and social reintegration.

Case Study: Angola

The end of the long civil war in Angola in November 1994 represented the first time that child soldiers were
included in demobilization, rehabilitation, and reintegration plans. The peace plan, the Lusaka Protocol, and
reintegration plan in Angola failed in the long term when the civil war resumed again in 1997. The
international community learned many lessons from the successes and failures of the program that had begun
to reintegrate more than five thousand child soldiers before 1997 (Verhey 22). Early on, planners agreed that
both child soldiers and disabled ex-combatants would be prioritized in the work towards demobilization.
They made a policy decision that rather than keeping children in rehabilitation centers, ex-child soldiers
would return to their families whenever possible. Once children returned to their families and communities,
psychosocial support, education, and other benefits including food and clothing were provided to them.
Unfortunately, girls and disabled ex-combatants ended up getting very little attention and for the most part
the rehabilitation and reintegration programs completely excluded them, despite the initial decision to make
them a point of focus (“Child Soldiers” 47).

In 1997, the working situation for reintegration became more difficult as tensions again heightened and
security deteriorated. Gradually the program began to fall apart, but it seems that this was the case because of
the rise of conflict in the region and not the failure of the program elements themselves. A member of
UNITA, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, one of the primary factions involved in
the civil war, admitted that re-recruitment was made much more difficult because of the fact that ex-child
soldiers had been placed with their families who had been extensively tracked down during the reintegration
period. Once back with their families, it was difficult for the group to re-locate child soldiers and recruit them
back into their forces (Verhey 4).

Although the results of this program were mixed, the successes it had in preventing children from re-entering
war demonstrates several important lessons. First, it is important that rehabilitation efforts make child
soldiers a priority when formulating post-conflict policies, so that the special needs of children do not end up
overshadowed by other concerns. It is also important that plans for rehabilitation of children account for the
especially vulnerable members of this population, such as women and children. Furthermore, rehabilitation
efforts require large commitments from both governments and non-governmental groups that are involved in
the process; the Angola program met with some success because it included an exhaustive and labor-intensive
goal of returning children to their families whenever possible. This committee must keep these important
lessons in mind when formulating solutions to improve upon current efforts.

Case Study: Democratic Republic of the Congo

In stark contrast to the situation in Angola, which seemed to be working successfully until conflict began
again, the attempts for rehabilitation and reintegration in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have been a
complete failure. One of the major problems in the DRC has been unpredictable and delayed funding paired
with poor planning and mismanagement. These issues have caused over 14 thousand child soldiers in the
region to be excluded from official DDR programs and other rehabilitation and reintegration help (“Child

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Soldiers” 106). Even when children were able to enter the program and receive help with demobilization,
little attention was paid to the next two, and very important, steps– rehabilitation and reintegration. Left to
their own devices and without much education or skills with which to provide for themselves, many of the
demobilized children were recruited back into military service. Many of those who have not been re-recruited
have ended up on the streets (“Struggling” 6).

Not all efforts in the DR Congo, however, have failed. One demobilization and community reintegration
center supported by UNICEF has already demobilized more than eight-hundred children and has provided
medical and psychosocial care to about 2,300 ex-child soldiers (“Child Soldiers” 107). This shows that
rehabilitation and reintegration are possible, when funding, infrastructure, and planning are in place to carry
out these actions. The role of this committee is to seek ways to ensure that this funding, infrastructure and
planning will be more readily available to create successful rehabilitation and reintegration programs in the


On 20 May 2008 the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers (CSC) hosted a conference to release the
third edition of its Child Soldiers Global Report to government representatives, UN Security Council
members and other officials, and NGO representatives. The 2008 Report builds upon past reports to give
individual summaries of the military recruitment practices, legislation, and child soldier use in 197 countries
across the globe. It also gives a general overview of DDR efforts relating to children, and a summary of major
core themes and policy objectives for the international community to consider in dialogues on this topic. The
2008 Report explained that much work has been done over the last few years to ensure that those responsible
for the recruitment of child soldiers are held criminally responsible for their actions (“Child Soldiers” 3).
Seemingly little has been done over this same time period to address the major deficiencies in DDR programs
and similar programs that provide necessary assistance for the rehabilitation and reintegration of these ex-
child combatants (“Child Soldiers” 3). While the last few years have shown an increase in attention to these
problems, global attention is not enough.

The Child Soldiers Global Report 2008 offers a series of benchmarks that the CSC will use to measure
progress toward the goal of eliminating child soldering until the release of its next Global Report in 2012
(“Child Soldiers” 37). Several of these benchmarks deal specifically with the issue of rehabilitation and
reintegration efforts. These benchmarks are designed to serve as progress indicators for this issue, and
include: an increase in the number of non-state armed groups that develop action plans to prevent
recruitment and facilitate the release of child soldiers; the inclusion of provisions for children in all DDR
programs and peacekeeping agreements; and the universal establishment in countries currently using child
soldiers of programs to identify, release and reintegrate these children (“Child Soldiers” 37-38). Although
these benchmarks are not all-inclusive, they do serve as part of an excellent framework that this committee
should take into account when formulating solutions on this issue. The information and indicators offered in
the Child Soldiers Global Report 2008 are excellent starting points for future global cooperation and dialogue
on this issue.

Over the last two years numerous other reports have been published focused on specific facets of this issue
as well. Many of these have focused upon the successes and the failures of DDR programs across the world,
realized that the DDR framework is one of the main means by which countries institute rehabilitation and
reintegration measures. The CSC published one such report, “Child Soldiers and Disarmament,
Demobilization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration in West Africa,” in November 2006. This report utilized
information gathered through more than 290 meetings and extensive surveys in four West African countries
undergoing DDR programs, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea (“Child Soldiers” 3). It found
that, in these countries, DDR programs were often not reaching the children who most needed help; this was
especially true for girl soldiers, older adolescents and foreign children. It also found that community
approaches to rehabilitation and reintegration were most successful in preventing re-recruitment.

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Furthermore, local groups should be used whenever possible to carry out these efforts, and these groups
should better coordinate their work to more efficiently carry out DDR programs (“Child Soldiers” 4). The
coordination of these efforts would help to avoid situations like that which occurred in Liberia, where
reintegration programs restricted access to some groups of children on the assumption that other structures
were serving these children, when in reality other groups were not. These children ended up being isolated
from all reintegration efforts (“Child Soldiers” 20). This point is especially important for the Third
Committee to note; any solutions that this committee formulates must examine the interconnectedness of
various stakeholders and groups working on this issue to avoid redundancies or gaps in services.

This CSC Report and other reports examining the effectiveness of DDR programs contain important
information about how future rehabilitation and reintegration efforts should be formulated and carried out to
better serve children. In many cases, however, this information is yet to be applied to new attempts at proper
rehabilitation and reintegration. This committee, therefore, must examine the continued shortcomings of
DDR programs, and work to draw attention to these shortcomings so that future programs will better be able
to serve former child soldiers.


Canada, the United States and Western Europe

Most of the countries in this block have ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of
the Child On Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict. The language in the original protocol was altered,
under pressure from the US, to say that children under the age of 18 can be recruited for armed military
service, but that governments would have to take “all feasible measures” to prevent sending these soldiers
under 18 into armed combat. The United States pushed for this change due to their practice of the
recruitment of 17 year olds who have parental permission to enlist. These changes also came at the request of
the United Kingdom, which recruits children as young as 16 years into their armed services as long as they
have parental consent (A/RES/54/263).

Both the United States and Western powers have contributed significant funding towards efforts to stop the
recruitment and mobilization of child soldiers. They have also contributed towards DDR programs and
individual government initiatives to rehabilitate and reintegrate ex-child combatants.

The United States has recently been criticized by such organizations as Human Rights Watch for their
treatment of underage “enemy combatants” that are being held at the Guantanamo Bay detention center. In
particular, these groups are referring to one individual, Omar Khadr, who has been held at Guanatanmo since
2002 for crimes that he committed at the age of fifteen. Governments are calling for the U.S. to end his
detainment and recognize his status as an ex-child soldier (Human Rights Watch 5).

The Middle East and North Africa

While overall the use of child soldiers throughout the Middle East and North Africa has declined, the
Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers has said that they believe “thousands of children, some as young
as ten are serving with armed groups in the Middle East and North Africa” (“Child Soldiers” 18). Child
soldiers have been involved in conflicts in Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey, and Yemen. At the
moment the area of most concern in the region is Sudan, where both sides of the ongoing conflict are actively
using children as soldiers (Cons).

Many countries in the region have shown that the political will exists to fight the recruitment and
mobilization of child soldiers. In 2002, for instance, UNICEF, a number of NGOs, and the Queen of Jordan
hosted a conference to discuss the use of child soldiers in the region. This conference helped to launch the

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report by the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers on the status of child soldiers in the Middle East
and North Africa (Stohl).

Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa contains the largest number of child soldiers worldwide. Most estimates put the number of children
involved in combat at around one-hundred thousand (“Child Soldiers” 4). Although a large number of these
children are recruited into combat by non-government forces, many of them are fighting in government
armies as well. Most countries in the region, however, have set 18 years as the minimum recruitment age,
some exceptions include Angola, which reduced the age to 17 and Uganda, which allows children over 13 to
sign up for military service in some circumstances (Cons). These provisions conflict with the majority of
Member States and many NGOs, who support a strict 18 years-plus policy.

Even when legal guards are in place, many countries have difficulty enforcing these limits, especially in civil
conflicts, such as that in the DRC, where opposition groups recruit children to fight against governmental
forces. Furthermore, some Sub-Saharan African governments remain uninformed about the severity of the
issue in their country because of a lack of information about child soldiers in conflict areas, or choose to
ignore the issue because of a lack of political and social will.


Child soldiers face immense challenges when they leave conflict situations. Their physical and mental injuries
often inhibit their ability to reenter normal life, as do the prejudices that they often face from civilian society.
The process of rehabilitation and reintegration of these children is clearly a lengthy one that requires strong
monetary, infrastructural, and political commitment from governments and civil society. Unfortunately, many
post-conflict governments are often unable to fulfill these commitments, leaving children stranded on the
outskirts of society.

The Third Committee must work to improve the outcomes of future rehabilitation and reintegration
programs for child soldiers by strengthening existing frameworks and working to increase political will on this
topic. The current model of DDR programs tailored to specific post-conflict regions provide an excellent
framework for formulating successful child soldier rehabilitation programs. Every conflict is different, and
thus the formulation of successful rehabilitation programs must be created based on individual conflict
situations. That being said, the committee should also examine the process of creating DDR programs in
order to ensure that these programs as a whole focus upon the unique needs of child soldiers. Furthermore,
the committee should examine the successes and shortcomings of existing DDR programs to determine what
gaps exist in current rehabilitation programs.

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As mentioned in the Note on Research and Preparation, it is imperative that delegates answer each of these questions in their
position papers.


1. Does your country have any political or economic ties to Myanmar? How might these affect policies
your country would favor in regards to the situation in Myanmar?

2. Has your country had any human rights problems? Anti-government protests? What about issues
with internally displaced people and ethnic minorities? How has the country dealt with these
problems? Has your country received international attention for these issues?

3. Was your country affected by Cyclone Nargis? Did your country send support for other countries in
the region after Cyclone Nargis? How might this affect your relationship with the government of

4. What types of solutions would your country support to push the government in Myanmar to allow
more democratic reforms? What about national sovereignty? Must it always be upheld even when
human rights violations are occurring?

5. What is the responsibility of the international community towards the situation in Myanmar? Are
they responsible to intervene? Under what circumstances should the international community get
involved in human rights situations?

1. What is your country’s position on the use of child soldiers? What is the age of recruitment in the
country? Has your country ever used soldiers under the age of 18 or had a problem with opposition
groups in the country using them? What course of action did the government take to respond to this
problem, if any?

2. How can the United Nations better guide the creation of DDR programs so that they include
children? How can the UN ensure that girls and disabled children are included in these programs?

3. Does your country’s policy suggest that it prefers that the international community get involved in
individual DDR or rehabilitation/reintegration programs or would your country prefer using NGO
and more local groups to run the programs? Has your country donated to these efforts?

4. Should children be reintegrated into their families or with relatives if no immediate family is living?
Should children be placed in demobilization and rehabilitation centers and schools?

5. What kinds of incentives, if any, should be created to encourage governments to create rehabilitation
and reintegration programs? Can the creation of these programs be mandated? What effect would
this have on national sovereignty?

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The following documents have been hand-selected by Directors to further aid in delegate preparation. Please make a concerted
effort to read and analyze these documents prior to the conference.


SC/8939. “Security Council Fails to Adopt Draft Resolution on Myanmar, Owing to Negative Votes by
China, Russian Federation.” 12 Jan. 2007.
This documents explains the situation surrounding the vote on the Draft Resolution on Human Rights in Myanmar. In
particular, delegates should look at the text of the Draft Resolution, which is included in this document. Reading the
explanations of the votes for and against makes clear the political atmosphere surrounding this topic.

A/HRC/RES/8/14. “Resolution of the Human Rights Council on Myanmar.” 18 June 2008.

An important resolution when considering the human rights issues in Myanmar; provides insight that will help determine in what
ways the Third Committee can and should respond to the situation.

A/HRC/8/12. “Human Rights Situations that Require the Council’s Attention: Report of the Special
Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar.” 3 June 2008.
A fantastic report that gives a full background on the current human rights problems in the country. Although the document is
quite long, it is a good point of reference for delegates looking for more information on a particular subtopic.


A/RES/44/25. “Convention on the Rights of the Child.” 20 Nov. 1989.

The convention that sets out the human rights of children. Although delegates are not expected to read the Convention in full, it is
important that they are aware of the kinds of rights assured by the Convention.

A/RES/54/263. “The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement
of Children in Armed Conflict.” 25 May 2000.
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Very important document to the issue of child soldiers and
particularly their rehabilitation and reintegration. See in particular Article 7 of the Optional Protocol.

A/51/306. “Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Children: Impact of Armed Conflict on Children.
Note by the Secretary General.” 26 Aug.1996.
A very comprehensive report on children in armed conflict. See in particular Section II.G. Paragraphs 166-183.

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Minelli, Elisabetta. “Origin and Development of International Cooperation for Health: Steps towards the
Constitution of the World Health Organization.” World Health Organization: The Mandate of a Specialized
Agency of the United Nations. 27 Jun. 2008.

Vasil, Miho. “United Nations World Health Organization.” Nation-building in the Balkans. 24 Jun. 2008.

Waibel, Ruth. “World Health Organization (WHO).” Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z. 1 ed. (2004): 1

“Working for Health: An Introduction to the World Health Organization.” World Health Organization. 2007.
25 Jun. 2008. <http://www.who.int/about/brochure_en.pdf >.


UN Sources

A/HRC/RES/8/14. “Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar.” 18 June 2008.

Report on the violent protests and suppression in Myanmar in spring of 2008.

Dapice, David O., and Debbie Aung Din Taylor. “Food Security in Myanmar: A Proposal to Deal with
Natural Shock.” Internal Report prepared for the Myanmar UNDP Representative. Jan. 2000.
Discusses a number of the humanitarian issues occuring in Myanmar and offers possible solutions.

S/PRST/2007/37. “Statement by the President of the Security Council.” 11 Oct. 2007.

Statement deploring the use of violence against protesters in Myanmar and offering support to HRC Resolution S-5/1.

International Labour Organization. “A Global Alliance Against Forced Labor.” Geneva: International
Labour Office: 2005.
Report detailing problems of forced labor around the world, with a particular section devoted to the issues in Myanmar.

Non-UN Sources

Amnesty International. “Myanmar: Travesties of Justice – Continued Misuse of the Legal System.”
12 Dec. 2005.
Thorough discussion of the problems with the justice system in Myanmar.

Borger, Julian. “As Burmese Troops Open Fire At Monks, China and Russia Block Global
Sanctions.” The Guardian. 27 Sept. 2007.
Explains the relationship between Myanmar and China and Russia.

“Burma’s Fight For Freedom.” US Campaign for Burma. 26 June 2008. US Campaign for Burma. 26
Sept. 2008 <http://www.uscampaignforburma.org>.
Excellent explanation of the recent 2007 protests as well as situation of ethnic minorities.

“Campaigning for Human Rights and Democracy in Burma.” The Burma Campaign UK. 2008.
The Burma Campaign UK. 26 June 2008 <http://www.burmacampaign.org.uk>.

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Includes very update news on the current situation in Myanmar as well as a brief overview of the country’s history and
the human rights situation.

“Burma: Time for Change.” The Council on Foreign Relations, Inc., New York: 2003.
This report is a fantastic resource which includes discussions of the political, social, and economic problems facing
Myanmar as well as responsive policy recommendations.

“The EU’s Relations with Burma/Myanmar: Overview.” EUROPA: European Commission. 2008.
EUROPA. 26 June 2008
In depth discussion of EU relations with Myanmar, including press releases by the EU on the situation there.

Haacke, Jurgen. Myanmar’s Foreign Policy: Domestic Influences and International Implications.
New York: Routledge Press, 2006.
This book discusses the mentality of the SPDC as well as Myanmar’s relationships with surrounding countries,
ASEAN, Western Nations, and the United Nations.

Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch World Report 2008. New York: Seven Stories Press,
Includes a chapter on Myanmar that details relevant human rights and humanitarian issues.

“Myanmar: The Politics of Humanitarian Aid.” International Crisis Group. 2 Apr. 2002.
International Crisis Group. 26 June 2008 <http://www.crisisweb.org>.
Policy discussion including recommendations for the proper implementation of humanitarian aid in Myanmar.

“Myanmar Backgrounder: Ethnic Minority Politics.” International Crisis Group 7 May 2003.
International Crisis Group. 26 June 2008 <http://www.crisisweb.org>.
An in-depth discussion of the problems faced by the ethnic minorities in Myanmar.

Marciel, Scot. “Burma in the Aftermath of Cyclone Nargis: Death, Displacement, and Humanitarian
Aid.” US Department of State. 20 May 2008. US Department of State. 26 June 2008
Discussion of the damage caused by Cyclone Nargis and the US opinion on further steps that much be taken to secure
proper humanitarian aid in the affected region.

Pedersen, Morten B. Promoting Human Rights in Burma: A Critique of Western Sanctions Policy.
New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2008.
This book includes a brief discussion of the history of the situation of Myanmar as well as an overview of the success of
Western Sanctions against the nation and further recommendations.

Seekins, Donald M. Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). Lanham, MD: The Scarecrow Press,
Inc., 2006.
This book includes a detailed history of Myanmar as well as summaries and explanations of relevant people and

Shukla, Kavita. “Ending the Waiting Game.” Refugees International: June 2006.
Article discussing the plight of IDPs in Myanmar.

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Steinberg, David I. Burma: The State of Myanmar. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press,
Discussion of the modern issues facing Myanmar especially issues of foreign assistance and social problems.

Zaw, Aung. “ASEAN-Burma Relations.” International IDEA: July 2003.

Discussion of ASEAN’s relationship with Myanmar.


UN Sources

A/RES/44/25. “Convention on the Rights of the Child.” 20 Nov. 1989.

The convention that sets out the human rights of children.

A/RES/54/263. “The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement
of Children in Armed Conflict.” 25 May 2000.
Outlines the rights of Children involved in Armed Conflict and the responsibilities of governments towards them.

“Liberia.” United Nations Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Resource Center. 2008. United
Nations. 25 Sept. 2008 <http://www.unddr.org/countryprogrammes.php?c=52>.
Profile of Liberia’s DDR program—its creation, its maintenance and its successes and failures.

S/Res/1509. “The Situation in Liberia.” 2003.

Security Council Resolution coordinating a peacekeeping mission in Liberia and authorizing the creation of a DDR program in
the country.

Non-UN Sources

“Child Soldiers: Global Report 2008.” Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers. New York: 2008.
Incredibly comprehensive report of the situation of Child Soldiers since 2004 with a country by country breakdown on the
situation of Child Soldiers in every country and the country’s policy on the issue.

“Child soldiers and disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration in West Africa: A survey of
programmatic work on the involvement of children in armed conflict in Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea,
Liberia and Sierra Leone.” Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers. New York: 22 Nov. 2006.
Report on the failures of DDR programs to properly deal with the concerns of ex-child soldiers in four post-conflict areas.

Cons, Jason, and Peter Finn. “Reintegration of Child Soldiers: Breaking the Cycle of Violence for Young
People.” The Goldin Institute Newsletter 1.2 (2007).
General article on the process of reintegration and its importance.

“Descriptions of Rehabilitation Programs for Child Soldiers.” United Nations Cyberschoolbus. 2008. United
Nations. 25 Sept. 2008 <http://cyberschoolbus.un.org/childsoldiers/webquest/rehabilitation.asp>.
Good summary of the actions of the GSCO, an organization working to rehabilitate child soldiers.

Human Rights Watch. “The Omar Khadr Case: A Teenager Imprisoned at Guantanamo.” June 2007. Human
Rights Watch. 22 Aug. 2008 <http://www.hrw.org/backgrounder/usa/us0607/>.
Details on the Omar Khadr situation; includes opinions about the human rights status of this case.

Singer, P.W. Children at War. New York, NY: Pantheon Books, 2005.

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Book that follows the situation of child soldiers, from their recruitment to their reintegration.

Stohl, Rachel. “Middle East Tackles Child Soldiers.” Weekly Defense Monitor 5.17 (2001).
Discussion of the reaction of the Middle East and North Africa to the problem of child soldiers.

“Struggling to Survive: Children in Armed Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.” Watchlist on
Children and Armed Conflict: Apr. 2006.
Discussion of the experiences of child soldiers in the DRC.

Thomas, V. “Overcoming Lost Childhoods: Lessons Learned from the Rehabilitation and Reintegration of
Former Child Soldiers in Colombia.” London: Care International, 2008.
Case Study of the situation in Colombia and the successes and failures of rehabilitation and reintegration there.

Verhey, Beth. “Child Soldiers: Preventing, Demobilizing and Reintegrating.” Africa Region Working Paper
Series 23 (2001).
Discussion of the lessons learned about DDR in both Angola and El Salvador and how these lessons should be used to improve
the process.

Wessells, Michael. Child Soldiers: From Violence to Protection. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press,
Book that covers a number of issues facing child soldiers, from problems with disease, to the transition to civilian life, and the
hurdles faced by female child soldiers.

“What is DDR?” United Nations Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Resource Centre. 2008.
United Nations. 20 Aug. 2008 <http://www.unddr.org/whatisddr.php#9>.
Explanation of the DDR process as well as past and current DDR programs instituted or supported by the United Nations.

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