Topic 1: Victim Assistance and Protection of Witnesses of Organized Crime
Organized crime functions as criminal enterprises working to profit from illicit activities that are often in great public demand, such as trafficking in drugs, firearms and even persons. Its infiltration of states and political processes threatens the legitimacy of institutions and undermines the rule of law. Furthermore, police-based information regarding organized crime can often be misleading and a source of disinformation as organized crime is difficult to measure and is often linked to institutional corruption.
Organized crime affects the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals in several direct ways. It hampers the promotion of well-being for all and insurance of healthy lives (Goal 3) through increased narcotic drug usage as a consequence of drug trafficking, as well as the production and trafficking of falsified medical products. Criminal syndicates have become one of the greatest threats to the environment today, as wildlife and forest crime have escalated significantly (Goal 15). Victims may suffer from physical, mental, emotional and financial harm, from which some may never recover. In this way, organized crime practically inhibits the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development thus posing serious obstacles to the achievement of Goal 16.
The cooperation of victims and witnesses is crucial to achieving successful prosecutions of criminal offenders and dismantling organized criminal groups. Yet one of the challenges faced by many criminal justice systems in the investigation and prosecution of crime is obtaining such cooperation. Victims and witnesses may be reluctant to give information and evidence because of perceived or actual intimidation or threats against themselves or members of their family. This concern may be exacerbated when people who come into contact with the criminal justice system are particularly vulnerable. Victims who receive appropriate and adequate care and support are more likely to cooperate with the criminal justice system in bringing perpetrators of crime to justice. However, inadequacies of criminal justice systems may mean that victims are not able to access the services they need and may even be re-victimized by the criminal justice system itself.
Topic 2:Empowering Women and Girls: Preventing Trafficking and Addressing Gender-Based Violence
Human trafficking is a global problem that affects millions of people, with women and girls being disproportionately impacted. Traffickers often prey on vulnerable women and girls who lack economic opportunities, education, and basic rights and use violence and coercion to force them into exploitative situations. Gender-based violence, including sexual violence, also perpetuates the cycle of exploitation and can lead to trafficking. The objective of this topic is to explore strategies for empowering women and girls to prevent trafficking and address gender-based violence. This also includes addressing the root causes of vulnerability and discrimination. Empowering women and girls can reduce their risk of being trafficked and improve their ability to resist exploitation. Empowering women and girls is crucial to preventing trafficking and addressing gender-based violence. Studies have shown that women who have access to education, economic opportunities and healthcare are less likely to be trafficked or fall victim to violence. Additionally, addressing the root causes of vulnerability and discrimination, such as poverty, lack of access to education, and harmful gender norms, can help reduce the risk of trafficking and violence. Access to healthcare and legal services can help protect their rights and prevent them from being exploited. Overall, this topic aims to encourage discussion on how we can empower women and girls to prevent trafficking and address gender-based violence, and how we can work together to create a world where women and girls are safe, equal, and free from exploitation.
When looking at connecting this topic to the theme of “Beyond Truth: Mastering the Paradox of Information” we can look at the significance of education and access to information when it comes to prevention. It is also an endemic issue when it comes to misinformation around the topic. Throughout the last few years with the increased use of social media, there has been an increase in the prevalence of misinformation regarding the topic. Social media such as TikTok and Instagram have been flooded with trends and viral concepts regarding trafficking helplines and even ideas of how to recognise someone being trafficked. A lack of verified sources creates information overload and miscommunications preventing actual victims from requiring help for reaching out.
Meet the Chairs!
Hello there! My name is Milla and I am currently a first-year International Relations and International Organisation student, but I will be switching to pursuing International and European Law at the University of Groningen. I have been involved with MUNs since before 2019 which included organising four MUN conferences of my own as well as attending more than I can count or remember. I have also chaired my own share of conferences, including committees such as UN Women, which I must admit is not anything like UNODC. However, I promise I, alongside my co-chairs, one of whom happens to be my flatmate and old high school classmate, will bring you a smooth and fruitful debate.
To say a bit more about myself, I have been involved in politics since I can remember, even attending my first protest at the age of four. Since then, anything politics, law or involving conflict sparked my interest. Even though my academic interests might have taken a lead in my life, I was also for a long time deeply indulged in sports, as I have played basketball for a total of six years, even getting to nationals in my home country.
I am looking forward to meeting all of you at TEIMUN 2023!
Fun Fact: I am deathly afraid of birds and will scream and duck every time one gets near me. (pun intended)