MEET THE CHAIR
Topic A: Inequality in Education
In developing nations, the path to development and advancement is easily carved by those who have access to an education. Yet in many countries around the world, children are denied access to education for a host of reason. The worst inequity that comes to mind is the lack of access to education that girls have in countries like Afghanistan or Nigeria. However, the problem extends to discrimination along ethnic lines and class divides. Children in rural areas are far less likely to go to primary school and significantly less likely to go to college. Minorities face prejudice and a sometimes insurmountable achievement gap. Children with disabilities are denied schooling altogether in cultures where their disability is poorly understood. The UNHRC is mandated to address human rights abuses, and as a right given under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, education and addressing obstacles facing those who most need it, are under the purview of the UNHRC.
Flavia Cuervo is a junior at Harvard University and concentrating in Economics with a secondary in Romance Studies focusing on Spanish and French. She was born in Cuba and moved to Miami at the age of three where she now lives. On campus, she is the graphics chair for the Harvard Public Opinion Project, the Publisher of the Harvard Political Review and Public Relations Chair for An Evening with Champions. She started participating in MUN conferences her freshman year and this conference will be her ninth. She has been Legal Committee Director for Harvard Model United Nations 2016, Director of Administration for Harvard National Model United Nations 2016, and UNHCR Director for HMUN India 2016. She is passionate about politics and policy and is excited to see these issues being discussed on an international stage.
Topic B: Gentrification
The issue of gentrification is a one that no longer only affects large, develop metropolises. More than before, small cities in developing nations are also suffering the effects of urban renewal and the gentrification that comes when it is done poorly. What makes this a human rights issue? Gentrification is oftentimes regarded positively for reviving neighborhoods and decreasing crime rates. However, the reality is that in order to make room for high-end developments like luxury apartments and shopping malls, poor people living in these neighborhoods have to be displaced—sometimes forcibly. Te displacement of under-resourced groups through gentrification is a human rights problem that gets little attention, but that is just as important as displacement through other mechanism. Those who are forced to leave their homes often can’t afford comparable housing and face diminished living conditions. Te UNHRC’s mandate provides a forum for discussion about the issue that silently violates human rights.