Human Rights Council
Welcome to the Human Rights Council Page!
Human Rights Council Chair and Liaison Officer
Brian Chiang -- Chair
I was born and raised in sunny Singapore, a "little red dot" on the world map that is nowhere near China! I am now reading Law at The Queen's College at Oxford, and am interested in international criminal law, human rights and international development. Having participated in MUNs across the United Kingdom, served on the Secretariat of OxIMUN 2012, and successfully defended Saif al-Islam Gaddafi at the ICC simulation at EuroMUN 2012, I am excited to be headed to Geneva, where I know that I will find a very different MUN culture, meet a whole new set of friends, and facilitate great debates. I will be your Chair of the UN Human Rights Council at GIMUN, where I hope to introduce delegates to the mechanisms and machinations of the HRC, as well as to forge friendships and foster cultural exchange.
Giulia Rigazio -- Liaison Officer
My name is Giulia Rigazio and I will be the Liaison Officer for the Human Rights Council during the 2013 GIMUN Annual Conference. I grew up in a small village close to Turin, North Italy.
1. Human Rights, sexual orientation and gender identity
Aspects of the fight against discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) people range from questions of mere decriminalization, employment equality, or the right to serve in the military to questions of registered partnership and parenthood.
Over the last years, many countries have taken on the issue at a national legislative level, some granting LGBT people the same rights other citizens normally enjoy. At the international level, however, there has been a significant lack of effort to even acknowledge that discrimination against LGBT people exists.
On June 17 2011, the Human Rights Council adopted its first resolution on the topic and called on the High Commissioner for Human Rights to present a report on discrimination against LGBT people at the end of this year. A first panel discussion on the topic will be held in early 2012.
The topic is very controversial among member states because for many countries LGBT rights are cultural-based rights and it is therefore crucial for the GIMUN Human Rights Council 2012 to take on the challenge of discussing the issue and of coming up with innovative solutions. In particular, Member States will have to discuss the explicit recognition of discrimination against LGBT people and ways to counteract it. This will especially include the discussion and recognition of the Yogyakarta principles, which have marked a turning point in the history of LGBT rights.
2. Limits to freedom of speech
Many constitutions and fundamental human rights treaties guarantee freedom of expression, granting individuals the right to speak freely without censorship. However, this right is not absolute. Those guarantees normally include limitations to prevent obscenity, incitement to crime,or war propaganda in order to keep public order.
Even though it is generally accepted that limits to freedom of speech are necessary, opinions diverge on the question of how far those limitations should go. At the UN, the issue arose especially following 9/11, when OIC member states demanded that publications in western countries critical of Islam be banned.
At the GIMUN Human Rights Council 2012 we will tackle the general issue of hate speech regulations and in particular focus on religious defamation. How much freedom of speech can society bear, can too much freedom of speech endanger a democratic society itself and is criticism of religion permissible? Those are only a few questions that will have to be answered by the GIMUN Human Rights Council 2012.
Human Rights Watch
People's Republic of China
United States of America
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