The Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs Committee (SOCHUM) is charged by the United Nations General Assembly to deal with items relating to a range of social, humanitarian affairs, and human rights issues that affect people all over the world. Commonly referred to as the Third Committee, SOCHUM thus has the ability to tackle issues that have direct impact on millions of people. During the 2013 Hofstra University Model United Nations Conference, SOCHUM will deal with two issues: 1) women and education and 2) human trafficking.
Women's access to education in developing countries has been a long-standing issue in SOCHUM. It is well established that ensuring women's education has a positive impact on overall economic development, yet many countries have not taken the steps necessary to address the issue. SOCHUM must deal with problems such as: what are the barriers for women in securing their educational rights? With improvement around the world, why has the situation for women gotten worse in parts of Africa? How can the international community promote greater access to education in countries where there may be cultural barriers?
Human trafficking is another long-standing problem in the international community. There have been many international actions through the UN and other bodies to try to half human trafficking, but by some estimates the problem is greater now than it has ever been in history. All regions of the world deal with this issue, but it is especially problematic in parts of Southeast Asia and Latin America. Since this is, by its nature, a transnational problem, the UN and SOCHUM in particular must find more effective and efficient methods of tracking human trafficking and implement more effective policies to combat it.