The Special Political and Decolonization Committee (SPECPOL) is the Furth Committee within the General Assembly of the United Nations. It deals with a variety of subjects which include those related to decolonization, Palestinian refugees and human rights, peacekeeping, mine action, outer space, public information, atomic radiation and University for Peace. During the Hofstra conference, SPECPOL will address two issues: 1) child labor in SE Asia and 2) elections monitoring.
Child labor is a problem worldwide, and it is especially prevalent in Southeast Asia. The International Labor Organization, supported by the UN, has implemented many safeguards against the worst forms of child labor but there is still much to be done. The international community faces multiple challenges, and specific states such as Thailand and Indonesia still need to implement additional regulations and develop effective enforcement to protect the rights of child.
Elections monitoring is a way in which the UN and entire international community can help transitioning states implement real democratic reforms. Many states, such as Liberia and Egypt, have long histories with authoritarianism and do not have the infrastructure to implement free and fair elections. The international community must step forward with more resources – in terms of money and technical assistance – to help such states overcome these difficulties and fulfill the mission of the UN to promote representative forms of government around the globe.