Committee Blogs
Topic 1

The Refugee Sitaution in South Sudan

A year after gaining independence in July 2011, South Sudan suddenly faced major political and socio-economic challenges, which left approximately 835,400 refugees and asylum-seekers without homes, shelter, or aid from the international community. Efforts to resolve the situation and transform the country into a functional state have been beset by inter-communal violence, rebellions by militia groups, and localized conflicts over land and natural resources. Preexisting tensions between the opposing regions of Sudan and South Sudan that contributed to the conflict were further exacerbated by the return of refugees from Sudan and elsewhere in Africa. In 2012, hundreds of thousands of more refugees fled the area. The displaced people sought safety, security, and sanitation in these refugee camps, but ultimately faced even greater hardships such as food scarcity, the spread of diseases, insufficient water sanitation, overpopulation, and malnutrition, citizenship rights, and poor reintegration strategies. It is the duty of SpecPol to address and remedy the constant struggles faced by Sudanese individuals inside and outside of refugee camps.

Topic 2

Growth of Slums in Africa's Developing States

According to the latest UN Habitation Report in 2009, 32% of the world’s current urban population is living in slums. Typically considered the areas of the poorest quality housing in the most unsanitary conditions, slums are often home to numerous illegal activities such as crime, drug abuse, and prostitution. The UN classifies slums as areas that have inadequate access to safe water and sanitation, poor structural quality of housing, overcrowding, and insecure residential status. In recent decades, the growing depth and magnitude of these urban slums conditions has ultimately led to the severe suffering of millions of innocent civilians. The regions suffering the most from slums are not concentrated within one area, but are instead spread across the globe, with 38% of the total slum population in Asia and a majority in sub-Saharan Africa. As such, this topic will look specifically at slums in developing African countries. States must address why slums begin and exist, a phenomenon that is created and exacerbated by migration. In understanding the root causes of urban slums, SPECPOL will be able to develop appropriate strategies for improving the living conditions of African slum-dwellers.


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