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Country: Kingdom of Denmark

Council: United Nations Human Rights Council


Agenda: Right of Return of Refugees
Introduction:
Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that Everyone has
the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
However, the increase in the overall number of refugees due to the rising number
of conflicts, as well the inability of most of these refugees to return to their country
of origin, shows that the hopes of this article has yet to be fulfilled.
Severity of the Problem
As of 2013, a total of 51.2 million people have been displaced worldwide, the
main cause being that of conflict and persecution in their countries of origin.
Here, that refers to where the refugees initially came from, before being displaced
somewhere else. After 33 years, Afghanistan still remains as the biggest source
country, with Syria coming in as a close second. It does not help that this number
will continue to increase over the years, and that many conflicts have yet to be
resolved. With intensified fighting as well as complicating political situations, it is
indeed very worrying because many of these refugees will continue to remain
displaced in an entirely foreign country.
The Right of Return of Refugees
As mentioned earlier, the Right of Return refers to enabling people to return and
re-enter their country of origin. This paper in particular, will be focusing on
displaced refugees that currently face problems re-entering their countries
whether due to continued conflict or other complications. Today, the Right of
Return remains as an important and aspirational human right, though it has not
been passed into international law. Rather, international law grants countries the
right to decide for itself who it will give citizenship to.
An Overview
As such, the question of the feasibility and practicality of establishing the Right of
Return of Refugees has been a long and enduring debate of the United Nations
Human Rights Council (UNHRC). While the UNHRC aims to help these refugees
return to their countries of origin, the onus is on that of the countries themselves
to grant the refugees this right. This is indeed a very complicated and complex
matter, as the UNHRC lacks the authority to force countries to accept their
refugees, nor can the UNHRC alter international law. With all these in mind, the
Kingdom of Denmark, in this paper, will analyse the matter from the point of view
of a country that believes in the Right of Return, having ratified the 1951
Convention of Refugees, followed by a breakdown in the current policies
regarding the Right of Return of Refugees in both the Kingdom of Denmark as
well as the international community, as well as several solutions that may be
useful in the status quo.
Causes:
The Rising Number of Unresolved Conflicts
Very evidently, the main cause of the increasing number of refugees will be the
rising number of conflicts and complications in the world. Unresolved conflicts
such as the situation between Palestine and Israel, Afghanistan, Syria, as well as
the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) have contributed to the rising
number of refugees, and the very fact that they remain unresolved means that
many of these displaced refugees will not be able to return to their country of
origin until these conflicts have been dealt with. Moreover, some of these are just

externally displaced people. There are more that have been internally displaced
due to internal conflicts, for example in Congo, Darfur, Somalia and Colombia.
Moreover, the number of refugees may not be that accurate due to the complexity
and inconvenience for governments and humanitarian organisations to register
the numerous number of refugees in the world. As such, the unsafe environments
caused by the rising number of conflicts will continue to dampen efforts to resolve
the issue.
Willingness of the Government
Moreover, it does not help that many governments are not willing to take back
these refugees. Earlier, it was mentioned that international law stated that
refugees can only be taken back if a countrys government is willing to do so as
well as grant them citizenship. This, being a limitation of the UNHCRs effort in
tackling the issue, is indeed a thorn in the flesh. The plight of the internally
displaced deserves the most concern, because most of their very own countries
refuse to take back their very own people, nor help them. It is very disheartening
to see this happen, and international (as well as local) humanitarian organisations
are currently trying their best to provide the internally displaced with the same
protection and assistance as those who are currently official citizens of the
country and not internally displaced. However, if governments continue to take
this kind of stand towards their very own refugees, the problem will be even
harder to solve and it may even escalate.
As such, there is a need to not only look at the possible ways of resolving
conflicts and making the environment a safe one to return to, but also attempt to
make governments more willing to take back their own people.
Current Situation/Measures:
Status Quo in Denmark
Denmark supports the UNHRCs cause to aid these refugees in returning to their
country of origin, and will make attempts to entertain any suggestions that we
may be able to contribute to.
Denmark currently houses about 11 000 refugees, an already decreasing number
compared to stats in 2010 and 2009. However, Denmark is not the source
country of many refugees but only a few. There are laws in place with regards to
refugees and registering their citizenship with the Danish government, as well as
integrating into the society through tests involving their language and cultural
history.
Denmarks Actions to Support the Cause
The Kingdom of Denmark, in 1951, ratified the UN Convention Relating to the
Status of Refugees. Since then, we have been a constant supporter to refugees
that enter the country, although we do have a specific set of rules and regulations
put in place to ensure the full integration of refugees in the country.
Moreover, Denmark, as a part of the European Union, has constantly
recommended suggestions that were substantial in organising the refugee
situation around the world. Some of these suggestions include the re-focusing of
aid to refugees as well as the call for a more coordinated European Union policy
towards refugees. This suggestion stated that assisting refugees in locations

close to their country of origin will be beneficial, as it will be more cost effective,
expedient and accessible to even the poorest and weakest refugees. A jointly
administered European Union policy is intended to make the enforcement
process easier and more effective, and in addition it would allow for the burden
of asylum seekers to be shared more equitably among the European Union
member nations. The other part of this plan was to improve the regional
management of refugees. They hoped to do so through the establishment of
protection zones in areas nearby conflict or war, and that by increasing peoples
security close to home, they will be less inclined to seek asylum elsewhere.
However, those who did wish to seek asylum in Denmark could turn in their
application close to their home countries and stay there while their application is
being processed.
Although this was ultimately rejected by the European Union, it is enough to see
that Denmark has put in a lot of effort to come up with solutions and to support
other countries.
Moreover, Denmark is home to the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), a
humanitarian, non-profit and non-governmental organisation that was founded in
1956. The DRC provides assistance to conflict-affected populations and
especially refugees (including internally displaced ones). They work on the basis
of humanitarian principles and the Human Rights Declaration, and they assist
refugees in all aspects of integration as well as asylum procedures.
Internationally, the DRC actively participates in supporting the protection of
refugees, and promoting durable solutions for conflict-affected populations.

International Efforts
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has also played
a pivotal role in protecting and supporting refugees, at the request of the
government, or even at the request of the United Nations. The UNHCR focuses
on assisting refugees especially in the areas of voluntary repatriation, local
integration or resettlement to a third country. The UNHCR also provides
emergency shelters for internally displaced persons, as well as provide basic
necessities for these persons.
The 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 protocol helps to protect the rights of
these refugees. As the only global legal instruments, they cover the most
important aspects of the refugees rights and life. The 1951 Convention contains
the rights of refugees and also highlights the obligations of refugees toward their
host country. It was stated that a refugee should not be returned to a country
where he or she faces serious threats to his or her life or freedom. 148 states,
including Denmark are now parties to one or both instruments while a large
number of states not parties to the international refugee instruments have shown
generous approach to hosting refugees.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near
East (UNRWA) was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1949
in response to the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict. The agency assists Palestine
refugees by providing them with direct relief and to date, there are more than 4.8
million Palestinian refugees registered with the UNWRA. The UNWRA provides

registered Palestinian refugees with protection and advocacy, and offers these
refugees education, health care, relief and social services as well as emergency
support and response in times of armed conflict.
Further Solutions/Suggestions:
Calling on NGOs for Humanitarian Aid
The Kingdom of Denmark hopes that with the assistance of NGOs such as the
DRC, and other humanitarian-refugee organisations around the world, proper
care and aid can be provided to these refugees in their host country or displaced
position to ensure that at that moment they will be well taken care of even before
considering them to be returned to their country. These NGOs play a very huge
role in the welfare of millions of refugees, and have helped countless refugees in
ensuring their safety. As such, Denmark hopes that these NGOs may continue to
exercise the humanitarian spirit by continuing their very commendable actions.
The Power of Pivotal Countries and UNHCR
Countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom together with the
cooperation of the UNHCR have the power to influence governments to take their
refugees back if their countries are safe. Being very influential states, these two
countries play a very important role in the political aspect of helping these
refugees return to their country of origin. By encouraging other states to take
back their refugees, we can fulfil some aspect of the refugees Right to Return,
which is what our entire debate is about.
Closing Remarks:
The Kingdom of Denmark strongly believes in respecting most, if not all human
rights. The Kingdom of Denmark has been a constant supporter of the rights of
refugees, and hopes to see changes in the governmental mindsets of those who
refuse to take back these refugees and recognise them. The Delegate of the
Kingdom of Denmark is open to suggestions and possible solutions, and will
consider all that is sent to her. The Delegate hopes for fruitful debate on the topic,
and that the council may reach a widely-accepted solution soon.

Country: Kingdom of Denmark


Council: United Nations Human Rights Council
Agenda: Children in Armed Conflict
Introduction:
The Kingdom of Denmark expresses grave disappointment that the United
Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has to discuss such a grave situation.
Children have been affected by armed conflict in countless ways, from sexual
assault, to torture and killing. The Kingdom of Denmark is deeply disturbed by the
very mention of the Six Grave Violations, brought up by the United Nations
Security Council some time ago. These violations are as follows:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Killing and Maiming


Child Recruitment
Sexual Violence
Attacks Against Schools and Hospitals
Denial of Humanitarian Access
Abduction

It is without doubt that these six points are direct violations of the Declaration of
Human Rights. In fact, the Kingdom of Denmark, as a proud advocator of human
rights, hopes that the UNHRC will be able to resolve this problem or lessen it.
Therefore, this paper will address the severity of the problem, its causes, current
actions in place to tackle it, as well as the possible solutions that are within the
reach of the UNHRC.
An Overview
We, as a council must understand that children, while symbols of peace and
innocence, have been ironic parts of armed conflict since medieval times, where
they were used as soldiers at ages as young as three. However, as society
progressed, it was a common understanding that young children were not meant
to be on the battlefield. Yet even with that common understanding, children were
then used for other various purposes, such as pleasure and comfort, or as
objects to vent anger on. Now, this has not stopped and is still a very grave
problem, especially with the consideration of various unresolved conflicts in less
developed parts of the world, such as Syria or Congo. With the ever-increasing
number of conflicts and the threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
(ISIS), the number of children exploited by war criminals continue to rise at an
alarming rate.

Severity of the Problem


According to the United Nations Secretary-General, a total of 53 parties, in the
year 2008, committed grave violations against children, all of which include the
six mentioned above. Children have also been used as objects to humiliate
families and to force the displacement of girls from their families so that they can

be sexually violated. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, these cases of sexual


violence continue to rise at alarming rates, and it does not help that the
perpetrators are not prosecuted due to the corrupt nature of the government as
well as the lack of security and enforcement of the law there. Moreover, the Tamil
Tigers in India repeatedly used children for suicide attacks.
Children are also killed in military operations and even through landmines. These
are direct violations of the childs right to life and is chargeable in humanitarian
law, but likewise the same problem of the lack of enforcement continues to
dampen the efforts of the UNHRC. The council must constantly remember that
there is a need to enforce humanitarian law and make sure that those
responsible pay for their misdeeds. Evidently, the problem at is already
fundamentally very severe, and it does not help that many limitations lie in the
way of reducing the problem.
Causes:
Forced and Voluntary Recruitment
Many war criminals recruit or drag these children into armed conflict. For starters,
most child soldiers are in fact forced to enter the battalion, and even if they are
not forced, children end up deciding to enter it anyway because of the need to
survive, making their recruitment to a certain extent, voluntary. Moreover, many
war criminals being older than the children, exert their authority over the children
and are easily able to force them to take part in the activities they want the
children to take part in, and if they refuse to, they will most likely exert physical
violence.
Poverty
This is the main reason why many children are pulled into armed conflict. It is a
notable observation that many countries facing conflicts as of now are mostly
less-developed ones, and many children end up having to follow the orders of
war criminals to ensure their survival in an already difficult environment. Many
children join military groups in a bid to escape poverty, and the rest that do not
end up being exploited either way.
Lack of Law Enforcement
Being a place of conflict, it is already very difficult to ensure that basic laws can
be put into place, not to mention laws regarding children and their rights. Even
with an acting government, the focus is on the conflict but not on the welfare of
the citizens, and it does not help that the country is largely less-developed
compared to most modern societies.
Therefore, it is essential to tackle the root problem, which is that of poverty,
followed by attempting to resolve the conflict, and lastly enforcing the law to make
sure less children are dragged into armed conflict.
Current Situation/Measures:
Status Quo in Denmark
Evidently, Denmark has not and will never have the issue of children in armed
conflict, being a largely peaceful and war-free country. However, the Kingdom of
Denmark is largely supportive of efforts to solve the problem, as it recognises that
this problem is pivotal in the chase of fulfilling proper human rights.

Denmarks Actions to Support the Cause


The Kingdom of Denmark is a proud advocate to the United Nations Childrens
Fund (UNICEF), and constantly contributes to the cause. UNICEF is the lead UN
agency on children, and supports governments in the fulfillment of their duties
towards children but only enters countries by invitation from the government.
In February 2007, the Kingdom of Denmark and 58 other states endorsed the
Paris Commitments to protect children from unlawful recruitment or use by armed
forces or armed groups and the Paris Principles and guidelines on children
associated with armed forces or armed groups during a ministerial meeting.
These documents reaffirmed international standards and operational principles
for protecting and assisting child soldiers and followed a wide-ranging global
consultation jointly sponsored by the French government and UNICEF.
International Efforts
To tackle the specific problem of child soldiers, the non-governmental
organisation - Child Soldiers International has taken up various roles in the
international community and has played a pivotal role in ensuring that the world is
aware of the situation regarding child soldiers, constantly posting information
about areas that constantly recruits many child soldiers.
UNICEF also likewise provides humanitarian aid to many children in conflict
areas such as Congo. Their assistance is key in ensuring that children will not
only survive but be monitored, so that they will not turn to the military or give in to
their requests. With this, many childrens lives can be saved.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) also plays a very important role in
apprehending the people who perpetrate children. The Rome Statute of 1998,
which established the ICC, recognised conscripting or enlisting children under
the age of 15 and using them to participate actively in hostilities as a war crime.
Since the Statute came into force, crimes committed against children during
armed conflict have figured prominently in indictments issued by the ICC in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, and the Central African Republic. In
the first case before the Court, Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, a former warlord from
eastern DRC was found guilty on the charges of recruiting and using child
soldiers under the age of 15 in the Ituri conflict from 2002 to 2003.
Further Solutions/Suggestions:
Calling on NGOs for Humanitarian Aid
The Kingdom of Denmark would like to call on NGOs such as the International
Committee of the Red Cross, UNICEF, UNHRD to provide humanitarian
assistance to children in places with unresolved conflicts. With the humanitarian
aid these organisations bring about, more children can be protected and avoid
being dragged into conflict.
The Power of Pivotal International Organisations
The Kingdom of Denmark would also like to propose that the European Union
(EU) continue promoting its policy on protecting childrens rights, as this form of
education is important as it may reduce the number of children involved in an
armed conflict if yet another conflict arises again. Moreover, the EU should

continue to publicly state their disapproval towards having children involved in


armed conflicts in order to promote a more influential stand in the world.
Creation of a Sub-Committee in the United Nations
As of now, a reason why many children are still being dragged into armed conflict
is because war criminals are not stopped immediately after they commit a crime,
leading to more children being involved. The Kingdom of Denmark proposes a
sub-committee in the United Nations meant to investigate corrupt officials that are
mainly responsible for violations including but not excluded to the six grave
violations as brought up by the security council. This sub-committee will not be
involved in the humanitarian aid of children, as UNICEF and the other NGOs will
be able to handle that.
Closing Remarks:
Children definitely do not deserve to be dragged into armed conflict, forced or
not. As children, they also have the right to live and to choose, in respect of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Kingdom of Denmark is supportive
of any solution that will support this cause, as well as provide substantial
solutions to resolve the problem or to reduce it. The Delegate of the Kingdom of
Denmark hopes for fruitful debate and for the council to come to a respectable
consensus.