High-level Country Report to the United Nations Economic and Social Committee (ECOSOC) Humanitarian Affairs Segment
The United Nations ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment is holding a meeting to dis-cuss the issue of international migration. ECOSOC’s Humanitarian Affairs Segment is a unique platform that brings together UN Member States, UN organizations, humanitarian and development partners, the private sector and affected communities. Each June, they discuss and agree on how to best tackle the most recent and pressing humanitarian concerns. Interactive panel discussions and side events share the latest information on current opportunities and challenges. For this activity, countries will be invited so speak on migration issues as they relate to their country.
Examples of countries that can be used for this activity:
Americas: Columbia, Guatemala, Mexico, United States, Venezuela (and more)
Africa: Central African Republic, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda, Tunisia (and more)
Asia/Oceania: Bangladesh, China, Syria, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea (and more)
Europe: Germany, Greece, Italy, Romania, Turkey, United Kingdom, Ukraine (and more)
This interactive activity will take 1-2 two full class periods, depending on the size of the class and the time limits put on each presentation. It involves both oral and written work and includes work to be done in the classroom and work at home (as determined by the instructor).
UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division — Country Profiles page found at https://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/migration/data/estimates2/countryprofiles.asp
World Migration Report 2018 and 2020.
Each student in the class will role-play a High-level government official (‘delegate’) from one of a list of countries chosen by the teacher and/or the class. [Note: this activity can be modi-fied to have students work in pairs as country representatives]. Students will prepare a 2-3 (or de-termined by the instructor) minute oral presentation that will be delivered in front of the whole class.
• When speaking, students should avoid the First Person (I, me, my) and should always speak from the perspective of the country. (For example: “The delegate of Rwanda would like to speak on issues that relate to our country…” or “We believe that these issues are important for Mexico because…”)
• Each delegate should prepare a placard that will be placed on the desk in front of them for the duration of the activity.
• One student will serve as Chair of the Humanitarian Affairs Segment. While other students prepare their reports, he/she will prepare an introductory speech in which he/she outlines some of the most pressing issues surrounding the issue of migration around the world.
Each country delegate will use the World Migration Report 2020 and other outside sources to prepare a presentation that addresses how international migration affects their coun-try.
Delegates should consider the following in their presentations:
• A summary of the migration issues in your country (including what types of migra-tion are most prevalent? Internal? Regional? International? Irregular? etc)
• If international migration is an issue, is your country primarily an ‘origin countriy, ‘transit country’, ‘destination country’ or any combination of the three? Where are people from your country going/coming from?
• What kinds of migrants are present in your country? (Examples: migrant workers, environmental mobility, Refugee and asylum seekers, Displaced peoples, Stateless people, and more)
• What are the most pressing challenges in the country as it relates to migration?
• What are some solutions to the pressing challenges present in your country?
Each delegation should also prepare a list of 3-4 specific international policies that could be imple-mented to help with various issues related to migration. These issues may involve migrants’ rights to healthcare, education, food, housing, etc; rights to safe passage through countries; rights re-garding family units; or other issues. These policy suggestions should be submitted to the Chair at the start of the meeting.
Students will arrange their seating into a circle if possible. Countries will take turns giving their presentations. At the conclusion of each presentation the Chair will entertain 2-3 questions from other members of the meeting. This will continue until all countries have had a chance to make their presentations.
After the presentations are finished, the Chair will introduce some of the recommendations that have been provided to him by each delegation. He/she will read the recommendation and then invite delegates to discuss and debate their merits; delegates should speak in favor or against the recommendation and make arguments for their positions. The number of recommendations dis-cussed will depend on time allowed by the instructor.
Students will write a 2 page response to this activity in which they reflect on what they have learned. The response should include a minimum of two important issues related to migration that need to be addressed as well as suggestions about how to address them.
Students will be graded on all aspects of this activity. Instructors will have discretion about how to grade the activity and should make assessment elements known to the class before the activity begins.
• Oral presentations
• Questions asked and/or responses to questions
• Participation in the debate portion of the activity
• Written activity
• Integration of module material