Next MUNA conference:
February 6, 7 & 8, 2019

The question of improving the rights of both mentally and physically disabled prisoners

Issue in GA 2: Human Rights

Prisoners around the world with mental and physical disabilities face even more hardships than non-disabled prisoners. While a prisoner should per definition atone for their crimes, this does not mean that we should permit the violation of their rights as humans, or as prisoners. Prisoners’ rights are protected by both national and international law. International conventions relevant to prisoners’ rights include, amongst others, the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The latter is especially important in any discussion of this issue, having been signed by 175 nations and ratified by 160. The Convention details guidelines as to how persons should be treated in order to preserve respect for their autonomy and dignity. Unfortunately, as can be seen by examining the articles included with this document, these rights are not always protected as well as they could be. Especially, but not exclusively, in third-world countries, where there have been instances of prisoners with mental and physical disabilities having had their rights systematically violated. Torture and abuse, or simply lack of treatment, is, unfortunately, prevalent in some cases. As a United Nations, it is our duty to protect the rights of any person, and as such any prisoner, regardless of their state of health. It is your task as a delegate to create a resolution that ensures that the human rights of prisoners in all parts of the world are protected, especially those suffering from mental and physical disabilities.

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