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Meet your Director, Parth Patel!

Parth is a junior in the honors program pursuing a double major in molecular and cell biology and political science on the premed track. He participated in UCMUN as the director of the WFP last year, as well as participating in his freshman year as an assistant direct for the UNHCR. He had also done Model UN for his four years in high school. Parth is very passionate about directing another committee this year. He is excited to meet and work with all of his delegates. Outside of UCMUN, Parth is involved in many clubs and organizations including CLAS Student Leadership Board, Asha for Education, UConn PIRG, and UConn KDSAP. During his free time, he hangs out with his friends and binge watches The Office on Netflix. He looks forward to seeing some great debate at the conference. Please feel free to contact him with any questions or concerns at parth.p.patel@uconn.edu.

 

Meet your Topic Specialist, Kayla Almeida!

Kayla Almeida is a senior political science major minoring in urban and community studies. She is hoping to become an immigration or civil rights lawyer, and eventually a professor. This is her second year participating in UCMUN, having served in 2018 as a member of the Press Corps. Kayla is greatly passionate about social justice, volunteering, and photography, and she has been a freelance makeup artist since she was 15. She volunteers through Community Outreach, specifically participating in Mansfield Middle School Tutoring, and is a member of the Distinguished and Motivated Academic Scholars through UConn’s Puerto Rican and Latin American Cultural Center. In her free time, she loves spending time with her family and friends, cracking jokes, dancing, learning languages, reading, and watching Atlanta. Kayla can be reached at kayla.almeida@uconn.edu with any questions.

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Topic A: Economic Refugees in Latin America

Political disarray in several Latin American nations has resulted in families migrating out of their home countries to find new work and resources at an affordable price. The economic conditions of some nations in Central and South America have deteriorated severely, causing many to leave their nations to sustain their families. High levels of inflation in these countries has made it such that citizens are incapable of affording basic food and sanitary needs. Due to these unlivable conditions, many have made the hard decision to leave their homes in search of a place that prevents their families from starving. The migration of these refugees has resulted in masses trying to cross multiple borders in the hopes of reaching a nation with a stable economy. Many see the United States as their only hope of surviving, but the consequences of this migration can be deadly. With a growing concern for the wellbeing of these refugees and the conditions many are still living in within Latin America, it is crucial for the world to act. The UNHCR handles several migrations and aids in the living and transport of millions of refugees per year. However, the most significant question in the case of economic refugees is whether they fall into the definition of being a refugee. A refugee is defined as a person “who has fled war, violence, conflict or persecution” (“What is a refugee?” - UNHCR). It will be the responsibility of the UNHCR to determine the best definition of a “refugee” and to find a solution for refugees leaving their nations due to economic instability.

Topic B: Post-Resettlement Conditions of Refugees in Europe

Over the last few years, the resettlement of refugees in Europe has caused tension between nations. With some nations very willing to accept refugees and others strongly against the idea, refugees primarily from the Syrian Civil War are in the middle of a continent confused about its acceptance of new members within their societies. Over the last two years, Brexit has evoked a new debate within European nations about the control of borders and refugee acceptance policies. Many nations are now debating joining the UK on their tract to exit the European Union to regain their countries’ sovereignty to refuse refugees and non-nationals. As this movement’s nationalistic ideals sweeps Europe, it is essential for currently-settled refugees to be kept in mind. Many of these refugees moved to nations who were more accepting of their arrival, while now some nations are turning away from these refugees’ futures. It is the responsibility of UNHCR to make sure refugees are properly settled within their host nation, and in an environment where nationalism and xenophobia are expanding. The safety and wellbeing of these refugees must be taken care of, as they should feel welcome in their new homes. There is a possibility of more nations implementing stricter anti-refugee regulations within Europe and around the world. It is the goal of this committee to examine the concerns of resettled refugees and ensure their successful transition and assimilation into their respective host nations.