Director: Justice Hehir
Topic A: Economic Implications of Racism, Xenophobia, and Intoleranc
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” So goes the famous saying by American civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr.; a valuable reminder that inequality, no matter where or to what extent, diminishes our concept of justice, essential to our understanding of human dignity.
The presence of racism, xenophobia, and related intolerance and their economic implications in the contemporary world threaten our ability to operate as a cohesive human race to address the most important issues of our time. Intolerance and its economic implications are fundamentally unsustainable, as that which divides us in the face of collective challenges is perhaps the most serious impediment to progress that can be.
Topic B: Youth with Disabilities in Developing Countries
An estimated 180-220 million youth around the world have disabilities; 80% of them live in developing countries. An estimated 98% of these youth do not receive an education, a substantial barrier to their development and future employment. Despite the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2008 by the United Nations, which affirms the human rights of persons with disabilities, youth with disabilities around the globe continue to endure inaccessibility to education and employment, in conjunction with poverty and stigma from their communities. Addressing the inequality suffered by youth with disabilities in the developing world is crucial in allowing them to pursue their ambitions freely and fully; the ultimate expression of equality.