I wonder whether we could find some comparison between this disturbing novel and the use of child soldiers in conflicts throughout Africa and in some Asian conflicts. These child soldiers are often kidnapped and forced to fight against their will and they are forced to fight against other children sometimes. These kinds of situations raise huge ethical dilemmas that must not be ignored.
Another aspect of The Hunger Games that is reflected in modern society is the disparity between the "haves" and the "have nots" the "favored" and the "disfavored." How much easier is it for the tributes from the wealthier districts to have a chance of success in the games, just as it is easier for the privileged in our society?
You could look at how the Hunger Games society got to where it is and think about the weapons of mass destruction we have. What would be the consequences of using these weapons? How did that all lead up to the ability for a society like the Capitol be able to oppress the surrounding districts.
I also like kmalone614's idea about comparing and contrasting it with a reality television show.
One of the best comparisons for The Hunger Games to something in modern day is to reality television. Though any of the reality television shows would work, shows like Amazing Race, Survivor and Big Brother especially compare well. Suzanne Collins is pointing us to a future we are headed towards if we continue to be entertained by people being hurt or doing extreme, dangerous things, under the label of entertainment.
Another connection to reality TV is the idea that we as a society will really watch anything. It is truly disturbing that the citizens in the book watch people kill one another, yet considering all of the violence that is on television today, and the "real life" shows that people watch, you have to wonder if we are quickly heading to that future.
If you explain a bit more about your assignment, perhaps we can help you more. Do you have to write something about a similar situation as depicted in Hunger Games? Does it have to involve humans? If not, you could compare it to pit bull fighting or cock fighting, where the animals are expected to fight until the death. If so, you could compare it to wars - there are a lot of wars going on right now, although the comparison would not be exact. The author herself got the idea for her fiction by watching reality TV, so perhaps you could compare it to "The Amazing Race" or "American Idol" or "The Biggest Loser."
Can it be funny or sarcastic? If so, you could write something about how surviving middle school or high school is like a battle until the death. Lots of young adult fiction focuses on THIS theme! If you are a student, you could have some fun with this.
Perhaps those of war or what is happening in North Korea with 'the leader' truly being a dictator and others are too scared to voice out their opinion, just like in the Capitol, because if they do so they would be execute or dealing with harsh punishments. In North Korea it has been said that there is multiple executions and for a male it is mandatory to be sent in the military.
I think that the Hunger Games most relates to the topic of war. Plenty of people are killed in these wars, just like in the Hunger Games.