Human Security Discourse



The human security concept has become a milestone in the field of security studies. The core of the concept is considered to be the idea that the focus shifts from the state as the referent object to humans, to individuals. Human security represents an effort to re-conceptualize security in a fundamental manner. It is primarily an analytical tool that focuses on ensuring security for the individual, not the state.20 Exploring options aimed at mitigating threats to the insecurity of individuals thus becomes a central goal of policy recommendations and actions. In line with the expanded definition of human security, the causes of insecurity are subsequently broadened to include threats to socio-economic and political conditions, food, health, and environmental, community, and personal safety. Policy initiatives generated through the application of the human security framework have incorporated considerations far beyond the traditional focus on military force, greatly reducing the emphasis on armies, if not replacing them altogether.

It is possible to trace the roots of human security through the collective efforts of the United Nations’ interventions in peace, security, and development. The concept of human security is predicated on a premise of rights and entitlements, articulated and legislated through the adoption of the landmark Universal Declaration on Human Rights.27 the Declaration was the first and most emphatic step in the articulation of basic socio-political and economic conditions guaranteed to every single human being by virtue of their birthright. Article 3 says, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person.” 28 Such statements have laid the foundations for human rights to be institutionalized into the structures of global governance. Human security builds on the universality and fundamental acceptance of these rights. Disarmament continues to play a central role in the realization of human security. At a global level, treaties such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Anti-Ballistic Missiles Treaty were designed to lessen the threat of global nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare.

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