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Analysis on Human Security and its

Challenges ?
People over the world go through the same faces in life. We take the first breath, we learn how to walk, how
to speak and how to make a living. We try to do our best as individuals, as communities, as nations. We try
to improve our lives and the lives of those we care for and love. Unfortunately that is not always easy.
Regarding to skin colour, nationality, creed, education, IQ level, or even socio-economic background the
great fear of all of us is war. How safe and free are we as individuals? That is the central question behind the
idea of human security ( Bajpai, Kanti P. 2000)
The state remains the fundamental purveyor of security. Yet it often fails to fulfil its security obligations ...
that is why attention must now shift from the security of the state to the security of the people - to human
security. - Commission on Human Security. (2003)
A modern description of Human security is described by ( Ronald Paris 2001)
'The idea of human security is the glue that holds together a jumbled coalition of middle-power states,
development agencies, and NGOs all of which seek to shift attention and resources away from conventional
security issues and toward goals that have tradition-ally fallen under the rubric of international development '
Researches like (MacFarlane, S. Neil, and Yuen Foong Khong 2006) would go further and believes that the
notion of human security includes everything from substance abuse to genocide, making it impossible to
determine where policy attention is most required and priorities for action to be established.
Human security studies recognise the threats are multiple and interlinked and identifies the thresholds below
which welfare, dignity an survival are threatened intolerably. Human security can be perceived as an
organising concept' or principle ( king and Murray 2001)
This is why a multidisciplinary approach to human security is being formed. Human security can be
discussed from the point of view of human rights, security, law, humanitarian, economic, environmental,
developmental and other perspectives or angles. (Prezelj, Iztok.2008) Different actors have the same roles in
different levels in Human Security such as International Actors, State and Governance, Communities and
Individuals which includes four basic characteristics: universal, people-centred, interdependent and early
prevention and seven key components; economic, food, health, environmental, personal, community and
political security .No country can enjoy development without security, security without development, and
neither without respect for human rights (Paris 2001).
This essay will look into different challenges which Human Security faces and how those challenges can be
turned into positive outcomes.

Human Security Challenges

(Buzan 2008) argues that

Human Security as a concept aspires to explain almost everything and

consequentially, in reality explains nothing

That is why Human Security must classify different types of threats and their relationship compared to
traditional security while showing the interconnectedness of threats. Human security's large field of action
directly draws upon situations of individuals in secure environments. On the other hand, existing tools and
issues in Human Security simply re-labels old tools without proposing new policy mechanism. It represents a
short-term response to threats without providing long-term solutions (MacFarlane, S. Neil, and Yuen Foong
Khong 2006)
The main goal of Human Security is putting all its energy into the individual level instead of providing
instant answers. So far, it does offer new tools in order to evaluate and prevent by shifting the focus to
individuals and communities. Applying these tools can produce numerous long-term positive externalities on
other areas. Critics contend that human security as a filed is too wide to generate a specific research
agenda. The field of human security is vast enough for much needed interdisciplinary research. For
instance , military power is not a guarantee of well-being. If we accept economic and group security , threats
are to well-being, capacities and opportunities: including these issues leads to a democratisation of security
and empowerment of people to solve these problems. The role of the state in Human security challenges of
sovereign state as a the sole provider of security. Human security remains state-centric despite the
supranational dimensions of the concept, allowing for a prominent role of the state as a necessary condition
for individual security (Bhattarai, Rajan 2013)
A state in not the only ' policy actor'. A state may in fact threaten its own people, rather than assuring their
security Human security as a concept leads to a democratisation of security and international relations.
People become stakeholders in a common security and the sate supports this empowerment (Owen, Taylor
Yet, structural factors and the distribution of power at the root of insecurities are beyond the reach of the
individual. (Winters, Matthew S., Edward Newman, and Joanne van Selm 2004)
Political Security can come from political or state repression, human rights violations, mistrust in the capacity
of the state to provide and protect. International actors can provide with

support from transition to

democratic practices, reduction of corruption polices or promoting democratic culture.


Iztok.2008)That will affect possibly reducing of political exclusion, corruption and implementing good
governance. Impact on the democratic evolution of political institutions, respect human rights or improving
the functioning of markets. Negatives results can be imposing a particular type of governance system, risk of
creating new inequalities in distribution of power or lobbying and financial pressure by some groups.
Health and Human Rights are affect in places like in Bangladesh which are specially alarming. Poor people
in Bangladesh face a number of legal and law enforcement disadvantages, according to a new report by the
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
"Human insecurity is like a cancer," said UNDP Representative Jorgan Lissner in Dhaka, "No single group of
people or causes can be blamed for it, and it can only be tackled by all segments of society working closely

together - the Government, academia, political parties, civil society, local communities and the private
sector." (Abu Tayeb Rafigur Reahman , Dolgor Solomgo 2002)
According to ( Abu Tayeb Rafigur Reahman , Dolgor Solomgo 2002) one can see that the Human Security in
Bangladesh: In Search of Justice and Dignity shows that in a country where more than 70 per cent of the
population earns less than $2 a day, impoverished people face frequent court delays and lack access to legal
aid. As such, many Bangladesh are "priced out of the legal system." The poor are also at a disadvantage
when dealing with the police, who, according to the report, are most responsive to influential members of the
community. To address the problem, the report recommends improved police monitoring and training.
Another key finding reveals that despite constitutional and legislative guarantees, women in Bangladesh
continue to be subject to violence, acid throwing, murder, rape and trafficking. (The United Nations
Development Programme UNDP) suggests that the country tackle this problem through setting up a help
line, increasing the number of women officials, and launching a systematic awareness raising campaign
about gender-based violence. Human security as a discipline favours large non military solutions to threats,
ideally addressing root causes of tensions and conflicts before the war or massacre ensues, which might
then require military intervention, while the international community recognises a ' responsibility to protect',
guidelines for intervention, including prevention, have been created by the United Nations to prevent misuse.
Human security might look as a thereat to the state sovereignty as the concept of human security may be
used to justify military interventions and may impose military solutions to problems of the welfare state. It can
become a new excuse for interventionism in areas where sovereignty was previously respected (Bain,
William. 2001)
As individuals one of the main areas that concern us is Personal Security that can include crime and
violence. International donors can provide Law and Order, crime prevention or peace negotiations ICC
campaign or UN Security Council and UN trust fund for Human Right and Security. This could help in
strengthening human rights monitoring, demilitarisation , employment and gender empowerment. In the other
hand can replace states, militarisation and increasing in policing, privatisation of security or creating
stereotypes of ethic/ religious communities. Individual and universal are placed at the centre of the analysis,
people are seen as critical to international security and thus people are instrumentalised as international
security becomes dependant on individual security (Nef, Jorge. 1999)
The practitioners in Human Security have revolutionised and transformed the global agenda in the last two
decades with one success after another with the stabilising of The Coalition for the International Criminal
Court , Together for Justice the ICC Treat signed by over 139 and 123 countries have ratified . (Cassese,
Antonio, Paola Gaeta, and John RWD Jones, eds. 2002)
Security as ' responsibility' . Linking suffering in the other countries to one's own national security could lead
to 'wall-building' instead of ' bridge-building' .(Gladwin, Thomas N., James J. Kennelly, and Tara-Shelomith
Human Security is not based solely on the changing behaviour of various actors and 'bridge building'
capacities: sufficient conditions for a ' sustainable human security' involve restructuring legal and political
institutions, reconstruction of the economy and redefinition of prevailing social norms (Hampson, Fen Osler,
and Holly Reid.2003)
Economic security threats stem from poverty, unemployment, indebtedness, lack of income, etc. International

actors can provide poverty eradication strategies , safety nets and social welfare programmes and debt relief
affecting in a positive way increasing in incomes, social inclusion, empowerment of women, boosting the
private sector or reducing inequality. The 'freedoms' should be promoted because of their close connection to
human rights. (Evans, Paul M. 2004)
In a possible negative effect could be that states can become more dependent on foreign donors and is no
longer accountable to the population. Targeting women or other vulnerable groups can be a danger of
marginalising in the community. Conditional and political aid can affect the political system. Unregulated
private sector can increase the gap between the rich and the poor. Increase competition between groups.
Quick fix projects can harm the environment. Relief aid can have negative long-term consequences for
sustainability. (Ul Haq, Mahbub. 2003).
Environmental degradation, natural disasters, pollution and resource depletion are all threats rooted from
Environmental security . External action by international donors can implement strict environment laws or
management practices. This can affect in positive ways such recovering waste and polluted renewable
resources, environmental-friendly technologies, mitigating the negative impact of man made disasters
amongst others. In a negative way it might ignore agricultural traditions or exacerbating land disputes.
REFRASE Complexity and subjectivity make prioritisation difficult as human security's complex nature does
not allow policy-makers to prioritise between competing goals and security needs ( Paris 2001).
The strengthen of human security approach lies in its flexibility , which allows individuals and communities to
prioritise the different components of human security according to their needs. Since policy making is a
networked , flexible , and horizontal practice between different actors, each with their own hierarchy of
security needs and capacities to react, priorities can this be determined via a process of negotiation and
exchange between different actors (Uvin, Peter. 2007) , recognising that political actors 'priorities are a factor
of individual contexts.
Communicates securities threats can stem from discrimination and abuse of various groups from groups
armed conflicts, from oppression by traditional practices. Assistance from International donors can be from
Human rights interventions , good migration policies or secular education that will affect positively in areas
like social harmony or culture of non-discrimination. Negative outcomes can come from cultural interference ,
exclusion if targeting specific groups such as women or refugees and racist policies. Individual or societal
perception of gravity can trump quantitative evaluation of needs by the international community, so the
usefulness can vary according to the human security definition employed (Booysen, Frikkie 2002)
Tools for measurements are unclear. The concept's subjectivity limits effective measurement and analysis,
which is necessary given that existing resources for intervention are limited. A human Security Audit or
measurement will always be context-specific. (Landman, Todd, and Edzia Carvalho 2009)
Health security threats include inadequate health care, new and recurrent diseases including epidemics and
pandemics, unsafe , environment and, unsafe lifestyle. International donors can help in building health care
system, technical cooperation, health education programmes, primary care, prevention strategies or
regulating private health care. Some concerns can arise issues in equal access to health care, gender
empowerment, health environment, health labour force or nutritional programmes that are sustainable. A
conflict or disease like a Ebola in one country can easily spread to another affecting regional or even
international security. (Heymann, David L., et al 2015)

Tuberculosis for instance have more attention and resources that an issue like traffic accident. Something
we consider to tolerate as a fact of modern life, it kills far more people daily than terrorism, war or crime. In
global scale traffic accident is the 3 rd most frequent cause of death amongst people between the age of 5
and 45. Most of these deaths are in the developing world. A lot of this deaths could be avoided by creating
better infrastructure, better governance or even more child friendly streets, this issue are now under the UN
agenda. (Murray, Christopher JL, and Alan D. Lopez. 1997)
Another group who are particularly affected are women who have suffered burn injuries from accidents,
domestic abuse and a increase self-mutilation. In some countries the number of kids have overtaking the
amount of people suffering from HIV and Tuberculosis combined together. (Knudson-Cooper, Mary S.1981)
This effect is not only physical but also can affect their future as they could be kept back from school and
education because they suffered this type of injuries. They also can be housebound and dependant on
members of the families, leaving the family bankrupt. However there are solutions as burns are a solvable
global health crisis. ( Robinson, Emma, Nichola Ramsey, and James Partridge 1996)
Food Security. Threats stem from human hunger, famines and the lack of physical and economic access to
basic food. Help provided by international donors can provide public food distribution system, crop
distribution and improved farming techniques, meals in schools, food and work programmes affecting in
positive ways as hunger relief , increased and improved agriculture. On the other hand can discourage local
agriculture , affect the community metabolism by changing what they can eat, crops cannot meat the soil
conditions or food might be inequitable ( Paris 2001)
All this threats correlate and can produce a domino effect. For instance, a violent conflict leads top poverty
which could in turn lead to losses basic resources and infectious diseases. National borders know no barriers
in this aspect. (Pedersen, Duncan 2002)

The first such challenge is inadequate conceptual coherence. The Human Security Concept addresses
almost all aspects of human life, which is theoretically attractive, modern and comprehensive at first sight,
yet almost no serious interdisciplinary work exist at theoretical and practical level. Disciplines do not interact
enough, there are no joint methodologies, operational institutions that try to provide human security work too
much parallel and too little in close interaction. For these reasons, this concept is challenging to implement.
The Western Balkan complex human security situation is an excellent proof for this (Prezelj, Iztok.2008)
A further challenge is to make clear to the scientific community that the concept of human security by its
content is not something really new. This is believed by many people, who represent human security related
topics as something new. New are only the concept, stronger focus on individuals as referent objects and
comprehensiveness involved. (Prezelj, Iztok 2008)
The central challenge in conceptualizing human security likely refers to balancing human security with other
human rights. States are obliged to provide all human rights, including security. How to achieve this balance
is simultaneously a theoretical and practical dilemma. At the theoretical level, the concept of human security

has not answered sufficiently how to achieve this balance and does not integrate various disciplines enough
to at least be in position to do it. For the mean time,the Human Security Concept refers to providing security
within the limitations of respect for human rights. (Jones, Peris S.2009)
An interesting challenge appears with parallel and apparently unconnected development of human security
studies and critical infrastructure protection studies. Both actually deal with effects of threats on safety and
security of people but from different aspects. The key again is in the greater inter-disciplinarity that would, in
this case, exceed social sciences and natural sciences. (McGee, Anthony 2006).
The last challenge addressed in this essay refers to the problem of subjectivity in threat perception. This is a
fundamental problem in security academic research as threat perception determines shaping and
implementing security policies. Some more objective measure of human security situation should be
developed, and a benchmark in shape of a Human Security Index would be helpful. ( King, Gary, and
Christopher JL Murray 2001)