Human Security Resources

A general trend has developed, amongst governments, academics, and (especially) activists working in IGOs and NGOs worldwide that has moved the focus of security away from traditional concepts–such as protecting borders from external threat–to a new approach that focuses specifically on human security. What is “human security?” Well, the Human Security Report Project, at Vancouver, Canada’s Simon Fraser University, defines human security in this way:

Unlike traditional concepts of security, which focus on defending borders from external military threats, human security is concerned with the security of individuals…

For some proponents of human security, the key threat is violence; for others the threat agenda is much broader, embracing hunger, disease and natural disasters. Largely for pragmatic reasons, the Human Security Report Project has adopted the narrower concept of human security that focuses on protecting individuals and communities from violence.

Traditional security policy emphasizes military means for reducing the risks of war and for prevailing if deterrence fails. Human security’s proponents, while not eschewing the use of force, have focused to a much greater degree on non-coercive approaches. These range from preventive diplomacy, conflict management and post–conflict peacebuilding, to addressing the root causes of conflict by building state capacity and promoting equitable economic development.

The website has an informative and very useful set of links to various organizations, governmental institutions, research institutes, etc., that focus on issues of human security.

Another excellent source for information related to human security is the Human Security Gateway. Below is a thumbnails which will take you to a screen shot of their home page. (Notice the RSS feed icons in the left sidebar.)

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