9 Tips to Adopt Security/Humanitarian Actions

Security/Humanitarian Actions: In several senses there is a natural fit between human security concepts and humanitarian principles.

The concern with the protection of people or individuals is a core humanitarian value as well as of human security.

In this sense it shares human security’s merging of development and security and the casting of the protection of life as the referent object.

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Security/Humanitarian Actions

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9. Security/Humanitarian Actions

Human security and humanitarian action also shared a similar process of evolution.

The rise of the human security discourse in the 1990s paralleled.

An equally rapid expansion in humanitarian roles.

And a broadening in the objectives of humanitarianism that was labeled the ‘new humanitarianism’.

Humanitarian assistance, once encompassing a narrow set of emergency based life saving interventions.

Conducted by a small group of relatively independent actors.

Became ‘an organizing principle for intervention in internal conflicts.

A tool for peacebuilding and the starting-point for addressing poverty.

As well as a palliative in times of conflict and crisis.

It also merged with development concerns such as the promotion of social justice and societal cohesion.

8. Security/ Humanitarian Actions

The human security discourse was also used as a tool to resist aid policies becoming hijacked by narrow security concerns.

States, such as the Republic of Ireland, promoted the Human Security concept as a way to ensure a more balanced approach to security and development issues both nationally and within the EU.

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7. Security/ Humanitarian Actions

Despite the sense of a natural fit between human security concepts and humanitarian principles they have enjoyed a difficult relationship.

Human security perspectives have the potential to interfere with the traditionally apolitical nature of humanitarianism in conflict situations.

Leading to a blurring of the boundaries between politico-military interventions and those designed primarily to reduce suffering.

In another sense the emphasis on human security has legitimized the idea of armed international intervention as a “moral duty” if states are deemed incapable or unwilling of protecting their citizens.

Similarly the adoption of ‘holistic’ security and development strategies within UN Integrated peacekeeping missions is viewed by some as having the potential to compromise humanitarian principles.

6. Security/ Humanitarian Actions

The way in which the ‘broadening of aid objectives.

From pure survival support towards rehabilitation.

Development and/ or peace-building’ led to the ‘dilution of commitment.

To core humanitarian principles’.

Furthermore, many humanitarian organizations have sought to develop rights-based approaches.

To assistance strategies which challenge the apolitical approach of traditional humanitarianism.

Rights based approaches view poverty and vulnerability as rooted in power relations – specifically.

The denial of power, which is itself related to the denial of human rights.

Hence rights based approaches to humanitarian action relate the achievement of security.

For marginalized people to the realization of their human rights and often to broader social change.

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Multimandate humanitarian organizations that seek more inclusive.

And participatory forms of citizenship and governance.

And the achievement of broader social rights outcomes.

Therefore risk enmeshing apolitical humanitarian responses in advocacy programmes.

That push for broader social changes.

5. Humanitarian intervention

The application of human security is highly relevant within the area of humanitarian intervention.

As it focuses on addressing the deep rooted and multi-factorial problems.

Inherent in humanitarian crises, and offers more long term resolutions.

In general, the term humanitarian intervention generally applies to when a state uses force against another state in order to alleviate suffering in the latter state.

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4. Security/ Humanitarian Actions

Under the traditional security paradigm humanitarian intervention is contentious.

As discussed above, the traditional security paradigm places emphasis on the notion of states.

Hence, the principles of state sovereignty.

And non-intervention that are paramount in the traditional security paradigm.

Make it difficult to justify the intervention of other states in internal disputes.

Through the development of clear principles based on the human security concept.

There has been a step forward in the development of clear rules of when humanitarian intervention can occur and the obligations of states that intervene in the internal disputes of a state.

3. Security/ Humanitarian Actions

It was considered a triumph for the human security approach.

As it emphasized and gathered much needed attention to some of its main principles:

  • The protection of individual welfare is more important than the state. If the security of individuals is threatened internally by the state or externally by other states, state authority can be overridden.
  • Addressing the root causes of humanitarian crises (e.g. economic, political or social instability) is a more effective way to solve problems and protect the long-term security of individuals.
  • Prevention is the best solution. A collective understanding of the deeper social issues along with a desire to work together is necessary to prevent humanitarian crises, thereby preventing a widespread absence of human security within a population (which may mean investing more in development projects).

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2. Security/ Humanitarian Actions

The report illustrates the usefulness of the human security approach.

Particularly its ability to examine the cause of conflicts that explain and justify humanitarian intervention.

In addition, it could also act as a paradigm for identifying, prioritizing and resolving large transnational problems.

One of the fundamental factors that act as a stimulus for humanitarian intervention in the first place.

However, human security still faces difficulties concerning the scope of its applicability.

As large problems requiring humanitarian intervention usually are built up from an array of socio-political, cultural and economic problems that may be beyond the limitations of humanitarian projects.

On the other hand, successful examples of the use of human security principles within interventions can be found.

1. Security/ Humanitarian Actions

The success of humanitarian intervention in international affairs is varied.

As discussed above, humanitarian intervention is a contentious issue.

Examples of humanitarian intervention illustrate, that in some cases intervention can lead to disastrous results.

In other cases, a lack of clarity as to the rules of when intervention can occur has resulted in tragic inaction.

As was witnessed during the Rwandan genocide.

One example is of a successful humanitarian intervention.

And also of humanitarian principles being applied is East Timor which, prior to its independence.

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While there are numerous examples of the human security approach in action, two notable global political events with direct ties to the human security agenda include the development of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) principles guiding humanitarian intervention and the passage of the Ottawa Treaty banning anti-personnel landmines.

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