The CSH, in its final report Human Security Now, defines human security as: «…protection of the vital core of all human lives in ways that enhance human freedoms and human fulfillment. Human security means protecting fundamental freedoms, those freedoms that are the essence of life. It means protecting people from critical (severe) and more present (widespread) situations and threats. It means using processes that build on people’s strengths and aspirations. It means creating political, social, environmental, economic, military and cultural systems that together provide people with the foundations for survival, livelihood and dignity.» (CSH: 2003: 4).
As a people-centered concept, human security places the individual as the «subject of study». It therefore takes into consideration a broad set of conditions that threaten survival, livelihood, and dignity, and identifies the threshold for considering that human life is intolerably threatened. Human security is also based on a multi-sectoral view of insecurities. Accordingly, human security entails a broad understanding of threats and includes the causes of insecurity, for example, in relation to economic, food, environmental, personal, community and political security.
In addition, human security emphasizes the relationship between threats and responses when dealing with these insecurities. In other words, threats to human security are mutually reinforcing and linked in two ways. First, through a domino effect in the sense that each threat feeds the other. For example, violent conflict can lead to deprivation and poverty, which in turn could lead to resource scarcity, the emergence of infectious diseases, education deficits, etc. Secondly, threats within the same country or area can spread and have negative repercussions for regional and international security.
Likewise, as a contextualized concept, human security recognizes that insecurities vary considerably from one scenario to another and therefore provides contextualized solutions that take into account the particular situations they are intended to address. Finally, by addressing the risks and causes of insecurities, human security is preventive and brings a dual focus on protection and empowerment.
I invite everyone to read Matias’ post with the topic of the day
Finally, I encourage everyone to reflect on the concept of the day. No one else but us can re-signify our own being