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  • Published on: 21st September 2019
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Forgotten was legitimate security being soughed by the common/local people in their daily life ranging from protection from threats of diseases, hunger, unemployment, crime, social conflict, political repression and environment hazards (ibid, 1994: 22).

The dark shadow of cold war was not read before the end of cold war, therefore, shifting politico-economic tension between the two super power blocks led to emergence of many conflict within nations rather than between nations (UNDP, 1994: 22; Tadjbakhsh and Chenoy 2007, 11). Consequently, “Human security is a child who did not die, a disease that did not spread….a dissident who was not silenced”, it is not concern with weapon but rather concern with human life and dignity (UNDP 1994, 22). Hence, this indicates that, even if human security has been overshadowed by the nation’s sovereignty to remain dominant after the United Nations inauguration, its existence took quite silent process and continued creeping as the world phenomena advances until the end of cold war that awaken it.

As asserted by UNDP (1994) that, the concept of human security must focus on the four essential characteristics as being:-

Universal concern, as such, it is relevant to everyone, everywhere and every time, whether in rich or poor countries; unemployment, drugs, crimes, pollution, trafficking and human right violations are common threats, although the intensity varies from one person to the other and from one nation to the other, its manifestation also varies in scope.

The human security components are interdependent, such that, the security of individual are endangered anywhere in the world. Phenomena such as trafficking of drugs, arms and human being, pollutions, diseases, terrorism, ethnic disputes and social integration are non-isolated because of the porous borders as a result of globalization wave.

Easy to ensure human security through early prevention to reduce adverse effect and wide spread of threats. In other words, it is easy to prevent these threats upstream than downstream. For instance containing situation of contagious diseases like Ebola, mudbug, bird flu etc is much easier and less costly than attempting to sure the disease after wide spread of it.  

Human security is people centered with major concern on how people live in their communities, interact with states and other stakeholders, availability of various choices, exercise of their rights, available opportunities and access to social services.

Nevertheless, human security on one hand seek for safety from such chronic threats like hunger, diseases and repression, and on the other hand, it seek for protection from sudden and hurtful disruption in the pattern of daily life in their communities, workplace and it exist at all level of national income and development(UNDP 1994: 23). Human security can be silent process, sudden, abrupt, loud emergency, structural violence or stem from forces of nature; since human development is widening of choices of people, human security cannot be equated to human development instead human security means that people can exercise these choices safely and freely and be sure that the opportunities present today is not lost tomorrow (UNDP 1994: 23). As such, human security and human development are linked such that defect in one will lead to devastation effect on the other, progress in one side will positively impact of the other and viscous cycle continuous (ibid 1994: 23). Hence in this case when the people acknowledge and experience deprivation, they become less tolerant and develop a feeling of violence.

When people are insecure, they become a burden on society, subsequently, destabilize the state security, as such, human security does not mean taking away from people the responsibility and opportunity for mastering their lives (ibid 1994: 23), but instead seek to protect and empower people to realize their potentials and capability to participate in their own development and own their own living. Human security is not a defensive concept but rather integrative concept, has notion of solidarity, universal, and critical ingredient of people’s participatory development unlike territorial or military security (UNDP 1994: 24).

Emanating from the two aspect of human security as of freedom from fear and freedom from want as it was recognized at the inception of UN as equal weight was given to both territorial and the people, but later the concept skewed towards freedom from fears creating a huge gap (UNDP 1994: 24). Henceforth, security ought to be changed to much greater stress of people’s security than from exclusive stress on territorial security; and much less security through armament to security through sustainable development (ibid 1994: 24).

Under Human Development Report of UNDP (1994), security has been categorized into seven categories as economic, personal, community, health, environmental, food, and political security (UNDP, 1994: 24-5) as discussed below:-

Economic security requires a basic assurance of income from productive and remunerative work-through employment by public or private sector, wage employment, self-employment or from publicly financed safety net; where the main threat is poverty (UNDP 1994: 25; Tadjbakhsh and Chenoy 2007, 15). The insecurity include unemployment in developed countries while the developing countries experiences both unemployment and underemployment. However, the aspect of nepotism is in rise as immigrant may be considered as a last resort. Those employed may feel insecure if the job is contractual. Unlike in developed countries with well streamlined social safety net policy, developing countries hardly have social safety net policy for vulnerable, unemployed, disable and elderly persons.

The global shift towards more “precarious” employment reflects changes in the structure of industry. Manufacturing industries are reducing and more jobs are at the service sector that may requires highly skilled personnel and it may be temporary; the working conditions in the informal sectors which has highly proportion of total employment.  Self-employment is even less secure in rural and urban areas in developing countries as compare to wage employment because it all depended on factor of production and market strategies for the case of agricultural sectors. The insecurity created by high interest rate for business community to assess capital (loan) from the bank to finance their business, hence business people are out competed in the market arena.

Food security where the main threat is hunger and famine, requires that all people at all times have both physical and economic access to basic food, through growing it by themselves, buying it or public distribution systems, although some 800 million people around the globe go hungry (UNDP 1994: 25; Tadjbakhsh and Chenoy 2007, 15). Food is a right and it is an individual entitlement to access food at all time in need. For an individual to be food secure implies that food is readily available in terms of reduced food desert, however, food may be available but due to low purchasing power, people may go hungry because they are unable to purchase the require amount and varieties of food stuff. Equitably distributed to ensure that everyone can have access to it-however, may poor people lacks purchasing power, stability of food-constant supply of food contribute to food insecurity and storage of food to remain in good state for proper.

Health security refer to access to health care and health services, safe and affordable family planning where threats are injury and diseases (UNDP 1994: 25-28; Tadjbakhsh and Chenoy 2007, 15). People in developing countries, experience greater health insecurity in rural areas and slums within urban setting, and women, children, disable person, elderly and other vulnerable persons are more exposed to diseases than in developed countries. The major cause of death in developing countries are communicable/infectious diseases and parasitic diseases  linked to nutrition, poor sanitation and hygiene, unsafe environment, contaminated water which kill 17 million people annually, 6.5 million from acute respiratory infections, 4.5 diarrheal diseases and about 3.5 million death from tuberculosis.(UNDP 1994: 27), however,  in industrialized countries, circulatory diseases, pollution causing cancer and non-communicable diseases such as hypertension and obesity. In developing countries unlike developed countries, there is a wide gap between accesses to health care among the rich as compare to the poor. Due to structural adjustment programmes in developing countries that led to privatization of health sectors, the rich can afford better health services in private hospitals because they have the economic power; as it is rather difficult for a poor and vulnerable person to go for the same. The ratio of patients to a doctor is rather high in developing countries as compare to developed countries. Due to health security threats, there is high maternal mortality rate, child mortality rate in developing countries than in developed countries, coupled with wide spread of HIV/AIDS totaling to an estimation of 80% infected persons in developing countries. Consumption of food with incomplete dietary component put people in developing countries at health risk as they are bound to suffer from food related diseases.

Environmental security requires a healthy physical environments where the threats are mainly pollution, environmental degradation and resource depletion- security required from degradation of the local ecosystems, air and water pollution, deforestation, desertification, salinization, natural hazards like floods, landslides, cyclones, earthquakes and drought, man-made disaster like poorly built roads, slums, accident from nuclear weapons etc (UNDP 1994, 28-30; Tadjbakhsh and Chenoy 2007, 15). A nation state which is highly industrialized and has high population growth, subject the environment into intolerable strains.  Contaminated water is the greatest environmental threats in developing nations because of improper systems of waste management from industries, factories, sewerage lines and house hold residues, as a result, most diseases in developing countries are water born related diseases. Clean water for human and animal consumption is reducing drastically, besides, human activities on land is too great beyond the environmental carrying capacity. An estimated eight to ten million acres of forested or swampy areas of land is lost yearly. Desertification is being accelerated by human activities like overgrazing, deforestation and poor conservation methods.

In addition, there is rapid salinization of irrigated land in commercial agricultural land. On the other hand, pollution is the major environmental threats in developed world, harming the health of living people and damaging the natural resources like water bodies, air causing respiratory track infectious diseases. Some natural disease are provoked by human activities leading to intense droughts and floods. In regards to land shortage, many people are forced to relocate to much more marginal territory that increases the risk of natural hazards like reclaimed sea areas, settlement on the foot of mountains in quest for fertile land risk landslide threats. However, early warning signs might be prominent but sometimes these natural disaster is beyond national resources and calls from for international attention that in most cases are slow, uncoordinated and inadequate in terms of equipment, finances and human resources.

Personal security is vital for every one and it requires safety from physical violence and from various form of threats where the threats includes various forms of violence such as sudden , unpredictable violence from the states in form of physical torture inflicted by the national forces(army, police and security personnels), threats from other states such as war, cross border terrorism, threats from other group of people such as ethnic, or religious conflict, threats from individual, held  hostages, street violence. Abuse, rape and threats directed against children, women (domestic violence), child neglect and child labor, child prostitution and suicidal act against oneself or drug abuse (UNDP 1994: 30-31; Tadjbakhsh and Chenoy 2007, 15). Sudden and unpredictable violence threatens every individual in both rich and poor countries and it manifest itself inform of physical torture by the states agencies (police physically abuse opposition party supporters in favor of ruling party supporters), inter states war (sexual harassment is used as a war mechanism against women and girl child as a revenge), ethnic tension, gang violence etc. in many communities, human live is at a great risk because of ever increasing risk of violent crimes. In both developed and developing countries, people are bound to traffic, industrial and construction sites accidents. In most developing nations, women are not treated equally like men- domestic violence, rape and other sexual form of abuses manifest in a woman and girl child life, women are the last to be consider for a job and the first to be fired from a job just because of their gender. In a family settings, unlike in developed world where a woman’s income is equal to a man’s income, in developing countries women shoulder the greatest share of responsibility in a family, main factor of production and less appreciated by their spouses, society and the state, besides, children that should have been mostly protected by the society, states are instead physically abused and subjected to labours beyond their physical, mental ability.

When we talk about community security, it seek to protect the socio-cultural integrity of the ethnic group. And as such it requires security from any oppression from traditional practices, hash treatment of women, discrimination against ethnic or indigenous groups and refugees, group rebellion and armed conflicts (UNDP 1994: 31-32; Tadjbakhsh and Chenoy 2007, 16). In every society, an individual derive their cultural identity from the membership registered in that society through family by birth, community organization, an organization, racial or ethnic group. Members of the communities are practically supported through family systems, community educations, and protection of the weaker persons. Traditional communities especially in developing countries where social life is still paramount perpetuate oppressive practices like female genital mutilation, slavery on less privileged persons, however, such practices are reduced with the help of mass media, legal action and some human right activist. Inter-tribal conflict still happens among the social tribes in a bit to share the scare resources especially among the pastoralist communities and farmers as well-leading to massive death and viscous cycle of conflict. Limited access to social services because of the cultural identities is still common in developing countries. Women are victims of traditional rituals in the name of ethnic cleaning and sacrifice virgin girls to appease gods (spirits), besides, suffering casualties during war or any conflict of any nature.  Some section of indigenous people still remains vulnerable in the hands of the stronger tribes or states, in times of natural disasters, they remain less prioritized in the national emergency activities, and instead they are exploited.

Political security requires respect for human rights, protection from military dictatorships or abuses, political or state repression or torture, ill treatment, disappearance, political detention and imprisonment, where, the main threats are political repression-the people should live in a society that honors their basic human right: the transition within the states from a dictatorial leadership to democratic leadership has given chance to people to have reasonable amount of freedom of expression during multiparty elections.(UNDP 1994, 32-33; Tadjbakhsh and Chenoy 2007, 16 ) However, within this democratic government system, there is limited protection of people against the states repressions, systematic torture in what is term as “safe houses”, ill disappearance or treatment of the opposition citizens.

The government oppresses the citizen through structural violence that lead to inappropriate social service provision and strengthen the military services as a priority. The government in this case, spend more money and other resource on military establishment than its people. Taking case of Somalia that spends much resource on military operations than other institutions like education, health sector, judiciary and other social sectors. Political threats can also be inform of suppression of people freedom of speech, press and access to information from the media especially in Moslem dominated countries. Human rights violation is common in political unrest nations like South Sudan, where the ruling regime decision is above the constitutions and to an extreme some states are lawless states where every government business is done under the command and wish of the Forces at the expense of their own citizens.

All these threats are linked and reinforces one another. In a political insecure environment, the citizens’ rights are infringed , the community remain become hostile because everybody would struggle to for scarce resources within the environment for survival leading to depletion of resources ; low purchasing power within unstable environment deter one for accessing food that is required for daily consumption hence insufficient food trigger food related diseases.

Much as the UNDP 1994 clearly group all these security threats into seven components, global human security still remains a challenge because threats with the countries easily spread to the other countries because of porous borders. Environmental insecurity manifested in climate change, land degradation, land reclamations, deforestation, industrial waste deposit in water bodies and emission of greenhouse gases is a global problems (UNDP, 1994: 34). Water contamination by industrial countries, affect the fresh water bodies in developing countries.

Trafficking of drugs, human and guns are worrying global security concern- this transnational phenomenon has created invisible trading chain that involved both producers and consumers creating violence in societies especially in the mineral rich areas; millions of people have lost of their lives, impossible accessibility of some areas to deliver goods and services and displacement. Discrepancies among countries’ welfare systems and job opportunities trigger massive migration creating resource constrain in the host/receiving countries. While other displaced persons due to political unrest seek asylum in another country, other migrate to a country with good welfare system to seek for better life. Thus, when human security is threaten anywhere within the globe, it can affect security everywhere ranging from inequality, social disintegration, pollutions, crimes, terrorism, ethnic conflict and trafficking of drugs, human and arms.

Technological advancement that control informations flow in the global communication arena ranging from banking system, market strategies, transfer of resources from one country to the other has contributed to global human security threats. If resources can be transferred, and so do poverty especially with massive influx   of immigrants.

Neither pollution in industrialized and developing countries nor contagious diseases like ebola respects borders.

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