Human security is described as the protection of vital human freedoms. It entails the protection of people from critical and pervasive situations and threats by building on their aspirations and strengths. It also entails the creation of systems that provide the people with the building blocks of livelihood, survival and dignity. States, non-state actors and intergovernmental organizations all have a role to play in enhancing human security. States promote and protect human rights through internal and external mechanisms. In terms of domestic human rights protection, states are required to comply with the 1990 CSCE Copenhagen document through various initiatives. They include the conduction of free and fair elections by secret ballot at reasonable intervals, compliance with the constitution and the rule of law and accountability by the state to the electorate. Also, it is appropriate that the police and the military be accountable to civil authorities. A major initiative is that fundamental freedoms and human rights should be guaranteed by the constitutions and should be in conformity with international law.
Non-state actors can include non-governmental organizations, human rights groups and other entities. Most of these non-state actors use advocacy initiatives as well as reporting mechanisms to ensure that the rights of citizens are not violated. Intergovernmental organizations such as UNDP and the World Bank also have their own approaches to human security. For example, UNDP approaches human security as being inclusive of human development factors such as economic security, food security, health security, personal security, political security, environmental security and community security. The World Bank approaches human security as being related to income stability, protection from crime and psychological security. Therefore, various entities have different human security approaches. For the military, usually civilians constitute the greatest number of casualties during military conflicts. However, the military has a role to protect civilians as an obligation within the conduct of war.
Icelandic Human Rights Centre. The Role of States. Accessed on 20 Feb. 2014. [http://www.humanrights.is/the-human-rights- project/humanrightscasesandmaterials/humanrightsconceptsideasandfora/humanrightsact ors/theroleofstates/]
Hussein Karim, Gnisci Donata, and Wanjiru Julia. Security and Human Security: An Overview of Concepts and Initiatives. Sahel and West Africa Club, Issues Paper, 2004; 1-49.