Threats to Human Security
Are threats to human security heightening menacingly? Anyone who cares to look around will answer in the affirmative. Humanity is currently faced by many threats today unlike at any other time in history. Surprisingly, the greatest threats come from within nations and not from invading armies.
And to make matters worse, more harm is visited on weak populations such as children and women compared to people who are likely to put up resistance. Currently, there are more than 30 armed conflicts taking place-most involving antagonists within certain countries-not between nations.
According to the United Nations (UN)
There were 11,200 civilian deaths in Afghan conflict last year. This indicated a 4 percent rise compared to the civilian deaths recorded in 2014. In the same year, female deaths in Afghan rose by 37 percent. Basically, this means that 1 out of 10 war casualties in 2015 were women. Now, what is true in Afghan is also happening in Syria as well as other places where humans are facing constant threats. And the international community seems indifferent to all these.
As bombs fall on hospitals and schools in war torn areas and families continue to lose their loved ones, it is time to deliberately bring up the urgency of human security as a public discussion. Though most people only perceive national security as the ability to the state to strengthen its defense and coercive capabilities, there are many more insidious foes compared to those without.
In South Asia, governments spend more than 60 billion dollars stockpiling weapons. Unfortunately, the region is home to 2/3 of Asia’s poor. If this trend continues unabated, South Asia is likely to experience social upheavals. When a country has angry citizens, such a state is on the brink of war.
In Rwanda, dwindling resources put immense pressure on the land. Over time, economic desperation gave Hutus a platform to fan ethnic hatred that culminated in the 90-day genocide where hundreds of thousands of civilians died in 1994.
Now, when countries are keener on increasing their military budget compared to education and food security budgets, it is time to raise eyebrows before humanity kills itself. Without money to purchase weapons and fund war, people would not have the stomach to fight. Rather than spend money on seeking for effective cure to diseases such as HIV/AIDS or Zika, humans are busy funding their own extinction.
Racial discrimination has been building up for years and is now reaching boiling point. Today, engineered wars among different races are becoming the norm. Without any sense of shame, humanity is in a mega competition with itself. Parents are instructing their children to avoid strangers and people from other races. When a single shooting is committed by the police, it is painted by the media as a race issue.
Whenever you look around, people are turning a deaf ear and blind eye to atrocities and war crimes committed by tyrants. Today, there is a general misconception especially among right-wing circles that Muslims are dangerous terrorists except for a few. Unfortunately, this myth is no different from what Hitler and other powerful people used extensively to get rid of people they did not like.
When human conflicts are coupled with natural disasters such as floods, environmental degradation and starvation, the future looks quite bleak. To reduce or mitigate the threats to human security heightening menacingly, it is time for world leaders to focus less on symptoms and seek to address the real underlying issues that lies within.