In 1994, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) coined the term ‘human security’ in the seminal UNDP Human Development Report. This report approached ‘security’ for the first time from a holistic perspective: security would no longer be viewed from a purely military perspective, but rather it would encapsulate economic, food, health, environmental, personal, community and political security. Although the concept of human security accords a higher status to individual than to governmental interests, human security discourses have continually emphasised the central role of States as providers of human security. This volume challenges this paradigm, and highlights the part played by non-state actors in both threatening human security and also in rescuing or providing relief to those whose human security is endangered. It does so from a legal perspective, (international) law being one of the instruments used to realise human security as well as being a material source or guiding principle for the formation of human security-enhancing policies. In particular, the volume critically discusses how various non-state actors, such as armed opposition groups, multinational corporations, private military / security companies, non-governmental organisations, and national human rights institutions, participate in the construction of such policies, and how they are held legally accountable for their adverse impact on human security.
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