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Inventory of initiatives related to human security in Latin America

In Latin America, unlike other regions, there are not many initiatives on human security developed from 1994(an important milestone for the development of the human security concept introduced in the 1994 Human Development Report).  The projects and actions launched during the last fifteen years or so, can be divided into the following categories: Reports on Human Development, regional initiatives by Multilateral Bodies, and, national initiatives and academic programs. It is important to clarify that this Inventory does not include the human security projects funded by the United Nations Trust Fund on Human Security (UNTFHS), which are part of another study (see “The Human Security Approach from the Perspective of Three Case Studies”)

Among the human development reports about human security, the 1998 Chilean Report -"The Paradoxes of the Modernization” stands out. Three other reports refer to the concept and its usefulness: Colombia, 2000; Costa Rican, 2005 and Central America, 2009-2010.

There are two regional initiatives directed towards human security. The first one was developed by UNESCO / FLACSO Chile, between the years 2001 and 2005, which promoted the conceptual and political debate in different countries. The other initiative is carried forward by the United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD), from the year 2000 and it’s still active. UNCRD has launched activities, in the following areas: action research, in-country and international training courses; human security assessments as inputs to local and regional development policy, planning and projects; project formulation; and development of pilot community projects.

Regarding multilateral or inter-governmental integration bodies, within the Organization of American States (OAS), the Declaration on Security in the Americas, adopted at the Special Conference on Security in Mexico City in 2003, reaffirm that the basis and purpose of security is the protection of human beings and recognizes that the Hemisphere “face both traditional threats to security and new threats, concerns, and other challenges that, in view of their complex characteristics, have meant that security is multidimensional in nature”. The OAS has created the Secretariat for Multidimensional Security (SSM), whose mission is to coordinate the cooperation among the member States to fight threats to national and citizen security.

Also the Central American Integration System (SICA) has approved the Framework Treaty on Democratic (1995), which refers to democratic security that is “inseparable from the human dimension. Respect for the essential dignity of individuals, improvement of their quality of life and full development of their potential are prerequisites for security in all its aspects” has among its principles.

National initiatives include the Mexico City Special Report on Human Security, 2006-2008 and a study on human security in Bolivia carried out by UNDP in 1996. In addition, in Brazil, the Viva Rio Foundation has a program on human security, which promotes the development of public policies that contribute to the reduction of armed violence.

Also at the national level, the Ecuador Political Constitution, adopted in 2008, enshrines the right to human security (Art. 393) as a duty that the State must guarantee.

There are some academic programs in the region aimed to the study of human security, or with a human security perspective, which include the Masters of the University for international cooperation and the University for Peace, both in Costa Rica, the undergraduate program of the University CAECE in Buenos Aires Argentina, the Latin American Chair on Criminology and Human Rights Alessandro Baratta in the National University of Costa Rica, among others. (Full version available only in spanish)

Start date 05/03/2012 09:00:00



This project is made possible thanks to the contribution of The United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTFHS)

Copyright 2010 Inter-American Institute of Human Rights