A true measure of success? The discourse and practice of human security in haiti

This article attempts to tease out whether human security has been integrated in institutional discourses and practices, beyond its obviously limited currency in UN Security Council debates and resolutions. It starts from the observation that the underlying priorities of a human security approach - promoting physical safety, violence reduction, human rights, control of the instruments of violence, use of child soldiers, and so forth - are increasingly showing up in these forums, even when the label of human security is formally eschewed. In fact, several governments within and outside of the Security Council, have worked hard to implement human security policies through the so-called protection of civilians (POC) agenda. In the past five years, POC has made some important progress. While the expression human security itself may not have successfully entered the lexicon of a great many member states, human security priorities manifestly have. This article demonstrates this through a critical examination of two particular cases: the UN-sponsored missions in Haiti, spaced roughly ten years apart, before and after the human security agenda emerged. Haiti is an excellent case study because it is a priority engagement of proponents of human security, and because it is a prism through which many similar peace-support operations can also be examined or compared.
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