Human rights and security

A consequence of  international and domestic conflicts is always the worsening of the human rights situation. However, violations of human rights can also cause conflicts. Increasingly, countries want to use the topic of human rights to achieve foreign policy objectives. Human rights have become an important component of security policy.

Human rights and security are indivisible and integrated in today’s world. The protection of human rights presumes the assurance of the security of people and countries. Security shortfalls are accompanied by great risks for human rights.

Contemporary pockets of conflict are also characterised by the lack of security and violations of human rights.  The examples from the last decade include Kuwait and the Gulf War, Bosnia, Rwanda, Afghanistan, Iraq, the civil wars in Africa, the Arab Spring, especially Libya and Syria, and many other pockets of conflict.

Security does not automatically protect human rights. Despotic regimes are often able to ensure security, but themselves violate human rights. On the other hand, the protection of human rights presumes unconditional security.

Issues related to human rights and security are not a problem in today’s Estonia. However, since it is a problem in today’s world, it affects every country, including Estonia, in several ways:

  1. Estonia, as a member of the international community, as a democratic country and a country that has acceded to international human rights documents, also has a responsibility to help in the promotion of human rights elsewhere.
  2. Security shortfalls and the related risks to human rights can spread and no country is protected against this if a timely contribution is not made to measures that can ensure security and human rights.

Protecting human rights and guaranteeing security is primarily the responsibility of the state. At the same time, in democratic societies, a clear line is not drawn between the state and NGOs. This makes NGOs and therefore every person responsible for human rights and security.