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A Comparison of the United Kingdom and Canadian Approaches to Human Security

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Chapter Summary

The notion of human security has been embraced by Canada and cautiously approached by the United Kingdom. This chapter argues that although human security is not a doctrine of public international law, the resulting obligations from the concept do have international law content, including the main duty arising from this human centred approach to security; the responsiblity to protect. It primarily focuses on the responsiblity to react within an international law framework. The chapter also argues that although there may not be a specific policy supporting the concept, the United Kingdom's positions in many areas of international law and foreign policy are embracing the notion of human security. In order to support this position the chapter first examines the development of the doctrine of human security, secondly, examines international law elements of the responsibility to protect, and thirdly, place both the British and Canadian positions within current international law practice.

Keywords: Canada; foreign policy; human security; public international law; United Kingdom



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