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Securing the Rights: A Human Security Perspective in the Context of Arctic Indigenous Peoples

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AbstractIn today’s world the state-centric approach of security has been extended to includea human-centric approach. Since individuals are the ultimate victims of any securitythreats, a state is not secure if insecure inhabitants reside within it. The insecurityof individuals arises from various sources of threats, such as from “fear” aswell as from “want”. While often the concept is confused with that of human rights,the concept of human security embraces policy choices in order for the better implementationof human rights. In a sense therefore, it complements both the conceptsof traditional security and human rights. This article addresses the concept in thecontext of the Arctic and its people, particularly in the context of its indigenouspeoples. Obviously, because of differing meanings of the concept, the human securitythreats of the Arctic cannot be seen as similar to those of the other regions ofthe global south. This article nevertheless explores various human security concernsfaced by the Arctic indigenous communities. In addressing the concept of humansecurity in the context of the Arctic, the article affirms the normative developmentoccurred relatively recently in the human rights regime – which today includes a setof group rights called third generation human rights. These broadly include amongothers; the right to environment and the right to development. The presence of thesecategories of rights are therefore argued to ensure human security for which in theArctic perspective a right to self-determination plays a pivotal role, particularly forits indigenous communities.

Affiliations: 1: Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law, Arctic Centre, University of


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