Human Security from Below: Efforts to Protect Sexual Violence Against Indian Women

There is a situation where humans experience threats, this is where human security from below emerges.


“Human security depends on people.” This statement means that security can be achieved through initiatives carried out by humans themselves to fight existing threats. Human security is often approached from ‘above’. even though a bottom-up approach must also be a priority. The existence of this bottom-up approach is an effort to explicitly involve the role of society that impacts security threats to be involved in the human security agenda. Agree with the statement above, seeing human security really depends on the human being. The success of human security must of course be balanced with efforts from below. The state holds the main responsibility in overcoming security threats to protect civilians and eliminate human rights violations in each country. However, the country involved in this conflict is considered to have failed in providing protection for human rights. Therefore, the statement can be seen in the concept of human security from below. According to Faberhuman security from below, civil society must take its own initiative to protect the security of fellow citizens in threatening conditions and situations (Faber, 2008).

There is a situation where humans experience threats, this is where human security from below emerges. When faced with a chaotic situation, humans will use their instincts to defend themselves and take initiatives to protect themselves and other communities. In his efforts to defend himself, Faber shared it at three important levels, namely; Self protection(self-protection), Horizontal protection(horizontal protection), Vertical protection(vertical protection) (Faber, 2008). Starting from the statement “Human Security depends on humans”human security from below wants to see the role of humans in protecting themselves and groups, such as in cases of sexual violence that occurred in India.

Sexual violence that occurs in India is very high and has led women’s groups to form an anti-sexual violence protection movement called Sayfty (Kapoor, 2013). Sayfty was formed based on the experience of one of the victims of sexual violence that occurred in India and invites the public to participate in providing violence protection for women’s groups. The existence of sexual violence that occurs among women in India has entered the threat dimensioncommunity security. The existence of the Sayfty community certainly has its advantages and disadvantages. If seen through glass human security from below, there is a security network dilemma. According to Terpstra, there is a security dilemma related to organizational conditions. There are several security network models proposed by Terpstra, one of which is:Preventive institutional networks where the government takes part and dominates most of this network (Terpstra, 2005). Even though the Sayfty community is an informal community or network, Sayfty is right on target when seen in concepthuman security from below, because this network was formed based on the experiences of victims of sexual violence themselves (Roche, 2012). So that the members involved truly feel the situation and conditions of the threat and indeed the policies made in this network come from below (Roche, 2012). Judging from accountability human security from below The Sayfty community has legally managed security missions and made public rules of engagement. So that the community created by this group of Indian women can be legally accountable.

The protection carried out by Indian women’s groups adds to the example of implementation human security from below. Starting from the bottom and the experiences experienced by the victims and the lack of government protection in dealing with and protecting women’s groups in India, from the three levels found in the study human security from below cases of violent protection in India fall at the level of self-protection(self-protection) where these women take personal initiatives at the group and individual level to protect their own security (Faber, 2008). Violence is always around us, but human security depends on humans themselves to fight it.

Cindy Juliana
Cindy Juliana
I am Cindy Juliana, currently I am studying for a Masters in International Relations, Gadjah Mada University. Previously I studied at the Islamic University of Indonesia to pursue a bachelor's degree.


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