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States. Gross abuses of human rights, the large-scale displacement of civilian populations, international terrorism, the AIDS pandemic, drug and arms trafficking and environmental disasters present a direct threat to human security, forcing us to adopt a much more coordinated approach to a range of issues’’. (2000)

In the human security framework, individuals, not states, are the focus of security strategies. Human security seeks to protect the physical safety and integrity of people, rather than to defend state borders from external threats. Human security strategies are proactive; they stress prevention efforts and health promotion rather than charitable response, such as the overwhelming domination of the response to children affected by AIDS as one focused mainly on ‘‘AIDS orphans’’ while overlooking the much larger numbers of children affected more broadly by HIV. Human security is thus about the well-being of people, not of states. In this manner, the security of its people is also a measure and a determinant of state and global security, and a core indicator of the potential to foster human capital and move towards a more prosperous and equitable future. The rights of children and HIV/AIDS As children are in an ongoing process of growth, responding to their security needs involves protecting their healthy and successful development. This means that for children, human security strategies must not only protect the young from harm but also create the conditions for children to develop, thrive, and reach their optimal potential. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is central to any discussion of children’s security (Shepler, 2005). The failure of some states and the international community to respect, protect, and fulfill the rights of children contributes to their insecurity. The CRC lays out the inherent rights and conditions necessary for human dignity and development of children. Using a human rights framework grounded in the CRC, children’s security is concerned with the conditions required for the survival, physical safety, and development of children at risk in the face of many forms of adversity from HIV/AIDS to humanitarian crises, natural disasters, and comprehensive social and economic breakdowns. A number of key articles from the CRC refer to such rights (United Nations, 1989).1 Without question, realizing the rights of children is about much more than ensuring their basic security needs. However, using the CRC as a guide, a human security approach to children affected by HIV/AIDS provides an important starting point for understanding the core threats to their life, survival, and development. Like the rights of the child, the key elements of children’s security in the face of the HIV/AIDS pandemic are interrelated and must be viewed holistically and from the ecological lens of the family and larger community system (Bronfenbrenner, 1979). For example, children orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS may become vulnerable to sexual exploitation which can then result in physical and/or mental health problems (Brennan, Molnar, and Earls, 2007). Such difficulties may in turn undermine their chances of reaching their maximum developmental potential even if educational or other opportunities are made available. Despite the risks of sexual and physical violence facing children in both developed and developing countries (Lalor, 2004), children in many countries most affected by HIV/AIDS have no formal mechanisms for ensuring child protection or rehabilitative services. In cases of abuse or neglect, children often have nowhere to turn but to police who in some cases are themselves perpetrators of abuse

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Children affected by HIV/AIDS: SAFE, a model ...  

Children affected by HIV/AIDS: SAFE, a model for promoting their security, health, and development Authors: Theresa S. Betancourt, Mary K.S...

Children affected by HIV/AIDS: SAFE, a model ...  

Children affected by HIV/AIDS: SAFE, a model for promoting their security, health, and development Authors: Theresa S. Betancourt, Mary K.S...

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