As opposed to the term “national security”, which refers to the state-level, “human security” focuses on the protection and development of the individual and the community. During the last few decades, more people have been affected by civil wars, the arbitrary exercise of state power, displacement, poverty and hunger than by wars between states. Human security is a widely used concept that refers to seven types of threats that affect people and their lives:
The Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF) works together with the Governance, Crime and Justice Division of the Institute of Security Studies (ISS) to deal with aspects of human security in South Africa. Activities that are supported and carried out mainly involve the promotion of national and inter-disciplinary dialogue on the challenges of personal security; through seminars and discussion forums dialogue is encouraged between policy makers, academics, leaders of the police and criminal justice as well as civil society. The aim is to engender political and public debate on challenging topics such as the high incidence of violent crime in South Africa, criminal justice, security of human communities in remote regions, conflict prevention and human rights. A vital element for the debate is the availability of information regarding crime statistics and criminal justice, which is the reasoning behind the creation of the online information portal "Crime & Justice Hub”, which was developed and is constantly being expanded by ISS with the support of the HSF (see below for more information).
On the other hand, the Hanns Seidel Foundation also supports the Bergzicht Training Centre, a non-governmental organisation that addresses the economic security of unemployed women in underprivileged areas of Cape Town. By providing affordable education and assistance in the process of searching employment, the activities by Bergzicht Training Centre tackle one of the biggest problems of the South African economy, which suffers from a chronically high unemployment rate.
The Crime and Justice Hub aims to be the single most comprehensive source of information and analysis on crime, criminal justice and crime prevention in South Africa.
The website is an interactive online tool that provides communities, policy makers, researchers, academics, the media and the general public with:
In the past, South African policy makers and the public in general have had inadequate access to information and analysis relating to crime and the performance of the criminal justice system. Information, statistics, and analysis related to crime were scattered amongst a wide variety of sources. Additionally, few organisations undertake sound research and analysis of governmental crime policies and justice initiatives. Hence - due to the need to develop a widely accessible, user-friendly and interactive information hub that consolidates key qualitative and quantitative information on crime, the criminal justice system and social crime prevention – the Crime and Justice Hub was born. One of the main features of the Hub is its interactive element: users can undertake their own analysis and choose the format of presentation of the information in various graphical formats.
The Crime and Justice Hub was developed by the Governance, Crime and Justice Division of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) with the support of the Hanns Seidel Foundation in South Africa. The Hub is continually being updated and will be further developed to respond to the emerging needs of stakeholders.