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The Human Security Report Project (HSRP) is a Peace and Conflict Studies research group. Based at Canada's Simon Fraser University's School for International Studies at Harbour Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia, the Project is mandated to make accessible to a non-academic audience the causes and consequences of global and regional trends in political violence.[1] It was formerly based at the University of British Columbia's Liu Institute for Global Issues in the Human Security Centre.

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Human Security Report Project (HSRP)

Publications and Services

The Project is known primarily for the Human Security Report 2005 that provided evidence that according to their data and definitions, there was a large decline in the number of wars, genocides and human rights abuse since roughly the middle of the 1990s.[2][3][4]

Subsequently, the Project published the Human Security Brief 2006 that updated the core global trend data from the 2005 Report and the Human Security Brief 2007. The 2007 Brief demonstrated that there had been a sharp decline in the incidence of terrorist violence (measured in terms of numbers of fatalities) around the world. If fatalities from political violence against civilians perpetrated by non-state groups in Iraq are counted as deaths from terrorism the decline dated mid-2007. This claim was disputed in a press release from the University of Maryland's, START consortium .[5][6] However, START at that time only had incident data to 2004. Moreover, the press release failed to show any errors in the Human Security Report Project's data or its interpretation. A major problem with the START project's dataset is that counts politically motivated killings of civilians in civil war by non-state actors as terrorism in some contexts, but not in others. In Iraq, for example, such killings are counted as acts of terrorism, but the very large number of comparable killings in sub-Saharan Africa's civil wars in the 1990s are not. This creates the false impression that terrorism (thus defined) was less prevalent in the past that was in fact the case. As the 2007 Brief pointed out this lack of consistency was also strikingly evident in the terrorism incidence data from the now-defunct Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism. Subsequent to the publication of the 2007 Brief the incidence of global terrorism has again increased with most of the increase being in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Further the 2007 Brief suggested positive change in sub-Saharan Africa's security landscape; the number of conflicts being waged in the region more than halved between 1999 and 2006.[7]

In late October 2008, the Project published-in conjunction with the World Bank, the miniAtlas of Human Security.[8] This publication was produced in three languages and is an "at-a-glance guide to global security issues" using a selection of maps and graphics to illustrate security trends, and is part of the World Bank's miniAtlas series.[9][10]

In addition to its publications, the Project runs several free services available in a number of delivery formats:

Funding and Collaboration

The Project works closely with a number of the world's leading research groups in Peace and Conflict Studies including:[11]

It is funded by a collection of government agencies including:

The HSRP is a Principal Partner of the International Relations and Security Network.

Criticism

Lack of robust conflict data remains a major problem with this type of work as it has an acknowledged tendency to under-count fatalities.[12] As well there is an ongoing debate as to the validity of data compiling and counting methodology. In general counting fatalities related to conflict is a challenge--for example as highlighted by a 2008 review of various Iraq War conflict fatality counts, [13] or as suggested by a more popular press review of body counts titled 'Body Counting: Why even the most-dubious statistics influence our thinking.'[14]

See also

References

  1. Human Security Report Project: About the Project (accessed March 23, 2009).
  2. Human Security Report 2005: The HSR In the News (accessed May 25, 2008).
  3. Human Security Report 2005: Overview (accessed March 22, 2009).
  4. In all of its work, the Project takes the 'Narrow Definition' of Human Security. The distinction between the 'Narrow' and 'Broad' definitions of Human Security, is summarized here on the Human Security page.
  5. Human Security Brief 2007: Chapter 1- Dying to Lose: Explaining the Decline in Global Terrorism (accessed March 22, 2009).
  6. University of Maryland Newsdesk: Terrorism Fatalities Up, Not Down UMD Analysis Disputes New Report (accessed March 22, 2009).
  7. Human Security Brief 2007: Chapter 2- Towards A New Peace in Africa? (accessed March 22, 2009).
  8. miniAtlas of Human Security (accessed March 22, 2009).
  9. miniAtlas of Human Security (accessed March 22, 2009).
  10. World Bank miniAtlas Series (accessed March 23, 2009).
  11. Human Security Report Project: Partners (accessed March 23, 2009).
  12. Human Security Report 2005: Part II- The Human Security Audit (accessed March 22, 2009).
  13. See: Tapp, C., Burkle, F. M., Wilson, K., Takaro, T., Guyatt, G. H., Amad, H., & Mills, E. J. (2008). "Iraq War mortality estimates: A systematic review." Conflict and Health 2(1) (accessed 13 March, 2009).
  14. McArdle, M. (2008). "Body Counting: Why even the most-dubious statistics influence our thinking." The Atlantic (April 2008). (accessed 13 April, 2009).

External links

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