IMPACT OF REFUGEE CRISIS ON HUMAN SECURITY IN WEST AFRICA
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1.1 Background of the study
Human security, in its extensive sense, covers far more than the absence of violent conflict. It comprises human rights, good governance, access to education and health care and making each individual has opportunities and choices to fulfill his or her potential. Human security, human right, etc reduces poverty and alsohelps in achieving economic growth and prevents conflict. Freedom from want, freedom from fear, and the freedom of future generations to inherit a healthy natural environment these are the interrelated building blocks of human security and therefore national security.
Threats to human security could bepolitical and military, social, economic or environmental. A broad array of factors contribute to making people feel insecure,from the laying of landmines and the proliferation of small arms, to transnational threatssuch as drugs trafficking, to the spread of HIV. One of the main factorsof human insecurity is precisely the lack of effective political and security mechanisms toaddress conflicts. Human security can be said to have two main aspects. It means, first, safety from such dangerous threats as hunger, disease and repression. And second, it means protection fromsudden and hurtful disruptions in the patterns of daily life whether in homes, in jobs or in communities. These threats can exist at all levels of national income anddevelopment. Economic security, food security, health security, environmental security, personal security, community security, political securities are lists of some threats to human security.
The issue of human displacement in Africa is broad and possibly growing rapidly. A great deal of qualitative evidence suggests that the situation of Africa’s displaced people is becoming increasingly problematic and that those who succeed in escaping from their country are unable to find a safe refugee in other states. With the increase in armed conflicts in Africa and the West Africa Sub-Region there exist various dimensions of environmental, social and security challenges posed by refugee influx into most countries of Africa. Refugees tend to impact on the safety of various nation states. Recent work confirms the instinct that political violence and persecution are significant determinants of flight. Yet, refugees are not simply the unfortunate by-products of war, but may serve as catalysts for conflicts, including conflict between states. Scholars have suggested that refugee migration can provoke international hostilities between states, including military action although this claim has not been rigorously tested. For instance, it is argued that Rwanda invasion of Zaire in 1996 was largely motivated by the desire to clear refugee camps that harbored militant factions. Refugee crises do not only bring about humanitarian disasters but also create serious implications for Border States and host communities. According to Bobbin, and Garrett (2006), the terms internal or domestic and civil conflict imply violent interactions between states and dissidents, and the negative consequences of war and human rights violations, contained within the states.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Refugee crises do not only bring about humanitarian disasters but also create serious implications for Border States and host communities and West Africa.Refugees most times pose a security threat to the host country. According to Bobbin, and Garrett (2006), the terms internal or domestic and civil conflict imply violent interactions between states and dissidents, and the negative consequences of war and human rights violations, contained within the states. Rather than treating states as independent units, it may be more appropriate to view them interconnected in dense networks of social interactions where process within one state have significant repercussions for other states in the region and elsewhere. The human costs of civil war and state persecution may not be entirely borne by the warring country only, but may create significant externalities, or spillover effects, for other countries/communities. The problems associated with refugees may not be restricted to a particular border area but may have spillover effects on the internal security situation of a region. As posited by Ogundele (2005), refugee migration can inflict a significant economic burden on host countries or communities. This may be so not minding the availability of international aid, which at time may be from the world’s poorest nation who may often bear much of the cost of maintaining them. Refugees are also less likely to contribute to productive economic activity in their hosts
1.3 Objectives of the study
This study seeks toexamine the impact of refugee crisis on human security in West Africa.
- To examine the dynamics of the socio-Political and economic implications that is associated with refugees‟ security phenomenon, within the African continent.
- To find out the problems associated with refugees in West Africa.
- To unravel the implication of refugee on Africa’s social, political, security and economic development.
- To enable lessons learned from national, regional and international humansecurity experiences to be shared
1.3 Research questions
- What are the problems associated with refugees in West Africa?
- What is the implication of refugee on Africa’s social, political, security and economic development?
1.5 Research hypotheses
Ho: there is no impact of refugee crisis on human securityin West Africa
Hi: there isimpact of refugee crisis on human securityin West Africa
1.6 Significance of the study
This study would at the end serve as an early warning indicator to government in its drive at maintaining peace and security of the country’s internal and border securities.
1.7 Scope/Limitations of the study
This study centers on the impact of refugee crisis on human security in West Africa.
Limitations of study
- 1. Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
- 2. Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 Definition of terms
Refugee:a person who has been forced to leave there country or home because there is a war or for political, religious or social reasons.
Crisis:a time of danger, difficulty or confusion when problems must be solved or important decision must be made.
Human security:is an emerging paradigm for understanding global vulnerabilities whose proponents challenge the traditional notion of national security by arguing that the proper referent for security should be the individual rather than the state.
Security:the activities involved in protecting a country, building or person against attack, danger, etc.
Human right:one of the basic rights that everyone has to be created fairly and not in a cruel way, especially by their government.