Liberal Instituionalist Approach Of Peace Building Criminology Essay

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Victimology as an academic discipline has achieved a lot by bridging concepts stemming from different academic disciplines such as law, psychology, traumatology and criminology, and by studying how to develop adequate victim-centered legislation and policy as well as effective evidence-based psycho-social intervention programmes. What is often referred to as "mainstream" victimology has until recently mainly focused on victimization through so-called ordinary or conventional criminal acts. Important issues relating to what can be referred to as mass or collective victimization have received less focused attention. Although human rights abuses are considered a central issue in Victimology questions relating to victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide (the international crimes covered by the International Criminal Court) have for

a long time remained to large extent blind spots on the victimology map. Research on victims of crimes in and around war zones and areas of civil unrest have largely been left to other disciplines such as political studies, peace studies, international law and human rights law, history, international traumatology and journalism. And only recently have critical criminologists begun a systematic exploration of state crimes like genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. A crucial question that must be asked is whether existing theories and concepts developed within mainstream victimology are adequate to address issues pertaining to mass victimization resulting from such international crimes. This kind of victimization comes with its own problems. These stem from the very nature of these particular crimes, relating mainly to the magnitude which is often inherent to them. Enormous challenges lie in developing victimological approaches relating to the complexities of victimization by international crimes.

Division Of The Paper

This paper gives reflections into the subject of victimization through so-called international crimes or gross atrocities crimes, a generic term that covers the three categories of crimes just mentioned. In particular, it will explore whether victimological theories and concepts - some already in existence, but mostly in need of development to apply to international atrocity crimes - can be construed or enriched through insights offered by the concept of human security. This concept has been launched 15 years ago as an answer to a wide range of current threats to human life. First, the authors have tried to make some remarks on the kind of crimes. Second, we have analysed into a deeper question as to why victimologists should more intensively address victimization caused by international crimes. Third, we would elaborate on the concept of human security, in particular in relation to international crimes. And fourth, as to how human security can contribute to the development of a victimology of international crimes. Given the multiple dimensions they encompass, space limitations do not allow for an in-depth discussion of all related aspects of both victimology and human security. Nonetheless, we have tried to present the relevance of both in reflecting on issues pertaining to international crimes.

Saving Victims Of International Crimes Through The Liberal Instituionalist Approach Of Peace Building And Human Security: The Dawn of A New Challenge For Victimologists

(Protecting and Empowering Victims : Is a human security approach to peace building realistic?)


Over the past century, millions of civilians have fallen victim to acts of violence during war on a vastly larger scale than in the preceding centuries. This has not only led to a dramaticm increase in the numbers of civilian casualties of war during the 20th century, but also to a likewise dramatic increase in the proportion of civilian casualties as opposed to military casualties: From about 14 % in World War I over 67% in World War II, to 90% by the end of the last century. [1] Civilians, notably women and children, are increasingly targeted. Conflicts involving child soldiers, widespread attacks on civilian populations, destruction and looting of civilian residences and institutions, abductions and the use of rape as an instrument of warfare, and massive deportations and ethnic cleansing have become common practices.

According to the UNHCR's annual "Global Trends" report of June 2009, at the end of last

year, the number of people forcibly uprooted by conflict and persecution worldwide stood at 42 million. The total includes 16 million refugees and asylum seekers and 26 million internally displaced people uprooted within their own countries.

On the other hand, the first Human Security Report of 2005, the Human Security Brief of 2007 and the Human Security Report of 2009 document a dramatic, but largely unknown, decline in the number of wars, genocides and human rights abuses over the past decade.

Notwithstanding this decline, we also know that at this very moment, international crimes are being committed in parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo or in Sudan, Darfur, to name just a few examples.

To demonstrate the complexity and magnitude of the issues we are talking about, let me briefly present some figures and facts from Rwanda, where Intervict recently held a conference on developing victimological approaches to international crimes. In 1994, the beautiful country of Rwanda - also known as the country of one thousand hills - was engulfed by one of the most effective and most public genocides of all time. Within 100 days, from April 7 to July 18, about one million Tutsi and moderate Hutu were brutally murdered by Hutu militia, including their Hutu neighbours, friends and acquaintances. In those 100 days, an estimated 250,000 to 500,000 women and girls were raped and experienced other forms of sexual violence (UN report of 1996). As a 1996 United Nations report observed, "Rape was the rule and its absence the exception". For many survivors, rape, the resulting HIV infection and stigmatisation by their community constitute the ultimate violation of their human rights. But the fallout does not stop here.

The genocide left hundreds of thousand children as orphans and a similar large number of survivors as widows or widowers. The country's economy, its judicial institutions and social services were completely destroyed. Slowly but with strong determination, the country is trying to recover from its horrific past. Programmes of reparation and reconciliation, national and local, have been developed, and tradition-based justice mechanisms put in place. It is still hard to imagine how reconciliation can work in a society like Rwanda, where the crimes were so brutal, and victims and perpetrators live close to each other in the same communities again.

The final decade of the twentieth century saw the revival of global efforts aimed at tackling some of these most atrocious crimes. At the global, regional and national levels, several initiatives were undertaken to criminalize the commission of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity and to prosecute and punish those most responsible for them. The establishment of the ad hoc international criminal tribunals for the crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda, and of the permanent International Criminal Court, is the most publicized outcome of these initiatives. Alternatives to traditional criminal litigation, like commissions of inquiry, exemplified by the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, or the tradition-based justice system used in Rwanda (the Gacaca), have been tried and tested.

The field of transitional justice explores the complexities of doing justice in societies ravaged by war. Social scientists have initiated studies on the psychological consequences for victims of international crimes, the possibilities and difficulties of meeting their needs in the aftermath and the mechanisms that play a role in overcoming the damage to society at large caused by gross atrocities crimes [2] .

The authors will like to highlight some arguments why they believe victimologists should become more intensively involved in furthering academic research in the field of international crimes by analysing some of the specific features of these crimes. Thereby justifying what I would call the development of a differential victimology.

Why should Victimology become more involved?

The founding fathers of victimology [3] , Hans von Hentig and Benjamin Mendelsohn, started their academic work on victims' issues adhering to a broad scope. Von Hentig got 'inspired' by the horrific crimes committed in the Second World War and began seeking to analyse the causes and effects of this victimization. Benjamin Mendelsohn also believed that our subjects of study should include not only victims of crime and abuse of power, but also victims of accidents, natural disasters and other acts of God? [4] 

Notwithstanding these early efforts, in subsequent years, victimologists focused primarily on victims of ordinary crime. [5] The UN 1985 Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power clearly focuses on victims of ordinary crime, covered in 17 Articles, while victims of abuse of power are covered only in 4, rather vaguely formulated articles. [6] The UN Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law' and the Statute of the International Criminal Court have partially filled this gap by respectively establishing reparation principles for victims of serious and gross human rights violations and granting far-reaching victims' rights before the ICC. [7] 

The recent initiative of the Draft UN Convention on Justice and Support for Victims of

Crime and Abuse of Power (2005) includes victims of the latter category under its entire scope of protection but fails to clearly recognize the peculiarities and complexities that massive and collective victimization bring about. The whole language of the Draft Convention seems inspired by the many achievements Victimology has reached with regard to ordinary crimes.

From a psycho-social perspective, an important question that merits further research is whether the consequences of mass victimization are similar to or different from those of conventional victimization [8] , thus justifying also a new victimological research agenda. Without going into details, allow me to offer a few insights into some specific features of victimization through these crimes, thereby not claiming to be exhaustive. [9] 

At first let us point out that, according to various studies, in the case of mass victimization (based mostly on studies relating to terrorism), victims have essentially the same needs as victims of other violent crimes. [10] Victimization, be it conventional crime or gross atrocities crimes, affects, first of all, the individual. To this extent, they can evoke similar reactions in victims, like shock, anger, depression, guilt, fear, etc. But crimes leading to mass victimization often also have a different impact on victims than ordinary crimes have. The impact can be longer lasting and more encompassing.

Most international crimes target specific groups that not only affect individual victims but also other group or community members. Victims are concerned about the safety of family, friends and other community members or share their experience of crime and victim hood with them.

Victimization of a whole community or group also deeply impacts the circumstances within which victims attempt to rebuild their lives and come to terms with what happened. In some cases, the perpetrators of the crimes will themselves be a part of that context; possibly as perpetrators and victims at one and the same time. [11] Also, the trauma of extreme group victimization, such as the Holocaust or the Rwandan Genocide, is more likely to be transmitted from one generation to the next. [12] Research has shown that not only survivors of the Holocaust live on average 5 years less than others, and have more illnesses, but the same results have been found also with children of Holocaust survivors.

With regard to mass victimization, it has furthermore become evident that for many people victimization will not be a single event. Instead they will have multiple victimizations, both direct and indirect. A victim may experience multiple group rapes, but may also witness the death or torture of family members and experience loss of property or other possessions. The impact of multiple victimization is cumulative and the trauma therefore different. [13] 

Mass victimization may furthermore often lead to additional tragedy through, for instance, the spreading of contagious diseases suffered not only by survivors but also by their newborn children. In Rwanda, 70% of women who survived multiple rapes during the genocide turned out to be HIV-positive. The spreading of HIV through rape was used as a weapon of war and an additional means to accomplish the genocide. [14] 

Lastly, the degree of physical and social power individuals possess, and how they and others perceive their own vulnerability, are key to understanding their experience of crime. [15] Physical power affects the impact of crime on victims and the extent to which they can be expected to make a full and speedy recovery. As Goodey notes 'this is true especially in conflict situations because of the brutal violence, the absence of proper medical care in the immediate aftermath of the conflict and the collapse of social networks, both formal as informal.' [16] The effect of victimization is therefore not only on the individual losing control and power balance (see Fattah's definition), [17] but it is supplemented by the fact that victimization occurs in a situation where structural conditions to stop threats and injuries and to cope with them are absent.

To conclude this part for many victims the road to recovery and reconciliation is a long and bumpy one. They do not only suffer from the terrible crimes they had to endure and witness, but also face serious socio-economic and health problems. On top of that, achieving some form of justice is often incredibly difficult. As human beings entitled to enjoy the basic human rights and freedoms enshrined in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other International human rights and victims' rights instruments, these victims are, more often than not, experiencing yawning gaps between entitlements and realities. [18] 

The gaps are found in different layers of society, making the call for a holistic approach all the more urgent. As eloquently described by Tomuschat, in the aftermath of conflict, domestic legal orders often disclose legal shortcomings such as the inadequacy of legislation, the existence of restrictions in the scope and content of criminal law and procedure, the existence of impediments in getting access to justice and restrictive attitudes of the courts. These often indicate political obstacles such as the unwillingness of the authorities and the society to recognise that wrongs were committed; economic setbacks such as a result of shortage or unjust distribution of resources; and lastly problems of the under-empowerment of victims themselves because of their lack of knowledge and capacity to present and pursue their claims. [19] All these factors are compounded by the vulnerability of categories or groups of victimised persons such as women, children, elderly, members of specific racial, ethnic or religious groups, mentally and psychically disabled persons.

Is a human security approach to peace building realistic?

Human security, as argued by one of its apostles, former Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Lloyd Axworthy, is 'in essence, an effort to construct a global society where the safety of the individual is at the centre of international priorities and a motivating force for international action.' [20] Three main reports form the basis for the human security concept as it stands today: the Human Development Report issued by the UN Development Programme (1994), Human Security Now (2003) drafted by the Independent Commission on Human Security (initiated by Japan), and Human Security Report, War and Peace in the 21st Century by the Human Security Centre of the University of British Columbia in Canada (2005). [21] 

Whereas its predecessor, the concept of human development, exclusively focused on the right to a long and healthy life, education and access to health care, human security adds the right to live free of violations of human rights, criminal acts and political violence. It thus highlights the interrelationships between the threats of global crimes and other security risks such as those of extreme poverty or health. The human security concept thus tries to complement other related notions. For example, many of the existing human rights, like the right to food and the right to education, are part of the holistic approach of the human security notion [22] . Other notions which the human security concept aims to combine are those of national security, the previous mentioned concept of human development and humanitarian intervention like the concept of 'responsibility to protect.' [23] Human security aims to overcome the compartmentalization of these other notions. In that sense it is more and more developing into an approach with its own theories.

There is still discussion how wide the scope of human security should be. The narrow approach limits it to violent threats to individuals from internal violence (an approach promoted by Canada), while the broad approach also includes threats like hunger, disease and natural disaster (as promoted in the UNDP Human Development Report of 1994 or by the Government of Japan).

The wide approach of the human security concept aims to include under its scope each and every individual living in each and every country; everyone means the women who survived the multiple rapes in Rwanda, but also the single mother living in a dangerous neighborhood in New York, or the business man residing in Tokyo. The concept evolved from the notion that in a global society the safety of one person is strongly interdependent with the safety of another. [24] Indeed, as a prominent human security scholar, Mary Kaldor, explains, 'insecurity can no longer be contained - violence has a tendency to cross borders - not in the form of attacks by foreign regimes but through terrorism, organized crime or extreme ideologies.' [25] 

The concept of human security can therefore only be understood in the context of a globalized world. Human beings in different parts of the world are more and more interconnected. Through technological development and media coverage we are more and better informed about what happens on another side of the world. This results in an increasing awareness of the pain and suffering of people in different parts of the world.

Globalization, consequently, may lead to a conviction that such pain and suffering, wherever it takes place, is of universal concern and should invoke joint action to end it, which can be referred to as a process of moral globalization. [26] 

But globalization has also affected the nature of crime itself. The effects of globalization processes in the economic, political and cultural spheres have profound implications for the world of crime and justice. The playing field for offenders, and sometimes also for victims (think of their role in international tribunals), has expanded from the local or national to the global, leading to new - international and transnational - forms and manifestations of crimes. States with their traditional systems of criminal prosecution and security policies have often found themselves powerless to deal with these new forms of crimes. Finding solutions for 'problems without passports' has proved to be extremely difficult


Main characteristics; holistic and bottom-up approach

Allow us to go a little bit deeper into what we believe are the main characteristics of the human security concept. It entails a holistic approach which means that it aims to systematically and coherently address the various threats [27] to the security of human beings. It is a concept that comprehensively addresses both "freedom from fear" and "freedom from want". It aims to deal with the capacity to identify threats and the underlying interdependencies, prevent them when possible and mitigate their effects when they do occur. In order to do so, a wide range of actors as potential providers of security and protection need to be involved, multiplying the opportunities for coordinated, international responses within a normative framework as well as for new institutional arrangements. [28] 

Its direct relevance to the field of Victimology is that human security claims to be individual-oriented, thereby moving away from the State-centred approach that we see in traditional security debates [29] . The individual human being is not only defined in terms of vulnerabilities, but also as someone who is capable of affecting change, that is, of empowering him or herself [30] . Both elements of protection and empowerment play an important role [31] . Emphasis is therefore placed on a bottom-up approach: on communication, consultation, dialogue and partnership with the local population in order to improve early warning, intelligence gathering, the mobilization of local support, implementation and sustainability [32] . The emphasis is thus on agency or strength of individuals, particularly relevant to the human security debate in the sense that it prioritizes people above institutions.

This actor-oriented approach forms a sharp contrast to established approaches in the national security domain that often present people as passive victims of violence or merely recipients of emergency relief. Thus overlooking the possibility of empowerment and emancipation and denying them their agency. [33] 

Critical analysis of some important issues

Considering the range of different perspectives, 'human security' is either criticised for being an additional conceptual idea lacking any substantial meaning and practicability, or seen as part of an evolving, genuine paradigm shift, offering an alternative and attractive language to rethinking and furthering the protection of human beings beyond currently dominant paradigms. [34] 

The concept lacks a clear-cut definition and a clear listing of priorities. For various reasons, it has still not been possible to develop a so-called Human Security Index (like there is a Human Development Index) that would monitor the security of persons worldwide. The Human Security Report that came out in 2005 and 2009, and the Human Security Brief and the Human Security Atlas try to analyse the state of affairs, but these reports adhere to the narrow approach, thereby neglecting the human development part. [35] 

Its comprehensive, or holistic, approach also meets with criticism. The fact that human security overarches different threats in very diverse societal domains, includes a variety of state and non-state actors, and has far-reaching ambitions in terms of peace, development and human rights, makes it difficult to handle in practice.

In addition, critics hold that all the issues the human security concept aims to address are becoming more and more problematic under the present circumstances. Meaning an ever more fragmented world, divisive discourses, and a multilateral system that is hold back by lack of political will and consensus, under-funded (especially now with the worldwide economic crisis), and undermined by attacks and the selfish behaviour of States.

We cannot neglect these observations. While the language and the objectives of human security are increasingly establishing themselves within the discourse of the UN and the European Union, and individual countries like Japan, Canada and the United States forming the Human Security Network, institutional changes to promote human security remain negligible. [36] With one exception: in March 1999, with a view to make the human security approach more operational, the Government of Japan and the United Nations Secretariat launched the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTFHS).

On the other hand, more and more scholars, of which the founders Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum are most prominent, embark upon studies that further conceptualize and operationalize human security. Also, international research institutes were set up, like in Canada, France, India, and South-Africa.

How can Human Security contribute to a victimology of international crimes?

Let us now elaborate on the question whether the human security concept can contribute to the further development of a victimology of international crimes. We have limited ourselves to put this question within the framework of international crimes. It is within this context that I see most relevance to the benefits of the underlying notions of human security for victimology. It is also within this context that freedom from want and freedom from fear are most seriously threatened and interrelated. Before attempting to address this question, let me list the main differences and similarities between the two. Thereby realising that victimology is by now a full-fledged interdisciplinary discipline, whereas human security is just starting.

First, in the field of Victimology, victims are often defined in terms of national criminal law whereas human security uses international and moral-political criteria. The concept of 'human security' thus goes far beyond the prevailing practice in victimology which, while filling the gaps in early human rights instruments by providing for victims' rights, mainly focuses on a limited category of victims.

Second, mainstream Victimology mostly concerns people who have been victimized, whereas human security also aims to prevent persons from falling victim.

Third, mainstream Victimology is more realistic, whereas human security is more utopian but therefore maybe also more performative. In that sense they pertain to different ideologies or sensitivities.

A closer look at the two may lead to detecting some similarities. First, both are increasingly influenced by processes of globalization which also influence the perception of fear or risk of becoming victimized. The concepts of fear of crime or fear of insecurity are apparent and at the same time problematic for both [37] . Second, many human security notions, like Victimology, also include criminal justice elements. Third, both put the individual victim first.

Whereas victimologists criticize criminologists for putting the interest of the state or society first, human security proponents criticize human development scholars who often think in terms of state support. Fourth, both are inherently critical towards the status quo; they challenge institutional foundations; for victimology this would be criminal law and criminology, and for human security the focus on state security.

How human security can contribute to a victimology of international crimes?

Our argument is not that Victimology should embrace each and every idea promoted by the human security concept, but to critically assess whether some of them can be useful and further developed by using or incorporating a victimological lens.

In general, we discern three crucial pillars under the human security concept that could be foundational for a victimology of international crimes.

1. Protection and empowerment of individuals worldwide;

2. Importance of a bottom-up approach

3. Holistic approach

1. Protection and empowerment of individuals worldwide

With regard to the protection and empowerment of individuals worldwide, we believe victimologists should set up more specific studies relating to victims of gross atrocity crimes. We would therefore focus on the bottom-up and holistic approach.

2. Bottom-up approach

The human security concept claims that through a bottom-up approach, individuals will be empowered by encouraging their ability to act on their own behalf. Let me take you back to Rwanda, where a clear example can be found of a bottom-up approach. After the Genocide, the new government struggled with developing just means for the humane detention and prosecution of the more than 120,000 people accused of genocide and related crimes against humanity. By 2000, most of these people were still held in Rwanda's prisons without a trial being held. The ordinary courts would never have managed to try all these perpetrators in due time. Therefore, the government, urged also by local leaders, decided to re-implement the Gacaca court system, which has evolved from traditional cultural communal law enforcement procedures. Local people were trained to become judges, and communities would literally sit down in the grass to hear the stories of both perpetrators and victims. The Gacaca courts are a method of transitional justice, designed to obtain three objectives: The speeding up of the legal proceedings by using as many courts as possible, the reconciliation of all Rwandans and building their unity, promote healing and moving on from the crisis. The Gacaca court system has received a lot of criticism, mainly from Western scholars, who argue that important principles relating to a fair trial are violated. Whereas on the other hand, anecdotal evidence from survivors claims that they are reasonably satisfied. Two of the main reasons being that survivors got to know what happened with their loved-ones and had a chance to speak out about what happened to them. The fact that local leadership and public discussion about the genocide was encouraged by the Gacaca, are important elements of empowerment.

Too often, the international community treats conflicts and victimization in different contexts alike. Too often, international experts are flown into crisis areas to bring in their expertise to help individuals and societies recover. Too often, they fail to take the local, cultural and historical context into account when developing policies for reconstruction or reconciliation. [38] 

The question should however not be: What can we do? It should be: How does this activity build on the efforts and capabilities of those directly affected? [39] For victimologists, We would like to task to assess how victims' needs are respected in these tradition-based mechanisms, thereby not losing sight from the specific cultural and historical contexts, of the country and its victims trying to overcome their past [40] . Let me in particular underline the importance of including the historical context in any analysis, since often in conflict-torn societies, gross victimizations are linked to historical victimizations and how they are perceived in the collective memory. [41] 

3. Holistic approach

Recent international legal developments in relation to the prosecution of international crimes still show serious shortcomings in dealing with victims of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The focus has been too one-sidedly on the punishment of offenders and on retribution, with the often main purpose of involving surviving victims being to serve these goals. International criminal justice mechanisms seem to overlook the fact that, while the damage caused to society and humanity at large is real, the suffering incurred by the direct victims is, at least, as great and is deserving of much more attention than has been the case so far. The International Criminal Court tries to implement a more holistic approach in its mandate. The option of combining the granting of individual rights and collective reparations comes close to the integrative approach the human security concept aims to achieve and was actually also inspired by the human security lobby. Nevertheless, the enormous number of victims wishing to participate in the Court's procedures poses the Court for a yet still unresolved challenge


The notion that the needs and views of victims and survivors of international crimes are insufficiently represented in the formal criminal justice response is the main drive behind the development of commissions of inquiry, like for instance truth commissions and of reparations programs. Also, it has proved difficult to include the enormous number of victims in the international criminal justice mechanisms, a problem the ICC is in particular struggling with.

This also poses a true problem for victims, because a day in court could add to rebuilding a victim's self-esteem, as evidenced by various victimological studies. With regard to the commissions, the emphasis is not on the punishment of offenders, but on unraveling the narrative of the international crimes committed, simultaneously offering victims an opportunity to voice their experiences and receive acknowledgement of the wrongs committed against them. Truth commissions, just like reparation programs, can offer monetary and symbolic reparations, educational programs, memorials and projects to strengthen democratic institutions. However, where the formal criminal justice response

may lay too much emphasis on punishing the offenders of crimes, the experience with truth commissions or reparations suggests that here, from the victims' point of view, there is too little emphasis on retribution. This implies that from a human security and victimological point of view, one of the most intriguing questions confronting the development of transitional justice is how to balance and more importantly combine the strengths of truth commissions or other forms of reparation programs with an (international) criminal justice response.

Some final words on a holistic approach

Already in 1968, Maslow developed his pyramid of needs. Taking a closer look at these needs, we can argue that he was not far away from promoting a human security concept. [42] Maslows's needs theory was also applied to victims of international crimes by Wemmers. [43] According to Maslow, people first have to satisfy their basic needs like food and shelter as well as medical care. A victim like Pascasie, who lost her house, her family and is unable to work due to injuries suffered as a result of her victimization will, in the first place, need urgent medical care for her injuries as well as food and a place to stay. In addition, immediate trauma counselling is of utmost importance. The second level of needs identified by Maslow is safety.

People need to feel safe and secure. The third and fourth levels of needs are a feeling of belonging or affection and self-esteem. Informal support can provide victims with a sense of feeling loved and accepted which in conflict setting is often difficult to realise because of all the casualties within families and communities. The fifth need of self-actualization is the last stage, and according to Maslow only achievable if all the other needs are satisfied. While Maslow's hierarchy of needs was developed independent of both human security and victimology, it is important to note the convergence between the needs identified by Maslow and those of victims of international crimes. Interesting to note furthermore is that both Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum, two prominent human security scholars, touch close upon Maslow's ideas with their capabilities theory. [44] 

Thinking this through to the field of Victimology, it implies that victimological studies relating to international crimes should encourage a similar holistic approach as promoted by the human security concept. It thus means encompassing all the different consequences of victimization, seeking to include different actors by, for instance, combining private and public partnerships, [45] and acknowledging that a legal response alone is not enough and will often even be impossible due to the collective nature of the victimization

This being said, does this mean that victimology should include victims of poverty or natural disasters to its field of study? That would not be my plea. However, I would argue that victimologists should include all factors that influence the often continuing victimized status of survivors of international crimes. That means more than they do now, to study and develop theories that analyse the interplay and interdependencies of continuing personal security threats and socio-economic threats. In other words, victimologists should not study the causes of poverty or social exclusion, but should analyse their effects on possibilities to recover.


Human security as a concept can make a significant contribution to the protection and empowerment of victims of international crimes. But as yet, it is still too much of an abstract framework and needs to be translated into a pragmatic agenda for concerted action, in which different actors work according to their capabilities to achieve different, but ultimately compatible, human security goals. A key consideration in that regard must be how, if, and, where possible, should the individual be involved in the promotion of his/her own human security. For indeed, individual empowerment is both a means as well as an end of human security. [46] 

This is where we believe the victimologists should come in: on the one hand, by learning from and further elaborating a holistic individual-oriented human security approach to victim protection; and on the other, enriching further the human security concept by incorporating the results achieved in the victimological empowerment studies. We have argued that the complex situation of victims of international crimes calls for a holistic approach that links various relevant fields like development studies, traumatic stress studies, the social psychology of group conflict and resolution, and the psychology and sociology of national and international legal processes. The latter is important in its own right, but also for the ongoing efforts in transitional and international criminal justice, as it can provide the empirical foundation for the choices and developments in this field. It is exactly this holistic approach that is the cornerstone of the human security concept. The analysis of collective victimization and post-conflict coping in conflict regions by a combined human security and victimological approach can significantly contribute to understanding the unique situation of human exposure to threats, risks, suffering and fear, and hence, how to react appropriately to(re)gain security [47] . By doing so, the scientific study of victimization becomes more and more diverse, justifying the development of a differential victimology that takes the specific features of different crimes, victims, and contexts into account.

Lastly, while victims' rights form an integral part of the normative framework of many Western domestic legal systems, it has been more difficult to enact, let alone implement, these rights in several countries in the developing world. Perhaps Victimology could achieve more in countries that struggle on a daily basis with potential political, financial and administrative collapses, not to mention AIDS pandemics, when it adheres to a more encompassing human security and victim-oriented approach.