Human Security and Shared Responsibility to Fight Transnational Crimes: Resolution 2240 (2015) of the United Nations Security Council on Smuggling of Migrants and Human Trafficking Off the Coast of Libya
Published in: S. Salomon, L. Heschl, G. Oberleitner, & W. Benedek (eds.), Blurring Boundaries: Human Security and Forced Migration, BRILL, 2017, pp. 99-121
21 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2017
Date Written: July 4, 2017
The paper discusses United Nations (UN) Security Council resolution 2240 (2015). The Resolution was adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter and authorises for a certain period of time UN member states to inspect and seize vessels on the high seas off the coast of Libya when they reasonably suspect that these are being used for migrant smuggling or human trafficking. The paper sees in resolution 2240 an example of how the UN Security Council may empower states to take action against transnational social phenomena that raise serious concerns from the perspective of human rights – regarding especially the right to life. The idea that transpires from this resolution is that transnational phenomena, such as smuggling of migrants and human trafficking, require (coordinated, as the study argues) action by all involved states and, more generally, international actors (although the focus in the study is on states). Because of their transnational nature, such situations involve a plurality of duty bearers, each one of which is partially connected to the situation and has an obligation to be pro-actively engaged – to the extent that its individual connection with the situation at issue justifies and requires it. This leads to a situation of multiple duty bearers who exercise parallel and, possibly, also overlapping jurisdiction as a means to fulfill their duties under international law – especially regarding the so-called positive dimension of human rights, i.e. the duty to protect. This implies that concurrent state responsibility (in the sense of liability) may arise, if more than one of these duty bearers break their duties. With its resolution, the UNSC contributes to the idea of shared responsibility by multiple states to react against transnational social phenomena that raise concerns from the perspective of human rights and human security. Because human trafficking and smuggling raise issues of human security, the idea of multiple duty bearers and concurrent state responsibility advanced in the study can be associated with the UN human security policy framework. The paper argues that this framework ought to be attuned to fully meet the particular needs, nature and features of transnational phenomena, such as trafficking and smuggling, that threaten the security and well-being of people. For human security to be successful in its goals, it needs to be adjusted to the transnational nature of these phenomena. What is required when a situation necessitating protection exceeds or transcends the borders of a state, is establishing frameworks of cooperation and coordination between the various involved parties. This is an essential precondition for human security to deliver effective results and prosper in the era of inter-connection and globalisation.
Keywords: human security, shared responsibility, transnational crime, resolution 2240 (2015), security council, smuggling of migrants, human trafficking, human rights, state responsibility
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