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“Human security” is a concept used to describe a complex set of inter-related security threats to both the individual and the community. Sometimes fear stems from a struggle for political power, social inequality, natural resources, or territory. Horizontal inequalities like inequalities between culturally defined communities, e.g. ethnic, religious, racial or caste-base communities, are a genuine concern of Pax Christi International.

It has been acknowledged that war is ten times more likely to occur where there is discrimination against ethnic communities and state failure is five times more likely to occur where there is ethnic discrimination.

A critical issue, however, is to identify what makes communities take to violence rather than peaceful protest. There seem to be several reasons, but overwhelmingly the most important factor appears to be the presence of fear. It is the fear of not being able to protect ones relatives, property, and life, as well as a fear of not being able to develop oneself as an individual as a result of limited access to basic resources such as  food, shelter, health, or education. From the moment that people feel that they have nothing to lose, the use of violence becomes increasingly plausible. Pax Christi’s concern is to prevent this from happening.