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Let's talk about socio-economic  violence and security

One of the most unacknowledged forms of security is socio-economic security. We are all social creatures, we cannot exist alone, which is why social and economic security is crucial for our existence [ rights for life, liberty, and property - as stated by John Locke ]. Philosophers believe that having friends and living in a just society greatly increases our chances of having good lives, however, everyone is not our friend or family yet society is convened together. Let's talk about socio-economic security!

What is socio-economic security?  

Socio-economic security is the need for the protection of individuals from violence or infraction within a social circle for economic means/assets. This is indeed a dynamic and less considered term but the reflection of the need for socio-economic protection/security is the need of the hour. The equation of social security = economic productivity is relevant to balance and understand socio-economic security.

A person with economic security will surely want to live in an environment with socially comfortable and good people [a good social circle ] where he/ his income will not be infringed for being economically stable. However, a person lacking economic security but having a social circle of well-settled people can find means to absorb resources/income through good or evil means, but, the person lacking both social and economic security can be more prone to unjust means. It becomes an infinity loop and dimensions keep adding like mental, physical, or communal security.

We often confuse social security with economic security and certain laws referring to economic security/provisions also manage social security which causes chaos and that's where the aspect of violence or instability in the social circle slips - social security involves protecting basic needs, social life, and essential aspects like health, work-life, etc but what about the parallel protection of economic aspect? What if the economic demand is leading to social insecurity or a threat to life? What if both social and economic aspects don't run on one line and become a threat to each other? This is why introducing the new dimension of socio-economic security is crucial at the moment.

Talking about socio-economic violence - 

The social circle is both a cause and an effect of socio-economic violence where dominance, gender power, relations in societies, etc. It affects human functioning including physical and mental health. What it may include? It may include denial of access to education, denial of access, violations in services, inequality, discrimination in payment, exclusion from certain jobs, registered economic assets, denial of enjoyment of civic, cultural, social, and political rights, violence based on economic demand, illegal economic, psychological demand pressure on property, etc. In a study, a household’s wealth status was held deciphering responsible for 93.7% of inequality in socioeconomic status.

Gender in socio-economic violence –The most known form of socio-economic violence is gender-based violence comprising cases of the LGBTQ+ population, women in Indian society, and even men who are victims of wealth traps. There are several instances like - violence due to becoming economically dependent on their partner [ such relation of dependency offers one with dominance strategy - a tendency to be abusive in their relationships, dowry, getting unequal pay due to gender discrimination against women or trans-genders, casting out individuals based on judgment as per their wealth, global economic data depicts that one of the consequences of globalization is the ' feminization of poverty (making women generally more economically vulnerable than men), judgments on basis of economic vulnerability unemployment, less earning, etc. in men and similar violence are subject to socio-economic violence.

There are laws providing women social security [ i.e. protection of women against domestic violence act, 2005], 498A of Indian Penal Code, active helplines like 1091 [ all India ], Call 181 for domestic abuse, and state-wise helpline numbers have so far worked for women. Similarly, distressed men or victims of socio-economic, physical, or psychological violence can seek help through Men helpline number - 8882-498-498, some active NGOs like Daaman, Vaastav foundation, etc have supported men to exist and pursue justice in a social circle, still, there's more scope of improvement.

Community Socio-Economic Violence - Assessing and targeting socio-economic violence at the communal level is certain to affect a large number of individuals. Communities are often segregated by socio-economic dysphoria race, faith, class, and ethnicities. Targeting the factors, hunting the risks and protective factors of violence at the communal level will likely hit a great change in rising socio-economic violence. In disparity - positive social notions, a stable economy, abundant resources, promoting equity and equality, huge levels of social cohesion, and more aspects like rewards for pro-social community involvement can involve better socio-economic security.

The LGBTQ+ community - India faces several societal challenges including body shaming, cultural discrimination, mindset barriers, etc. The state/law aims to provide the LGBTQ+ community with a safe and more liberal environment by bringing article 377 in the constitution of India that also focuses on social security. There are several growing NGOs/NPOs like Good as you, Humsafar trust, Udaan trust, Nazariya organization, etc. Sahay is one of India's first 24*7 LGBTQ helpline numbers - 1800-2000-113, that actively supports the LGBTQ+ community.

Violence against older adults- Is a widespread socio-psychological and public health problem in Indian society. Education and working status of older adults have led to several reported violence, inequalities [relating to living arena /condition of older adults are subject to 13.7% of the socio-economic related inequality.], the prevalence of violence in India faced by older adults was 11.2%.

The well-being of senior citizens is directed in the Constitution of India under Article 41 [“The State shall, within limits of its economic capacity and development, must make effective provision for securing the right to public assistance in cases of old age”]. Provisions like the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior citizens act [2007] have so far been a support to senior citizens. Several services offered by organizations are rescuing abandoned elders, counseling of elders in distress, proper health care, legal support, awareness, etc.

If there's any evidence for older people being subject to socio-economic or physical violence, one must seek help from Helpage India [ one of the most active organizations helping older population, also linking them to other organizations as per need. 1800-180-1253, Toll-free helpline - 14567 - is becoming operational in several states and further NGOs/NPOs like Asha Kiran, Manavlok, etc have substantiated elderly people with support.

Children and socio-economic insecurity - Children with a background of low Socioeconomic status are victims of adverse experiences twice than peers with stability (reported by Child Trends, 2013). Children become a very early victim to economic dysphoria, children are easily diverted, kidnapped, or brainwashed by frauds. All this can leave traumatic or adverse behaviors in a growing leading to many other psychological or physical reactions. A growing child need safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environment to understand, grow and adjust to the world, In parallel, it is also essential to prevent child maltreatment and assure that children reach their full potentials. Helplines are working all over the country actively [CHILDLINE 1098' ] still there must be alternatives to protect children from socio-economic violence.    

The younger generation into socio-economic violence - Exposure to violence during youth years leaves long-term life consequences. Adolescents who were physically abused or affected by dysphoric social reactions have decreased likelihood of getting married, reduced educational attainment, and a decrease in income.

 Socio-economic protection plays a prominent role here to direct a productive and positive way to the future generation. The social circle also comprises adults who face socio-economic violence in many ways like inequality between incomes, lower wage, insecure social environment, unstable economic stages, etc. All these matters are well adjustable until it leads a person to switch to criminal/violent manner -seizing their need with force or wrong persuasion, for example - Delhi man kills father, injures mother for refusing him to pay liquor money: reported on, October 2021 such similar cases are instances of socio-economic violence where economy plays a basic role, where a lens of security must care.

Some other socio-economic base of rights you must note - We are aware that everyone is equal before the law, the state/law must protect one's right to liberty, justice virtues for victims of social insecurity. Any human rights violence caused due to any economic reason/cause within a social influence/circle must be subject to socio-economic security and the state/law must implement to resolve/equitize the proper justice to the victim. Some provisions provided by the state over social and economic protection are;

1) The fundamental right- The right to Equality is guaranteed by the Constitution of India the social security is the concurrent responsibility of the Central and state governments.

2) Referring to the Constitution of India and International Labor Organisation Convention on Social Security (ratified by India in 1964), some legislations enacted for social security are Maternity Benefit Act-1961, Employees’ State Insurance Act-1948, Workers’ Social Security Act-2008, The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act-2005, etc. A social security division has also been set up under the Ministry of Labor and Employment of India which preferably focuses on framing policies for social security for the workers of the organized sector. Even though it is based on social security but no particular law individually, yet covers both the social & economic protection in the Indian constitution.

3) Article 17 of the United Nations Declaration for Human Rights states - Right to own property, Article 22 of UDHR empowers the economic, social, and cultural rights along with an individual's dignity and development. Article 25 of UDHR provides standard living and social security. Article 29 of UDHR states -We have a duty towards other people and we should protect each other's rights.[ responsibly].

A better reference - For a better understanding about socio-economic violence one can look through series/movies like “Deadly Rich,”[ where characters were driven to commit deadly acts all in the name of financial gain ], episodes of Crime Patrol or Savdhaan India focusing on wealth/money values leading to crime , Apharan, Berlin syndrome , Dangerous intentions, Natural born killlers and many other similar shows valuing resource/economy over humanity.

A way forward for India – India evidences socio-economic violence and crimes based on socio-economic influence/conditions, which is driven by inequality, injustice, and several other immoral actions. With regards to the number of such rising violent cases in localities of Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, etc, the state shall introduce a separate law for socio-economic security and protect the victims. This will help the judiciary or police to directly focus on socio-economic security involving social protection in national, domestic, and communal areas. Several NGOs, government-driven organizations can work on socio-economic aspects of society to protect the victims under such violence. The spread of awareness can play a way bigger role in implementing the protection of the socio-economic dimension.  


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