WHO hosts global meeting of NGOs advocating for road safety and road victims

On 7-8 May 2009 WHO hosted the Global Meeting of NGOs Advocating for Road Safety and Road Victims in Brussels. More than 100 participants attended the meeting representing 70 NGOs in 40 countries. Many of the participating NGOs were created by people who have lost a child or loved one in a road traffic crash and who now campaign for safer roads and improved services for road crash victims and their families. The objectives of the meeting were to foster a greater understanding of the expertise and needs of road safety and road victim NGOs; share knowledge, experiences and approaches to advocating for road safety and road crash victims; and identify opportunities for greater collaboration among these NGOs and other organizations.

Participants heard about the work of organizations such as Relatives and Friends of the Victims of the Santa Fe Tragedy (Argentina), Mothers Against Drunk Driving (USA), Parents of Child Road Victims (Belgium), Securoute (Cameroun) and Handicap International; a presentation on the global impact of road crashes and what works to prevent them; and updates on upcoming opportunities for collaboration. In working groups, participants shared strategies for mobilizing policy makers, communicating the message and improving services for victims and their families. Participants also took the opportunity of the meeting to discuss and define steps to finalize a statement from the NGOs to be presented to the First Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in Moscow in November 2009. Participants, who often work at national or local level in isolation, enthusiastically took the opportunity to come together and to share with and learn from each other. An electronic platform for continued discussion and networking will be further explored.