Violence and Injury Prevention

Developing global performance targets for road safety

Accelerating progress towards safer roads will be facilitated with the setting of global performance targets for road safety. In the last of a series of meetings, WHO and its Member States are convening on 20-21 November 2017 to complete this work, which was requested by Member States through the Brasilia Declaration and through resolutions of the UN General Assembly and World Health Assembly. Globally, despite progress towards stabilizing and reducing the burden of road traffic injuries, much more needs to be done to achieve SDG target 3.6. It is hoped the outcome of this meeting will lead to agreement around a set of targets on proven interventions, which will in turn give inspiration to countries to develop national targets to help focus efforts around what works and monitor results.

WHO launches new violence prevention resource

WHO has released “Violence Info”, a global interactive knowledge platform of scientific findings about the prevalence, consequences, causes and prevention of various forms of violence. The tool contains homicide rates and country-specific information on laws, policies, strategies and services to prevent and respond to violence. Globally, some 470 000 people are victims of homicide every year. Hundreds of millions more suffer non-fatal violence. Violence also contributes to leading causes of death such as cancer, heart disease and HIV/AIDS, because victims often adopt behaviours such as smoking, alcohol and drug misuse and unsafe sex. Beyond its impact on individual victims, violence undermines the social and economic development of whole communities. Violence Info was presented at WHO’s 8th Meeting on Milestones in a Global Campaign for Violence Prevention in October 2017.

SaveLIVES package offers strategies for making road safe

In the context of the Fourth UN Global Road Safety Week, WHO released Save LIVES: a road safety technical package, an evidence-based inventory of 6 strategies and 22 interventions with a focus on Speed management, Leadership, Infrastructure design and improvement, Vehicle safety standards, Enforcement of traffic laws and post-crash Survival. Developed with the collaboration of many of the world’s leading road safety experts, the package aims to support decision-makers and practitioners in their efforts to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries and achieve the Sustainable Development Goal targets 3.6 and 11.2. Since countries are at varying stages of addressing this global health and development challenge, the package should not be considered a one-size-fits-all solution, but rather a guide to facilitate concrete action on effective interventions.

Fourth UN Global Road Safety Week kicks off worldwide

With 420 events registered in more than 100 countries, the Fourth UN Global Road Safety Week and its “Save Lives: #SlowDown” campaign, highlight the dangers of excessive and inappropriate speed and generate action on measures to address this leading risk for road traffic death and injury. Typically 40-50% of drivers go over the posted speed limits, and speed contributes to one in every three road traffic fatalities. Countries which have successfully managed speed have built roads to include features that calm traffic such as roundabouts and speed bumps; established and vigorously enforced speed limits; ensured that manufacturers install in-vehicle technologies such as autonomous emergency braking; and raised awareness about the consequences of speed through mass media campaigns. Reducing speed not only prevents road traffic crashes, but also leads to increases in walking and cycling and reductions in air and noise pollution, thereby making populations healthier and cities more liveable.

New guidance released to prevent drowning

WHO/WPRO/Leonard G Reyes

Drowning takes the lives of around 360,000 people every year, and is the third leading cause of death for children aged 5-14 years. Preventing drowning: an implementation guide provides concrete guidance for programme managers for conducting situation assessments and implementing effective drowning prevention strategies. Case studies show real world application, emphasizing the putting in place of such strategies in low- and middle-income settings. The guide also offers information that is relevant for policy-makers who can enable the legislative frameworks which facilitate drowning prevention. The implementation guide builds on the recommendations of the first Global report on drowning released by WHO in 2014.

New toolkit gives guidance for creating road safety mass media campaigns

Mass media campaigns are an important component of national and local road safety strategies. As part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Programme, WHO and its partners created more than 30 mass media campaigns in nine countries. The campaigns focused on five behavioural risk factors: speeding, drinking and driving, and failing to use motorcycle helmets, seat-belts and child restraints. The results and lessons generated from this work are presented in a new document: Road safety mass media campaigns: a toolkit. This step-by-step guide aims to strengthen the implementation of similar campaigns in low- and middle-income countries where the burden of road traffic crashes is highest.

World's experts gather to exchange knowledge and practice on preventing violence and injuries and saving lives

Every day violence and injuries take the lives of more than 14 000 people. Over 1,100 experts gathered for Safety 2016, the 12th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion, are sharing the latest evidence and experiences from prevention programmes which have demonstrated dramatic success in saving lives.

Michael R. Bloomberg named as WHO Global Ambassador for NCDs

Michael Bloomberg

On 17 August 2016 WHO named Mr Michael R. Bloomberg, philanthropist and former three-term Mayor of the City of New York, as Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases. NCDs including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases and injuries are responsible for 43 million deaths each year - almost 80% of all deaths worldwide. The premature death and disability from NCDs and injury can largely be prevented, through implementing proven, cost-effective measures. In his new role, Mr Bloomberg will work with national and local political leaders around the global to highlight the burden of NCDs and injuries and support attainment of the SDGs.

INSPIRE: Seven strategies for ending violence against children


Over the past year, up to one billion children have experienced physical, sexual or psychological violence. One in four children suffer physical abuse, and nearly one in five girls is sexually abused at least once in their lives. WHO in collaboration with a number of partners, launched a technical package containing seven interlinked strategies that have shown success in reducing violence against children. The initiative, launched with the support of the newly established Global Partnership to End Violence against Children, aims to help countries to achieve the SDGs, in particular SDG target 16.2 to "end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children", and implementation of World Health Assembly resolution WHA69.5 on the WHO global plan of action to address interpersonal violence.

fact buffet


>1 500 000people lose their lives each year to violence

Violence prevention

Road traffic injuries

50%of all people dying on the roads are cyclists, pedestrians, or motorcyclists

Global status report on road safety 2015

Child injuries

2 300children die every day from injuries

World report on child injury prevention


  • 23 October 2017

    WHO publishes new guidelines to help response to sexual abuse

    Millions of children and adolescents are subjected to sexual abuse with devastating consequences for their health and well-being. To respond WHO published new evidence-based guidelines for health care providers: Responding to children and adolescents who have been sexually abused: WHO clinical guidelines.

  • 20 October 2017

    WHO hosts 8th Meeting on Milestones of a Global Campaign for Violence Prevention

    The 8th Milestones Meeting, hosted by the Government and the Public Health Agency of Canada in Ottawa, Canada, convened around 250 international participants from some 50 countries. Participants reviewed efforts to advance the implementation of policies and programmes to achieve the SDG violence-related targets.

  • 19 October 2017

    WHO releases the Violence Prevention Information System - “Violence Info”

    During the 8th Milestones Meeting, WHO released Violence Info, a global interactive knowledge platform of scientific findings about the prevalence, consequences, causes and prevention of various forms of violence. The tool contains homicide rates and country-specific information on laws, policies, strategies and victim services to prevent and respond to violence.

  • 19 October 2017

    Delegates to the World Conference on Drowning Prevention 2017 agree on next steps

    More than 800 participants from over 60 countries came together in Vancouver, Canada, with many speakers reiterating the key messages and recommendations of the Global report on drowning and Preventing drowning: an implementation guide. Participants were positive on WHO’s next steps, which include the development of best practice standards, expanded country programming, and continuing support to the development of national drowning prevention policies.

  • 18 October 2017

    WHO hosts annual meeting of the Violence Prevention Alliance (VPA)

    The meeting, jointly conducted with Canada’s PreVAiL, created synergies across the two networks, with representatives of VPA member organizations and working groups updating on recent efforts to prevent violence. Panel discussions addressed adverse childhood experiences and innovations in the prevention of intimate partner violence.

  • 30 September 2017

    Call for abstracts for Safety 2018 now open

    Organizers of Safety 2018 - the 13th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion - are now accepting abstracts. The conference, which takes place from 5-7 November 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand, will offer sessions featuring the latest evidence and information on various forms of violence and injury and their prevention.

World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion

13th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion

Bangkok, Thailand
5-7 November 2018

VIP Collaborating Centres

Upcoming conferences & events

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

19 November 2017

Member State Consultation on Developing Global Performance Targets for Road Safety Risk Factors and Service Delivery Mechanisms

Geneva, Switzerland
20-21 November 2017

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

25 November 2017

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

3 December 2017

Annual Council Meeting of the Global Network of Road Safety Legislators

London, United Kingdom
12-13 December 2017

Contact us

Ms. Laura Sminkey
Communications Officer
Tel.: +41 22 791 45 47
Mob.: +41 79 249 35 20