Violence and Injury Prevention

3rd Milestones of a Global Campaign for Violence Prevention: Report 2007

This report, the third of its kind, reviews the progress that has been made in the field of violence prevention since the October 2002 launch of the World report on violence and health and the Global Campaign for Violence Prevention. More importantly, it sets out what the World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners can do over the next 5 years to expand violence prevention programming and to demonstrate, in terms of lives saved lives and suffering averted, the impact of violence prevention.

Violence is a major obstacle to health and development, but as Nelson Mandela said in the foreword to the World report on violence and health, "Violence can be prevented. Violent cultures can be turned around … Governments, communities and individuals can make a difference". As well as increased awareness that violence is preventable, notable achievements of the first 5 years of the Global Campaign for Violence Prevention detailed here include consolidating and disseminating normative guidance on how to prevent violence; carving a niche within government health ministries for focal persons to promote violence prevention; and taking stock of the scale and nature of the violence problem and the responses to it. At the individual level, tens of thousands of people in scores of countries have been touched by violence prevention programmes and thousands of victims have been helped to cope with the aftermath of their experience through services established as part of the Global Campaign for Violence Prevention.

There remains, however, much more work to be done. Through the activities described in this document and those initiated independently of WHO, violence prevention has arrived at a crucial turning point. Advocacy, normative guidance and the planting of programme seeds in many countries must now give way to scaled-up country level implementation, accompanied by a concerted effort to measure the effectiveness of interventions using the outcomes that really matter – rates of violence-related deaths, non-fatal injuries and other violence-related health conditions.

Over the next 5 years, WHO is committed to working with its partners at all levels – global, regional and country – to make the impacts of violence prevention visible by investing in proven and promising prevention strategies, as well as in data collection systems to support the monitoring of the effectiveness of prevention efforts. Visible results for violence prevention build confidence, and in turn, the political commitment and momentum required to intensify and expand the prevention of violence. In this way, we can capitalize on the heightened concern and harness the goodwill established by the first 5 years of the Global Campaign for Violence Prevention.

Margaret Chan
WHO Director-General

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