Violence and Injury Prevention

Armed violence

UN Photo/P Sudhakaran

Globally, armed violence has a substantial impact on the health of populations and hampers social and economic development. As a result, there is growing international momentum to place armed violence prevention into development agendas.

Publications and campaign materials

WHO's armed violence prevention objectives are to:

  • raise awareness of the immediate and long-term health consequences of armed violence
  • highlight its preventability
  • prioritize armed violence prevention in international and national health and development agendas
  • reduce armed violence by supporting countries to increase capacity and establish direct and indirect prevention policies and programmes
  • expand the global evidence base to cover more low- and middle-income countries.

WHO activities for the prevention of armed violence carried out by the Department of Violence and Injury Prevention and Disability currently cover:

Data collection and research
  • The WHO Global Burden of Disease project includes estimates of deaths, morbidity, and Disabilty-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) due to self-directed, interpersonal and collective violence.
  • The Global Burden of Armed Violence project includes estimates of deaths, morbidity, and DALYs due to self-directed, interpersonal and collective violence involving firearms and other weapons in conflict and non-conflict settings. WHO and other partners contribute to this Small Arms Survey project.
  • WHO publishes and disseminates evidence on youth and armed violence prevention and campaign materials.
  • WHO acts as the Secretariat of the Violence Prevention Alliance.