Violence and Injury Prevention

Global status report on violence prevention


Each year, more than 1.3 million people worldwide lose their lives to violence. Beyond deaths and injuries, violence has serious, life-long, and far-reaching consequences. It places a massive burden on national economies, costing countries billions of US dollars each year in health care, law enforcement, and lost productivity.

In 2002 WHO launched the World report on violence and health which provided the first comprehensive review of the problem of violence on a global scale – what it is, whom it affects and what can be done about it. The Global status report on violence prevention, to be published in late 2014, will for the first time evaluate the extent to which countries have been implementing the recommendations of the World report on violence and health, as called for in WHA Resolution 56.24, "Implementing the recommendations of the World report on violence and health".

Global status report on violence prevention

The report will focus on interpersonal violence, which includes child maltreatment, youth violence, intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and elder maltreatment. Much like similar reports on road safety, tobacco control, and mental health, this snapshot of the state of interpersonal violence prevention in each country will serve:

  • As benchmark for countries to assess their violence prevention efforts;
  • As a baseline to track future progress in violence prevention internationally;
  • To identify gaps in national responses to violence that need to be addressed; and
  • To catalyze further prevention action.

Its ultimate aim is to strengthen Member States’ capacity to prevent violence.

Data collection

Data for the Global status report on violence prevention is currently being compiled by National Data Coordinators in each country and collected using a standardized questionnaire which includes indicators such as:

  • The existence of national action plans for violence prevention and mechanisms for collaboration and exchange of information on violence prevention;
  • Data on the magnitude of violence and countries’ capacity for collecting such data;
  • Primary prevention responses – policies, programmes, and laws and their enforcement, in particular;
  • The existence of services for victims of violence.

Data collection began in 2013 and is being carried out in all WHO Member States that agree to participate, working through WHO Regional and Country Offices. In each country, the National Data Coordinator is responsible for data collection.

Data is being collected from violence prevention experts from different sectors including justice, law enforcement/police, interior, education, gender and women, relevant non-governmental organizations, and research institutions. These experts come together as a multi-sectoral consensus panel and provide one set of data that best represents the situation in their country. Following official government endorsement of the completed questionnaires, the data will be collated and analyzed to provide input for the Global status report on violence prevention.

Report structure

The major components of the report will be: (1) 30-40 pages of text summarizing main messages, providing an overview of the main country findings, and formulating recommendations for next steps; (2) a set of one-page country profiles that will present in text and graphs key results of the survey; and (3) a detailed statistical annex.

By January 2014, almost 100 countries had contributed data and it is hoped that data from more than 120 countries will be included in the report. The Global status report on violence prevention will be launched in late 2014.

Download the flyer