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Fighting Violence with Evidence

Violence is on the rise globally, but it doesn't have to be. In fact, the world possesses the knowledge, tools, institutional structures, legal instruments, and data-collection capacity to halve violence, in all its forms, within a decade.

SAN DIEGO/NEW YORK – In last year’s Pathways for Peace report – the result of a joint study by the United Nations and the World Bank – UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned that the world is facing a “dramatic resurgence” of conflict, which has caused immense human suffering and significantly undermined global order. If the world is to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – and protect millions of people from deadly violence – urgent action must be taken to reverse this trend.

It is not just conflict that is on the rise. According to new research by the Small Arms Survey, 589,000 people – including 96,000 women and girls – suffered violent deaths in 2017. That is 7.8 deaths per 100,000 people, the second-highest rate since 2004. This increase has been driven primarily by an upsurge in homicides.

On current trends, violent deaths will increase by more than 10% by 2030, reaching 660,000 annually. If conflict-related deaths continue to rise – owing to the eruption of new armed conflicts or the escalation of existing ones – and countries’ homicide rates start to regress toward those of the worst-performing states in their respective regions, over a million people will be dying violently each year by 2030.

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