Project Syndicate: Fighting Violence with Evidence


By Rachel Locke and David Steven

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.

UN Photo / Ky Chung

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.

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