Ensuring security and fundamental rights in urban settings

Dr. Alexander Butchart
World Health Organization (WHO)

The focus of World Health Day on 7 April 2010 was "urban health matters". The World Health Organization (WHO) noted that by the year 2030, six out of 10 people will be living in cities, with the most explosive growth expected in Asia and Africa. Cities concentrate risks and hazards for health and security. When large numbers of people are linked in space and competing for social and economic opportunity, problems – such as high concentrations of poverty and steep economic inequality; increased access to alcohol, illicit drugs, and guns; reduced social trust, and family breakdown - are amplified. That is why, alongside noncommunicable diseases (e.g. depression, diabetes), and road traffic injuries, violence is identified by WHO as one of the major threats facing urban environments, and why WHO calls on cities to prioritize evidence-based approaches to violence prevention. This presentation reviews the growing convergence by international agencies around such an approach to preventing violence; provides examples of how this thrust to strengthen evidence-based prevention is finding uptake in developing-country urban environments, and reflects upon challenges and opportunities that violence prevention in urban settings may encounter.


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verwandte Schlüsselbegriffe

Gewaltprävention prevention violence International crime prevention research violence prevention prevention policy