Rationale and definition:
This statistic measures injuries and fatalities resulting directly from violence, including assaults (beatings, abuse, burnings) and armed violence but not accidents or self-inflicted injuries, expressed in terms of a unit per 100,000 population. We include injuries, as there are many forms of violence that do not result in death.
This data is a reflection of the level of violence in a given country and should be disaggregated by sex (to distinguish violence against women), by age (to identify violence against children), by ethnicity (to track possible genocides), and by geography (to identify sub-national pockets of violence and to track urban crime). In addition, the intentional homicide rate should be reported separately from the deaths due to armed conflict.
Comments and limitations:
Death rates can have just as much to do with access and quality of health care as it does with the level of violence. Tracking injuries helps overcome this limitation. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) gathers annual statistical data on intentional homicide1 and WHO collects data on injuries. However, few countries actually report and the reliability of the national data may vary, especially for those countries afflicted with conflict. A real push for better data must be made. This effort can be supported and complemented by other non-profit and academic programs, such as the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP), which records data on organized violence.2
Preliminary assessment of current data availability by Friends of the Chair:
Primary data source:
Administrative data and civil registration and vital statistics.
Potential lead agency or agencies:
Data should be compiled for all countries by UNODC, WHO and/or the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA). In addition, according to UNICEF, most countries have injury surveillance systems that can be strengthened and expanded.