Violent deaths don’t just happen in wars

A recent report from the Geneva Declaration estimates that 526,000 people are killed worldwide ever year by violence. However, only 10%, or about 55,000 of them died in armed conflicts.

While we focus a lot of attention on wars and skirmishes, far more people die violently worldwide for by other means. Almost 400,000, or nearly four times as many, are murdered for criminal or political reasons. Another 54,000 are killed unintentionally.  The 58 countries with the highest rates of violent deaths account for two-thirds of all such deaths. Moreover, about 25% of all violent deaths happen in 14 countries, seven of which are in the Americas:

There’s an economic cost to this as well:

Calculations indicate that the economic cost, in terms of lost productivity, of non-conflict violence globally is $95bn (£59bn; €67bn) a year and could reach as much as $163bn.

I’m for ending wars as much as the next guy, but what I really want to do is to prevent bad outcomes – like death. I was surprised to see that such a small percent of violent deaths were due to armed conflicts. We should, perhaps, focus as much, if not more, on preventing violent crime in many countries.

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