Posted: Thursday, December 11, 2014. 3:26 pm CST.
Thursday, December 11, 2014. PATRICK E. JONES Reporting: Belize is listed among countries in the Americas with the highest homicide rates behind Jamaica, Venezuela and Honduras.
The Global Status Report on Violence Prevention 2014, which was released on Wednesday in Geneva, Switzerland, shows that three-quarters of the homicides in the Americas are committed with firearms and occur in low and middle income countries.
Data for the Report, published jointly by the World Health Organization, the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, was gathered from 133 countries around the world.
The report sought to assess national efforts to address “interpersonal violence, namely child maltreatment, youth violence, intimate partner and sexual violence, and elder abuse.”
The Report “calls for a scaling up of violence prevention programmes; stronger legislation and enforcement of laws relevant for violence prevention; and enhanced services for victims of violence.”
Data from 2012 used in the report shows that in Latin America and the Caribbean the homicide rate is 28.5 per 100,000, which is four times the global homicide rate of 6.7 per 100,000.
WHO’s adviser on Sustainable Development and Human Security Dr. Marcelo Korc describes it as a “dubious distinction” and concludes that while many countries are taking steps to address high rate of “lethal interpersonal violence” it remains “a huge challenge to implement effective prevention and treatment programs to lower these rates and reduce the tremendous suffering they represent.”
The Report points out that all of the countries in the Americas have laws regulating firearms but less than two-thirds of them have special firearm control programs.
The Report makes a series of recommendations to reduce the levels of violence including programs to reduce the availability and harmful use of alcohol; laws and programs to reduce access to firearms; school-based programs to teach children and adolescents ‘life-skills’ such as non-violent conflict resolution and programs to improve parenting in families at-risk of violence.
Public information campaigns to prevent the abuse of the elderly is also a key recommendation by the Report.
Our of a total of 35 member countries, 21 of them took part in the 2014 Global Status Report on Violence Prevention report.
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