Violence and Injury Prevention

World's experts gather to exchange knowledge and practice on preventing violence and injuries and saving lives

Every day violence and injuries take the lives of more than 14 000 people. Over 1,100 experts gathered for Safety 2016, the 12th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion, are sharing the latest evidence and experiences from prevention programmes which have demonstrated dramatic success in saving lives.

Michael R. Bloomberg named as WHO Global Ambassador for NCDs

Michael Bloomberg

On 17 August 2016 WHO named Mr Michael R. Bloomberg, philanthropist and former three-term Mayor of the City of New York, as Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases. NCDs including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases and injuries are responsible for 43 million deaths each year - almost 80% of all deaths worldwide. The premature death and disability from NCDs and injury can largely be prevented, through implementing proven, cost-effective measures. In his new role, Mr Bloomberg will work with national and local political leaders around the global to highlight the burden of NCDs and injuries and support attainment of the SDGs.

INSPIRE: Seven strategies for ending violence against children


Over the past year, up to one billion children have experienced physical, sexual or psychological violence. One in four children suffer physical abuse, and nearly one in five girls is sexually abused at least once in their lives. WHO in collaboration with a number of partners, launched a technical package containing seven interlinked strategies that have shown success in reducing violence against children. The initiative, launched with the support of the newly established Global Partnership to End Violence against Children, aims to help countries to achieve the SDGs, in particular SDG target 16.2 to "end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children", and implementation of World Health Assembly resolution WHA69.5 on the WHO global plan of action to address interpersonal violence.

WHO releases new infographic on elder abuse

The UN General Assembly designated 15 June as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Around 1 in 10 elderly people have experienced some form of maltreatment either at home or in an institution. Elder abuse can lead to serious physical injuries and long-term psychological consequences. Elder abuse is a global public health problem which affects the health and human rights of millions of older people around the world, and is predicted to increase with rapidly ageing populations. On the occasion of Elder Abuse Awareness Day, WHO is launching a new infographic on the issue which highlights the magnitude of the problem and known prevention strategies.

UN General Assembly adopts a resolution on "Improving global road safety"

UN Photos

On 15 April 2016, the UN General Assembly and its Member States adopted a resolution on "Improving global road safety". The resolution, which was tabled by the Government of the Russian Federation, was co-sponsored by 55 governments.

2nd Global High-Level Conference on Road Safety

On 18-19 November 2015, for only the second time in history, ministers of transport, health and interior and their representatives convened in Brasilia, Brazil to address the global road safety crisis. The 2nd Global High-Level Conference on Road Safety, which gathered 2200 delegates from more than 110 countries including key speakers such as Ms Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil, and Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO, defined the urgent measures needed to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’s ambitious target to halve road traffic deaths by the end of this decade.

Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015

The Global status report on road safety 2015, reflecting information from 180 countries, indicates that worldwide the total number of road traffic deaths has plateaued at 1.25 million per year, with the highest road traffic fatality rates in low-income countries. In the last three years, 17 countries have aligned at least one of their laws with best practice on seat-belts, drink–driving, speed, motorcycle helmets or child restraints. While there has been progress towards improving road safety legislation and in making vehicles safer, the report shows that the pace of change is too slow. Urgent action is needed to achieve the ambitious target for road safety reflected in the newly adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: halving the global number of deaths and injuries from road traffic crashes by 2020. Made possible through funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies, this report is the third in the series, and provides a snapshot of the road safety situation globally, highlighting the gaps and the measures needed to best drive progress.

Reporting on road safety: a guide for journalists

As a component of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Programme 2010-2014, WHO engaged with more than 1300 journalists in nine countries through tailored workshops on road safety. The aim was to increase media interest in and understanding of road safety as a critical health and development issue. Produced jointly by WHO and the Pulitzer Center, with financial support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, Reporting on road safety: a guide for journalists reflects the experiences and lessons learned from these workshops with journalists and editors, in particular those from low- and middle-income countries. In the guide and its accompanying pamphlet entitled 16 story ideas, readers will find links to stories, suggestions for new angles, descriptions of projects, and tips from editors, journalists and public health experts to enhance reporting on road safety.

Third UN Global Road Safety Week 2015
4-10 May 2015

Around 186 300 children under 18 years die from road traffic crashes annually, and rates of road traffic death among children are three times higher in developing than in developed countries. Ten strategies for keeping children safe on the road draws attention to the risks for children on the world's roads and highlights measures to save lives. The new report is launched in the context of the Third UN Global Road Safety Week, a milestone in the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, which seeks to highlight the plight of children on the world's roads and generate action to better ensure their safety. Countries worldwide are marking the Week and its global campaign: #SaveKidsLives, through hundreds of events.

fact buffet


>1 500 000people lose their lives each year to violence

Violence prevention

Road traffic injuries

50%of all people dying on the roads are cyclists, pedestrians, or motorcyclists

Global status report on road safety 2015

Child injuries

2 300children die every day from injuries

World report on child injury prevention


  • 14 October 2016

    WHO hosts annual gathering of lawyers to enhance road safety legislation

    From 11-14 October, WHO held its 5th annual workshop on road safety legislation, convening 29 lawyers and other professionals from government and civil society organizations in select countries. Participants reviewed knowledge of the five key risk factors for road traffic deaths and injuries; discussed best practices to improving laws; and learned specific skills for engaging with the media to advocate for policy change.

  • 14 October 2016

    WHO convenes partners to further implementation of strategies for ending violence against children

    On 13-14 October, violence prevention experts from 24 civil society organizations, five UN organizations; and three governments met in Geneva to discuss plans for supporting country- and community-level implementation of INSPIRE: Seven strategies for ending violence against children.

  • 21 September 2016

    Government of Finland hosts Safety 2016 in Tampere, Finland

    The conference, which convened around 1200 of the world’s leading researchers, practitioners and advocates in the field of violence and injury prevention under the theme “From research to implementation”, focused on the idea that preventing violence and injuries will further attainment of the SDGs.

  • 18 September 2016

    Ministry of Health Focal Points for Violence and Injury Prevention convene in Tampere, Finland

    Through the meeting, WHO colleagues and Ministry of Health focal points identified concrete ways to strengthen collaboration and facilitate implementation of the relevant SDG targets and recent UN General Assembly and World Health Assembly resolutions on violence prevention and road safety.

  • 17 September 2016

    WHO issues new policy brief on drug use and road safety

    “Drug use and road safety” provides up-to-date information for policy-makers on the impact of psychoactive drugs on road traffic injury risk.

  • 7 September 2016

    Violence Prevention Alliance (VPA) addresses ways to achieve violence-related SDGs

    The 2016 annual meeting of the VPA, convening representatives of its 65 participant organizations, focused on the VPA’s role in supporting implementation of violence-related SDGs.

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Contact us

Ms. Laura Sminkey
Communications Officer
Tel.: +41 22 791 45 47
Mob.: +41 79 249 35 20