Violence and Injury Prevention

Youth violence

UN Photo/Claudio Edinger

Worldwide some 250 000 homicides occur among youth 10-29 years of age each year – 41% of the annual total number of homicides globally. For each young person killed, 20-40 more sustain injuries requiring hospital treatment. Youth violence has a serious, often lifelong, impact on a person's psychological and social functioning.

Publications and campaign materials

WHO's youth violence prevention objectives are to:

  • raise awareness of the immediate and long-term health consequences of youth violence
  • highlight its preventability
  • prioritize youth violence prevention in international and national health and development agendas
  • reduce youth violence by supporting countries to increase capacity and establish youth violence prevention policies and programmes, and
  • expand the global evidence base to cover more low- and middle-income countries.

Activities

Data collection and research
  • The WHO Global Burden of Disease project includes estimates of deaths, morbidity, and Disabilty-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) due to violence against youth.
  • The Global Schools-based Student Health Survey contains an optional module on violence among 13-15-year- olds.
Policy, capacity and programme development
  • With the University of St Andrews and supported by the Scottish Government, WHO is working with selected low- and middle-income countries to build a comprehensive policy response to interpersonal violence, focusing mainly on youth violence.
Advocacy
  • WHO publishes and disseminates evidence on youth violence prevention and campaign materials.
  • WHO acts as the Secretariat of the Violence Prevention Alliance) which has a significant focus on youth violence prevention.