Countries with the highest murder rates

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Armed conflicts are becoming deadlier but a new United Nations report reveals that actually, intentional homicide kills far more people.

In fact, according to the hefty Global Study on Homicide 2019, published this week by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), crime kills significantly more people than armed conflict and terrorism combined. While armed conflict killed 89,000 people in 2017 and terrorism killed 26,000, crime ended the lives of 464,000 people that year. This data is important to track, the report says, because homicide affects not just the victim but also the victim’s family and community. It creates a violent environment that is harmful to society, the economy and the world at large.

Homicide rates are also the first indicator for measuring progress toward the first target under the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16: to “significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere.” It also affects nearly all the other SDGs, the report notes, including no poverty, good health, quality education, gender equality, decent work and economic growth, reduced inequalities, sustainable cities, climate action and life on land.

According to the report, organized crime alone is a major source of homicide around the world. More than half of the 464,000 homicides in 2017 were carried out with guns. Particularly in the Americas, firearms were used to perpetrate about three-quarters of homicides in 2017. These killings account for more than a quarter of all homicides in the world that year.

  • The two regions with homicide rates that exceed the global average were the Americas.
  • Asia, which accounts for 60 percent of the global population, recorded the lowest rate.
  • The rates in Oceania and Europe were also below the global average.

To view an interactive map that lists countries homicide rates, visit this UNDOC resource. 

[UN Dispatch]

This entry was posted in by Grant Montgomery.

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