Global Violent Deaths 2017: Time to Decide

Claire Mc Evoy and Gergely Hideg

Lethal violence claimed 560,000 lives in 2016—more than one person every minute of every day of the year.

Global Violent Deaths 2017: Time to Decide, a report from the Small Arms Survey, shows that while the global conflict death rate dropped in 2016, the global homicide rate increased for the first time since 2004. Although this does not necessarily indicate a new trend, it does signal growing insecurity in non-conflict areas. Of the five countries with the highest death rates in 2016—Syria, El Salvador, Venezuela, Honduras, and Afghanistan—only two had active armed conflicts.

The study also elaborates scenarios for the future based on current trends, to assess the number of people that could be saved if states implement effective violence reduction initiatives in support of Agenda 2030, as opposed to more negative outcomes if trends worsen. If prevailing trends remain unchanged, the annual number of violent deaths is likely to increase to 630,000 by 2030. On the contrary, if states commit themselves to effectively address conflict and armed violence, the number of annual deaths could be lowered to 408,000 by 2030—even considering the population increase. In total, over the next twelve years, approximately 1.35 million lives could be saved.

Within the Agenda 2030 framework and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, states have an unprecedented opportunity to save lives. It’s time to decide.

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Keywords: GVD Violent deaths Armed violence Homicide Conflict deaths GBV Gender-based violence