Youth Violence

Youth violence is a global public health problem. It includes a range of acts from bullying and physical fighting, to more severe sexual and physical assault to homicide. Worldwide an estimated 200 000 homicides occur among youth 10–29 years of age each year, making it the fourth leading cause of death for people in this age group. Youth homicide rates vary dramatically between and within countries. Globally, 83% of youth homicide victims are males, and in all countries males also constitute the majority of perpetrators. In the years 2000-2012, rates of youth homicide decreased in most countries, although the decrease has been greater in high-income countries than in low- and middle-income countries.

Promising prevention programmes include:

  • Life skills and social development programmes designed to help children and adolescents manage anger, resolve conflict, and develop the necessary social skills to solve problems;
  • School-based anti-bullying prevention programmes;
  • Programmes that support parents and teach positive parenting skills;
  • Preschool programmes that provide children with academic and social skills at an early age;
  • Therapeutic approaches for youths at high risk of being involved in violence;
  • Reducing access to alcohol;
  • Interventions to reduce the harmful use of drugs;
  • Restrictive firearm licensing and purchasing policies;
  • Community and problem-oriented policing; and
  • Interventions to reduce concentrated poverty and to upgrade urban environments.

(source: WHO_2015)