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Sustainable Development Goals seek to strengthen interpersonal violence prevention

October 08, 2015 at 4:07 PM

Sustainable Development Goals seek to strengthen interpersonal violence prevention

*From the New Zealand Family VIolence Clearinghouse*

Governments around the world formally adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in New York between 25-27 September 2015.

The Summit asked countries to adopt the new universal Agenda made up of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets. These build on the Millennium Development Goals and complete what they did not achieve. The SDGs include targets which directly address the prevention of violence as well as underlying causes.

The Summit was preceded by a meeting of 200 leading violence prevention experts in Geneva between 22 and 23 September 2015 to discuss how best to use the opportunity to strengthen interpersonal violence prevention. The 7th Milestones in a Global Campaign for Violence Prevention Meeting mapped the links between the direct violence prevention SDG targets and those which address underlying causes. The map will be used to inform a policy template which governments can use to design national violence prevention plans and policies.

The SDGs recognise the consequences of interpersonal violence which erode countries' human and social capital and undermines development. The Global Campaign for Violence Prevention said "Interpersonal violence is predictable and preventable. Evidence shows that a major proportion of violence-related death and suffering is avoidable through investment in prevention approaches such as: parenting support; enhanced early childhood development programmes; life and social skills training for children and adolescents; reducing alcohol availability and access to firearms; problem-oriented policing; urban upgrading and poverty de-concentration. The responsibility for addressing interpersonal violence through these measures rests clearly with national governments."

Four SDG targets directly address violence prevention. These are:

  • Target 5.2 "Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation"
  • Target 5.3 "Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation"
  • Target 16.1 "Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere"
  • Target 16.2 "End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children"

Dr Etienne Krug, Director of WHO's Department for the Management of Noncommunicable Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention said "Given what we know about the substantial negative effects of interpersonal violence on individuals and societies, and its preventability, the forthcoming adoption of SDG targets for its prevention is a momentous opportunity for governments and people everywhere to scale up their commitment to and investments in prevention."

For information on the Summit and SDGs visit the UN website. Visit the Global Goals website and download the Global Goals app for more information on the 17 Goals and to find out what people are doing around the world to support adoption of the Goals.

For more information including media links visit the NZFVC website