Global study on homicide: homicide, development and the Sustainable Development Goals

Homicide Violent crimes Criminal justice Sustainable development

This research starts by examining the relationship between homicidal violence and level of development with reference to the Sustainable Development Goals. A macroanalysis of the extent to which homicide rates can be explained by national levels of development is then presented. The analysis is based on a set of models that incorporate the latest available homicide data and were designed to take into account the social and economic factors most strongly correlated with homicide rates across countries. Comparing the homicide rate predicted on the basis of a country’s level of development with the actual homicide rate reported by that country helps to clarify how effective development policies can be instrumental in reducing homicidal violence.

The research looks in detail at the main pillars of development and their reciprocal relationship with levels of homicide and violence. First, homicide and economic development are discussed in terms of economic growth, poverty and inequality, and unemployment. The focus then shifts to social development, with consideration of a number of specific aspects: young people, education and violence, good health and well-being, gender inequality, urban violence and migration. This is followed by an assessment of the relationship between homicide and environmental factors. Lastly, homicide and peace, justice and strong institutions – the three key components of Sustainable Development Goal 16 – are addressed in the context of the rule of law. The overall aim is to provide an evidence base for policymaking that helps to reduce violence while fostering sustainable development.

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