Violent deaths among relief workers increasing

July 13, 2000

Education and debate: Deaths among humanitarian workers

Humanitarian workers in areas of conflict are at ever increasing risk of death by intentional violence, according to new research in this week's BMJ.

Researchers in the United States analysed cause of death in humanitarian workers between 1985 and 1998, using records from aid organisations. During this time period, deaths due to intentional violence (involving guns, bombs, landmines or other weapons) increased. Of 375 deaths, 68% were as a result of intentional violence. Overall, deaths from intentional violence were most common in 1992-5, when they accounted for 75% of all deaths - most victims died in cross fire or in cold blood.

Africa accounted for over half of all deaths, add the authors. The largest number occurring in Rwanda and peaking in 1994 during the Rwandan conflict. Since 1994, reported deaths among UN staff have decreased whereas deaths among workers in non-governmental organisations have continued to increase. This may be explained by the fact that these organisations often work in small but intense conflicts, which may have few UN staff, say the authors.

Continuing to provide assistance in the midst of violence will inevitably mean more deaths, conclude the authors, but actions can be taken to reduce the toll. For instance, a clearer understanding of risks, improved communication and clear evacuation plans should all be considered. Even limiting aid in high-risk situations is a sensitive, but potential option, add the authors.
-end-
Contact:

Gilbert Burnham, Director, Center for Refugee and Disaster Studies, Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA Email: gburnham@jhsph.edu

BMJ

Related Violence Articles from Brightsurf:

Combined intimate partner violence that includes sexual violence is common & more damaging
Women who experience sexual violence combined with other forms of intimate partner violence suffer greater damage to their health and are much more likely to attempt suicide, according to a study led by researchers at the University of Bristol's Centre for Academic Primary Care published in the International Journal of Epidemiology today [12 November 2020].

As farming developed, so did cooperation -- and violence
The growth of agriculture led to unprecedented cooperation in human societies, a team of researchers, has found, but it also led to a spike in violence, an insight that offers lessons for the present.

The front line of environmental violence
Environmental defenders on the front line of natural resource conflict are being killed at an alarming rate, according to a University of Queensland study.

What can trigger violence in postcolonial Africa?
Why do civil wars and coups d'├ętat occur more frequently in some sub-Saharan African countries than others.

Another victim of violence: Trust in those who mean no harm
Exposure to violence does not change the ability to learn who is likely to do harm, but it does damage the ability to place trust in 'good people,' psychologists at Yale and University of Oxford report April 26 in the journal Nature Communications

Victims of gun violence tell their stories: Everyday violence, 'feelings of hopelessness'
Invited to share their personal stories, victims of urban gun violence describe living with violence as a 'common everyday experience' and feeling abandoned by police and other societal institutions, reports a study in the November/December Journal of Trauma Nursing, official publication of the Society of Trauma Nurses.

Does more education stem political violence?
In a study released online today in Review of Educational Research, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association, three Norwegian researchers attempt to bring clarity to this question by undertaking the first systematic examination of quantitative research on this topic.

Teen dating violence is down, but boys still report more violence than girls
When it comes to teen dating violence, boys are more likely to report being the victim of violence -- being hit, slapped, or pushed--than girls.

Preventing murder by addressing domestic violence
Victims of domestic violence are at a high risk to be murdered -- or a victim of attempted murder -- according to a Cuyahoga County task force of criminal-justice professionals, victim advocates and researchers working to prevent domestic violence and homicides.

'Love displaces violence'
Art historian Eva-Bettina Krems on persistent motifs of peace in art from antiquity to the present day -- dove, rainbow or victory of love: artists draw on recurring motifs.

Read More: Violence News and Violence Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.