Thursday, February 09, 2006

Intentional Violence Rates Higher than Thought

It's long been thought that accidents are one of the primary causes of aid worker deaths. However a new study states that acts of deliberate violence killed more humanitarian workers in the past three years than accidents or illness. Researchers from the Center for Refugee and Disaster Response at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have been studying incidents and found that 60% of aid worker fatalities were caused by intentional violence. 71% of the incidents didn't involve theft. And 65% of the incidents happened to workers while they were coming and going from projects. (More stats are given in the link.)

It's nice to see topics relating to NGO security coming under academic scrutiny. Using statistical methods to discover trends and validate observations helps contribute to enhanced safety measures and training for field staff. While obviously context varies from one operating area to another, security officers and management should be paying close attention to these studies to better understand issues the field faces.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Puck said...

This is, in fact, not a so much a "new" study or revelation but a revisiting of a previous study by John Hopkins released in the British Medical Journal in July 2000.

In this study, from 1985-98, Intentional Violence was the number one cause of deaths by a clear margin.

8:18 PM  

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