“The 20th Century will be remembered as a century marked by violence”, says Nelson Mandela says in a Foreword to the new WHO World Report on Violence and Health. “Less visible, but even more widespread, is the legacy of day-to-day, individual suffering. It is the pain of children who are abused by people who should protect them, women injured or humiliated by violent partners, elderly persons maltreated by their caregivers.  No country, no city, no community is immune. But neither are we powerless against it.  Violence can be prevented. Violent cultures can be turned around. In order to ensure this, we must be tireless in our efforts not only to attain peace, justice and prosperity for country, but for communities and members of the same family. We must address the roots of violence. Only then will we transform the past century’s legacy from a crushing burden into a cautionary lesson.”

COUNTRY PRESENTATIONS:  Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia.

Pida Ripley, Founder of WomenAid International is delighted to announce that following agreement with WHO, the CAUCASUS 16 DAYS 2002 programme will not only join the Global Campaign for Violence Prevention but will also launch the official country presentations of the world report in the Caucasus region.

National Focus Groups on ‘Public Health and Violence Prevention’ will be formed to work together regionally through the CAUCASUS Gender Institute. The launch, at national presentations in mid December will stimulate further discussion and debate on the topic of violence and will provide opportunities to strengthen national and regional collaboration on violence prevention. 


The death and disability caused by violence make it one of the leading public health issues of our time. Violence is among the leading causes of death worldwide for people aged 15-44 years.  Each year more than one million people lose their lives, and many more suffer non-fatal injuries as a result of interpersonal, self-inflicted or collective violence.  The human cost in grief and pain cannot be calculated but the cost of violence transfers into billions of dollars in annual health care expenditures worldwide. Some impact of some types of violence is visible, for example wars, riots, terrorism and civil unrest – but much more violence is INVISIBLE as it takes place out of public sight in homes, workplaces, even care institutions.  Social conventions or pressure force many victims to keep silent.  Many are too young, too weak or too ill to speak out.

Causes of violence are deeply rooted in the social, cultural and economic factors interacting with community and family attitudes and pressures to create situations where violence is likely to occur, or be ‘tolerated’ as acceptable behaviour.  These factors can be changed.  There is substantial evidence that supports the claim that violence can be prevented and its impact reduced.  The field of public health can play a central role of violence prevention.  The public health approach to any problem is science-based and interdisciplinary, drawing upon many disciplines – medicine, sociology, psychology, criminology, economics, epidemiology and education.  The public health approach also emphasizes collective action. Cooperative efforts cross-cutting all sectors are necessary to develop a comprehensive strategic response that places prevention at its central core. 

The CAUCASUS 16 DAYS partnership will add the cooperative action and collective expertise of many NGOs and INGOs in the Caucasus region to the WHO Global Campaign for Violence Prevention.  All NGOs wishing to participate actively in the regional and national Focus Group on Public Health and Violence Prevention are asked to contact the WomenAid International-Caucasus team.

For further information contact the CAUCASUS 16 DAYS Focal Point:

WomenAid International-Caucasus:

17 Khvichia St. Tbilisi 380060 Georgia Tel/Fax: (995 32) 37 92 70


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