Homicide Cases Highest In Africa, Says UN Agency


A report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC, has shown that Africa ranked highest in cases of reported homicide in 2010.

The report showed that though 468, 000 cases of homicide were reported worldwide last year, 36 per cent of all homicides take place in Africa, 31 per cent in the Americas, 27 per cent in Asia, five per cent in Europe, and one per cent in Oceania.

The report further revealed that women are at the highest risk from murder due to domestic violence.

Firearms, according to the report, are behind rising murder cases in some regions of the world, stressing that almost three quarters of all homicides are committed with guns in some of the regions.

“Globally, some 80 per cent of homicide victims and perpetrators are men. But, whereas men are likelier to be killed in a public place, women are mainly murdered at home, as in Europe where half of all female victims were killed by a family member.

“The overwhelming majority of victims of partner and family-related violence are women.

“In Europe, for example, women comprise almost 80 per cent of all people killed by a current or former partner in 2008,” the report stated.

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In developing countries, the report on homicide showed that crime and violence are strongly associated with large youthful populations, especially in developing countries.

“While 6.9 persons per 100,000 are killed each year globally, the rate for young male victims is three times higher. It is put at 21.1 per 100,000. Young men are more likely to own weapons and engage in street crime, take part in gang warfare and commit drug-related offences.

“Cities may be the scene of three times more homicides than less populated areas,” the report explained.

The UNODC say the study establishes a clear link between crime and development, stressing that countries with wide income disparities are four times more likely to be afflicted by violent crime than more equitable societies.

The report stressed that chronic crime is both a major cause and result of poverty, insecurity and under-development adding that crime drives away business, erodes human capital and destabilises society.

“To achieve the Millennium Development Goals, crime prevention policies should be combined with economic and social development and democratic governance based on the rule of law,” said Yury Fedotov, UNODC Executive Director.

—Eromosele Ebhomele