Integrating Human Rights and Public Health to Prevent Interpersonal Violence

Alison Phinney, Sarah de Hovre
2003 Health and Human Rights: An International Journal  
Interpersonal violence accounts for a significant portion of the global burden of disease and imposes substantial direct and indirect costs on society. This article reviews a public health approach to the problem, describing the health dimensions of interpersonal violence and strategies for intervention, and then looks at human rights approaches to the problem, focusing on specific examples of violence against women and child abuse. The discussion shows that public health and human rights
more » ... human rights approaches to interpersonal violence are complementary and can operate in tandem with shared goals and strategies. Deliberate integration of the two approaches could facilitate a more comprehensive and sustainable response to interpersonal violence. La violence interpersonnelle repr?sente une partie substantielle du fardeau des maladies dans le monde et impose des co?ts directs et indirects non n?gligeables ? la soci?t?. Cet article examinie une approche du probl?me du point de vue de la sant? publique, en d?crivant la violence interpersonnelle en termes de sant? et en proposant certaines strat?gies d'interventions, puis il ?tudie des approches du probleme du point de vue des droits de l'homme, en pr?sentant des exemples sp?cifiques de violence contre les femmes et de mauvais traitements ? l'?gard d'enfants. La discussion montre que les approches sant? publique et droits de l'homme de la violence interpersonnelle sont compl?mentaires et peuvent ?tre d?velopp?es en tandem, avec des strat?gies et des objectifs communs. Une int?gration d?lib?r?e des deux approches pourrait faciliter une r?ponse plus complete et plus viable ? la violence interpersonnelle. La violencia interpersonal es la causa de una porci?n significativa de los problemas de salud en el mundo e impone costos directos e indirectos importantes a la sociedad. Este articulo examina el problema desde el punto de vista de la salud pziblica, describiendo el impacto que tiene la violencia interpersonal sobre la salud y las estrategias para la intervenci?n, y luego considera el enfoque de derechos humanos con relaci?n al problema, concentr?ndose en los ejemplos especificos de violencia contra las mujeres y el abuso de menores. La discusi?n demuestra que los enfoques de salud publica y derechos humanos con relaci?n a la violencia interpersonal son complementarios y que pueden operar conjuntamente con metas y estrategias compartidas. Este articulo concluye que una integraci?n intencionada de los dos enfoques podria facilitar una respuesta m?s integral y sostenible a la violencia interpersonal. In 2001, violence accounted for an estimated 1.6 million deaths worldwide.l Intentional injuries, comprising 2.8% of total deaths that year, caused more fatalities than malaria and nearly as many as tuberculosis.2 Violent acts also disabled, injured, or traumatized millions of additional people, numbers that are not reflected in mortality statis- tics. Violence accounts for a significant portion of the global burden of disease and imposes substantial direct and indirect costs on society.3,4 It is a major challenge for global public health. The World Report on Violence and Health (WRVH), released by the World Health Organization (WHO) in October 2002, defines violence as "the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation."15 This definition encompasses physical, sexual, and psychological violence, as well as deprivation and neglect. The typology of violence proposed in the WRVH divides violence into three major categories: Collective violence is violence committed by states or other groups that is driven by a particular political, social, or economic agenda. Self-directed violence refers to self-abuse and suicidal behavior. Interpersonal violence, which is the focus of this article, deals with violence between individuals where there
doi:10.2307/4065430 fatcat:o2ap32dfp5e3dlnqtiown7faby