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close this bookWHO Information Series on School Health - Document 3 - Violence Prevention: An Important Element of a Health-promoting School (UNESCO - WHO, 1999, 61 p.)
close this folder1. INTRODUCTION
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentWhy did WHO prepare this document?
View the documentWho should read this document?
View the documentWhat is meant by ''violence''?
View the documentWhat are the causes of violence?
View the documentWhy focus efforts through schools?
View the documentHow should this document be used?

Why did WHO prepare this document?

"Together, we must build and develop for the future a culture of peace based on non-violence, dialogue, and mutual respect and social justice. This is neither easy nor a quick task. Nevertheless, it is possible and at a time of rising waves of new forms of conflict and violence, it is absolutely necessary."

The Dalai Lama, January 1995.

Violence affects everyone. It undermines the health, learning potential and economic well-being of people everywhere. As Carlyle Guerra de Macedo, Director of the Pan American Health Organization, notes, "Terrorism, genocide, political assassination, bloody crimes, abuse, assault, torture, harassment, and other modes of force, in violation of the most basic human rights, have become part of our daily existence.(2)

It is time for us to go beyond treating and trying to manage the health consequences of violence; we must prevent it. It is time to change the social, behavioural and environmental factors that lead to violence. The World Health Organization (WHO) has prepared this document to help people understand the nature of a Health-Promoting School and how efforts to promote peace and prevent violence might be planned, implemented and evaluated as part of the development of a Health-Promoting School. It will focus on simple, concrete steps that schools can take without major investments of resources. It is designed as a starting point, to be modified and enriched as more knowledge and experience is gained in the prevention of violence through schools.