Addressing violence in the Americas. What more can be done?


Addressing violence in the Americas. What more can be done?
Thu, 3. October 2019, 12:30 h - 14:00 h


Side event Violencia DIRECTINGcouncil57 en

On Thursday, 3 October 2019, PAHO/WHO will organize a side event on "Addressing violence in the Americas. What more can be done?", as part of the parallel activities during the 57th Directing Council. Violence is a major challenge in the Region. Despite progress made and many lessons learnt, more remains to be done in partnership with others. Join us to learn from experiences in countries and among partners and contribute to discussions about how we can do more together to address violence in the Americas.  


Every day, almost 500 people die because of violence in the Region of the Americas. Homicides are a major cause of death for young people, particularly young men and boys. For every person that is murdered, many others suffer injuries and ill health as the result of violence. Vulnerable populations, especially women, children, and older persons bear the brunt of nonfatal physical, sexual, and psychological abuse. The health consequences of violence are enormous and include physical, sexual, reproductive and mental health, making the health sector response to violence a critical one.

No single factor can explain why violence occurs. Rather, an interplay of different social factors may result in violence. Each type of violence has its own set of risk factors that require specific attention, but central to the prevention of all forms of violence is the need for partnership. Effective violence prevention and response relies on teamwork - between health and other sectors, between research, policy and practice, between different parts of the health system and different international and local stakeholders.

Violence is not a new topic for the Region. There are many experiences and lessons learnt that we can build on. As the region continues to experience economic, political and social changes, with growing migration, there is a need to continue to strengthen the response of the health sector to violence in partnership with others. We know enough to take action now..


  • 12:30 pm - Openning remarks. Dr. Jarbas Barbosa da Silva Jr., Assistant Director, PAHO
  • 12:35 pm- Overview of status, approaches and opportunities for preventing violence in the Region of the Americas. Dr. Anselm Hennis, Director, Department of NCDs and Mental Health, PAHO
  • 12:45 pm - Moderated panel discussion showcasing responses to violence in countries, stressing different dimensions of partnership.
    • Moderator: Andrés de Francisco, Director, Department of Family, Health Promotion & Life Course, PAHO
    • Panelists:
      • El Salvador: New approach to violence in El Salvador; plan on territorial control – Hon. Ana del Carmen Orellana Bendek, Minister of Health
      • Guyana: Multi-sector collaboration to prevent and respond to gender-based violence in Guyana - Hon Volda Lawrence, Minister of Public Health
      • Paraguay: Multidisciplinary collaboration to detect and respond to violence through health services – Dr. Adriana Amarilla, Director General in Health Promotion, Ministry of Health
    • Comments by:
      • Organization of American States (OAS): Opportunities for strengthening regional partnerships to address violence: OAS Hemispheric Plan of Action to Guide the Design of Public Policies to Prevent and Reduce Intentional Homicide – Dr. Karen Bozicovich, Section Chief, Public Security Information and Knowledge
  • 13:25 pm - Discussion with Q & A from the floor
  • 13:55 pm - Closing. Dr Anselm Hennis, Director, Department of NCDs and Mental Health, PAHO