One of the most significant causes of fear and insecurity in many cities today is crime and violence. Between 1990 and 2000, incidents of violent crime per 100,000 persons increased from 6 to 8.8. Recent studies show that over the past five years, 60 per cent of all urban residents in the world have been victims of crime, with 70 per cent in Latin America and the Caribbean. Clearly, crime, whether violent or not, is a growing and serious threat to urban safety all over the world.
The threats to urban safety pose a huge challenge to both national and city governments. This is the reason behind the United Nation’s choice of the theme A safe city is a just city for this year’s World Habitat Day. The United Nations chose this year’s theme to raise awareness and encourage reflection on the mounting threats to urban safety and social justice, particularly urban crime and violence, forced eviction and insecurity of tenure, as well as natural and human-made disasters.
The International conference on the state of safety in world cities, will be held from 1-5 October as part of the Global Observance World Habitat Day. It will bring together representatives from government, local authorities, law enforcers, civil society organisations including youth organisations, academic experts, the private sector, and international organisations to discuss ways of making the world’s cities safer. The conference aims to develop an international framework to support cities in their efforts to address urban crime and violence.
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