Article Text


Cutting edge methodology
SP2-3 Genocide and health: challenge for public health and epidemiology
  1. J Lindert,
  2. O von Ehrenstein
  1. Protestant University, Ludwigsburg, Germany


Background Violence is the main cause of preventable death, worldwide. Research has shown that violence may develop in consecutive stages from the first stage (loss of opportunities for the persecuted group) to the last stages (loss of existence, loss of memory) in the aftermath. Each stage of violence can be measured with indicators that is, changes in language, devaluation of others, polarisation, preparation and denial. Further known indicators are the readiness to accept violence as a means for solving conflicts, inequality in distribution of resources and opportunities, level of discrimination and change in the legal context, percentage of weapons in a country, number of riots, discriminating of others in science and within the medical profession.

Objective We intend to provide the set of indicators and to introduce epidemiological tools for describing and understanding development of violence.

Methods We present as indicators in the development of genocide: for example, language change, devaluation of others, polarisation, inequality, discrimination, riots, weapons available, medical experiments, and murdering without legal prosecution.

Results The development of genocide can be described with indicators. By using these indicators areas of differing risk for genocide could be defined in other regions of the world. We will apply these indicators to selected examples of countries.

Conclusion Indicators can be useful for scoring countries at risk. Violence control programmes could operate within this framework of stages for mapping violence.

Statistics from

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.