With Goal 16 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Member States committed to significantly reducing all forms of violence and related death rates. As United Nations Secretary- General António Guterres underscored in the 2023 New Agenda for Peace policy brief, the scourge of violence has shaped the lives and livelihoods not just of those in armed conflicts.
To support Member States and the international community in efforts to prevent violence and strengthen responses, the fourth edition of the Global Homicide Study offers a comprehensive examination of intentional homicide trends and patterns around the world, and analysis of the complex dynamics behind the numbers. The study delves into different aspects of homicide, including the extent of intentional homicide in absolute numbers and rates. It highlights regional and subregional trends, demographics, age, and gender profiles of victims. It also explores the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on homicide trends.
The analysis of homicide typologies is one of the main aspects of the Global Homicide Study, covering three categories: homicides related to criminal activities, interpersonal homicides, and socio-politically motivated homicides. A special section under chapter 4 examines how organized crime is driving homicide trends in Latin America and the Caribbean.
In addition, the study considers the impacts of megatrends such as climate change, ageing populations, inequality, urbanization and technological shifts, with the aim of providing insights into how these larger global developments may intersect with and influence homicide rates. The Global Homicide Study also examines the criminal justice system’s response to intentional homicide, seeking to identify areas for improvement and intervention.
Gender-related killings of women and girls (femicide/feminicide)
A detailed analysis of patterns and trends in gender-related killings of women and girls (femicide/feminicide) is provided in a separate research brief, published in tandem with the Global Study on Homicide 2023 and in collaboration with UN Women.
National data on homicide and criminal justice system response collected by UNODC are available on the Data Portal: https://dataunodc.un.org/
Homicide and Organized Crime in Latin America and the Caribbean
The research brief, excerpted from the UNODC Global Study on Homicide 2023, highlights trends and factors that impact criminal homicides in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Global and regional estimates are based on the updated UNODC homicide statistics dataset, which draws on national data submitted to UNODC by Member States through the annual United Nations Surveys on Crime Trends and the Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (UN-CTS), along with other pertinent data sources. The estimates are produced based on available national data and through a statistical model imputing missing values at the country level.
The study adheres to the classification of intentional homicides outlined by the International Classification of Crime for Statistical Purposes (ICCS). According to the ICCS, intentional homicide is defined as the "unlawful death inflicted upon a person with the intent to cause death or serious injury." This classification encompasses various forms of intentional killings, including murder, honour killing, fatal serious assaults, deaths resulting from terrorist activities, femicide, infanticide and extrajudicial killings.
The Global Study on Homicide uses a number of regional and subregional groupings, all based on the Standard country or area codes for statistical use (M49) maintained by the Statistics Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The M49 Standard is available here: https://unstats.un.org/unsd/methodology/m49/
More information on methodology used for the Study will be made available in the upcoming methodological annex.