The Global Violence Prevention Special Interest Group (SIG) is a forum for professionals who are interested in investigating the public health impacts of collective violence and armed conflict, and in advocating for primary-prevention approaches towards tackling their root causes.
We are a growing network which encourages and facilitates our members to explore independent academic collaborations, awareness-raising and policy/advocacy activities in support of our aims. Specialty registrars on the public health training programme have been able to use SIG projects to sign off a wide variety of the learning outcomes from the curriculum.
We can also take group action as a SIG (in collaboration with other organisations and the Global Health Committee of the Faculty) to develop and support the Faculty of Public Health goal of helping people to live healthier lives, regardless of the places and circumstances into which they were born.
The group meet quarterly via teleconference to discuss potential and ongoing projects covering a range of global and national issues, from war and armed conflict, to rioting and gang violence.
Examples of SIG projects
The SIG has worked with the Journal of Public Health to co-produce a special collection on conflict and health, which was published in its final form in 2020. The collection includes papers by international subject matter experts as well as first time authors living in conflict-affected settings. The distinguished team of guest editors includes Professor Jennifer Leaning of Harvard University, Professor Karl Blanchet of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Dr Mohammed Jawad of Imperial College London.
Armed conflict and other types of mass violence have both immediate and long-term, direct and indirect impacts upon public health. Indirect consequences include displacement, homelessness, disruption of infrastructure, environmental degradation, lack of access to clean water and healthcare, exacerbation of existing health conditions, unemployment and mental ill-health. This short film, which was written and produced by the SIG in collaboration with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), provides a summary of some of the wider public health impacts of war.
This gripping and informative animated production was released to coincide with the twin centenaries of the end of World War One and the beginning of the deadly “Spanish Flu” pandemic. The project team were also able to secure the services of Oscar-winning British actor Jim Broadbent, who kindly donated his time to do the narration.
The SIG provides many opportunities for members to write for publication, in both peer-reviewed journals and non-academic publications such as newspapers and blogs. Academic collaborations with other members, as well as solo writing projects, have generated significant contributions to the literature on conflict and health. Some of these publications are listed below (SIG members in bold)
- Nozad B Air Quality, Polluter Pays Principle and man-made conflicts: perspective from Iraq. Better Health For All
- Devakumar D, Bhatia T & Wolfe I Politicians need to first do no harm. BMJ Opinion
- Nozad B Antimicrobial resistance in conflict zones BMJ Opinion
- Flecknoe D The health impacts of armed conflict. Better Health For All
- Latif S Victims of conflict; the triumph of Polio. Better Health For All
- Flecknoe D Microbes as munitions: the neglected public health consequences of war. The Lancet Global Health
- Fouad FM, Sparrow A, Tarakji A, Alameddine M, El-Jardali F, Coutts AP, El Arnaout N, Karroum LB, Jawad M et al Health workers and the weaponisation of health care in Syria: a preliminary inquiry for The Lancet–American University of Beirut Commission on Syria. The Lancet
- Flecknoe D Statement of Support for the Turkish Medical Association. Better Health for All
- Jabbour S, Jabbour S, Gate M, Sabouni A & al-Batal S Rehumanising the Syrian conflict: photographs of war, health, and life in Syria. The Lancet
- Ahmed B, Orcutt M, Sammonds P, Burns R, Issa R, Abubakar I & Devakumar D Humanitarian disaster for Rohingya refugees: impending natural hazards and worsening public health crises. The Lancet Global Health
- Nozad B & Razavi A The fall of Baghdad and public health: 15 years on. Better Health for All
- Flecknoe D, Wakefield B & Simmons A Plagues & wars: the ‘Spanish Flu’ pandemic as a lesson from history. Medicine, Conflict and Survival
- Garry S & Thompson R Amid the Trauma of War, Chronic Diseases Should Not Be Forgotten Chatham House [Expert Comment]
- Habib RR, Ziadee M, Younes EA, Harastani H, Hamdar L, Jawad M & El Asmar K Displacement, deprivation and hard work among Syrian refugee children in Lebanon BMJ Global Health
- Verrecchia R Human Rights in Patient Care Better Health For All
- Thompson R & Garry S The political economy of NCDs, and the limits of global health The Lancet
- Devakumar D, Garry S & Birch M Violence and mortality in Rohingya migrants from the Northern Rakhine State, Myanmar. The Lancet Planetary Health
- Flecknoe D, Jawad M, Latif S & Nozad B Communicable and Noncommunicable Diseases in Conflict Zones. In Laher I [Ed.] Handbook of Healthcare in the Arab World (Online textbook)
- Jawad M et al Impact of armed conflict on cardiovascular disease risk: a systematic review. Heart
- Latif S et al The War of Ideology or the Ideology of War. Better Health For All
- Mohammad Y & Brough G The impact of conflict on asthma. Journal of Thoracic Disease
- Arulrajah JP & Flecknoe D Deadly business - a public health case against the British Arms Industry. Medicine, Conflict and Survival
- Habib RR, Ziadee M, Younes EA, El Asmar K & Jawad M The association between living conditions and health among Syrian refugee children in informal tented settlements in Lebanon. Journal of Public Health
- Ekzayez A, Flecknoe D, Lillywhite L et al Chemical Weapons and public health: assessing impact and responses. Journal of Public Health
- Garry S & Checchi F Armed conflict and public health: into the 21st century. Journal of Public Health
- Flecknoe D Un-remembered but Unforgettable: The ‘Spanish Flu’ Pandemic In Van Bergen L & Vermetten E (Eds) The First World War and Health: Rethinking Resilience [History of Warfare, Volume: 130].
- Jawad M, Hone T, Vamos EP et al Estimating indirect mortality impacts of armed conflict in civilian populations: panel regression analyses of 193 countries, 1990–2017 BMC Medicine
- Jawad M, Blanchet K & Leaning J Editorial: Revisiting public health response in times of war
- Garry S & Checchi F Armed conflict and public health: into the 21st century
- Hendrickx M, Woodward A, Fuhr DC et al The burden of mental disorders and access to mental health and psychosocial support services in Syria and among Syrian refugees in neighboring countries: a systematic review
- Heller Pérache A, van Leeuwen C & Fall C The politics of exclusion: fighting for patients with Kidney failure in Yemen’s War
- Boulton F & Dunn T Nuclear war and public health: preparedness, protection and the case for prevention
- Habib RR, Ziadee M, Younes EA, El Asmar K & Jawad M The association between living conditions and health among Syrian refugee children in informal tented settlements in Lebanon
- Ekzayez A, Flecknoe D, Lillywhite L et al Chemical Weapons and public health: assessing impact and responses
- Kheirallah KA, Cobb CO, Alsulaiman JW et al Trauma exposure, mental health and tobacco use among vulnerable Syrian refugee youth in Jordan
- Zwijnenburg W, Hochhauser D, Dewachi O et al Solving the jigsaw of conflict-related environmental damage: Utilizing open-source analysis to improve research into environmental health risks
- Sibai AM, Najem Kteily M, Barazi R et al Lessons learned in the provision NCD primary care to Syrian refugee and host communities in Lebanon: the need to ‘act locally and think globally’
- Giacaman R Reflections on the meaning of ‘resilience’ in the Palestinian context
Other useful links
If you would like further information relating to global violence prevention, please see the links below:
- Global Violence Prevention SIG position statement on the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation
- Preventing Violent Extremism in the UK: Public Health Solutions, FPH
- WHO report on Global Violence and Health
- Principles of international humanitarian law
- International Committee of the Red Cross
- Global Health Security Chatham House
- Faculty of Public Health Statement on the role of public health in the prevention of violence
- World Bank overview of Fragility, Conflict and Violence
- International Committee of the Red Cross War & Law
- Medact (peace and security resources)
We are keen to welcome members who work in the area of global violence prevention or who just want to gain a better understanding. If you are interested in joining the SIG we would love to hear from you. Please contact the co-chairs at:
- Daniel Flecknoe firstname.lastname@example.org
- Clare Oliver-Williams - email@example.com
- Lucy Williams lucy.williams.PH@hotmail.com
Please note in order to join any SIG you are required to be a member of the Faculty of Public Health.