October 30, 2014 17:29 UTC

As It Is

Survey Says More Deadly Violence Happens Among Civilians Than Soldiers

Police officers gather during a search at Santa Monica College.
Police officers gather during a search at Santa Monica College.

Multimedia

Play or download an MP3 of this story
  • Survey Says More Deadly Violence Happens Among Civilians Than Soldiers


From VOA Learning English, this is As It Is.

Welcome back. I’m Caty Weaver. Today, we tell about a report that shows how people view corruption in their countries. The report suggests many feel it is increasingly common.
 
But, we start the show with another report about light weapons and violence around the world.
 
Small Arms Survey

A new report finds that only a small percentage of violent deaths are a direct result of war. The report is called the Small Arms Survey 2013. It says hundreds of thousands of people die every year because of armed violence in places other than conflict areas. Christopher Cruise has the story.
 
News media report daily on people killed by machine gun fire, shelling or other weapons in conflicts such as Syria, Mali and Afghanistan.
 
But the new report says these deaths represent only 10 percent of a yearly average of 526,000 violent deaths between 2004 and 2009. Ninety percent of those killed are dying because of everyday dangers far from battlefields.
 
The Small Arms Survey is an independent research project at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. Its report explores many sides of armed violence, including organized crime activity, land disputes and conflict and community violence.
 
The report notes civilians hold about 75 percent of the estimated 875 million guns and other firearms owned worldwide. It says firearms are responsible for 42 to 62 percent of all deadly violence. And it says for each person killed this way, three others survive with gunshot injuries.
 
Anna Alvazzi del Frate is research director for the Small Arms Survey. She says guns and violent households are a deadly combination.
 
“Our findings highlight that the risk of intimate partner violence with firearms is higher in countries with high levels of firearm violence in general, highlighting a culture of violence that spreads across different types of violence. And the risk is increased by the presence of guns in the home, including work-related guns. Although most gun owners are men, the majority of victims of domestic violence are females.”
 
Studies in several countries have shown that between 40 and 70 percent of female murder victims are killed by a sexual partner. The report finds organized crime murders decreased by about 45 percent from 2007 to 2010. It suggests the rate may be dropping because organized crime is moving increasingly into legal markets.
 
The Small Arms Survey finds that land disputes lead to much of the violence in Africa. It says deaths from these conflicts stretch from tens to thousands of people, sometimes over long periods.
 
The report says the United States was the leading exporter of small arms and light weapons in 2010. That year, the country was also at the top of the list of arms importers. The report says there was about 4.4 billion dollars worth of legal trade in small arms in 2010. However, unofficial estimates are double that amount.

I'm Christopher Cruise.

Corruption Survey
 
A non-profit group says corruption is thought to be on the rise in many countries, and trust in government is weakening worldwide. Transparency International turned to more than 114,000 people in 107 countries for their thoughts on the issue. Jim Tedder has more on the findings.
 
The Global Corruption Barometer 2013 is not a pretty picture. Transparency International says, for example, that bribery was common in some countries. A bribe is something given to a person in a position of power for special treatment. 
 
Robert Barrington is Executive Director of Transparency International-United Kingdom.
 
“In terms of bribe paying, there are a couple of countries where three in four people say they have had to pay bribes in the past year. That’s Sierra Leone and Liberia.”                       
 
The report found that more than half of those who were questioned believed corruption and bribery had increased in the past two years.
 
“Ultimately, our target has to be policymakers, because leadership from the top is critical in this. And when you look at the countries that have improved, perhaps Georgia and Rwanda compared to past surveys, it’s generally been politically driven governments that want to do something about corruption that’s made the change.”            
 
Bertrand de Speville leads an anti-corruption group that has advised more than 50 governments. He says that too often the early push by new leaders to fight corruption weakens over time.
 
“This is a strategy that’s going to apply to the whole country and to everybody in it. It suddenly dawns on him that that might affect colleagues, friends, political allies, family, maybe even himself. And time and again, I’ve seen the political will die while you’re talking to him.”
 
In India in 2011, social activist Anna Hazare gained worldwide fame after leading a hunger strike against corruption. He described the reasons for his protest.
 
“I want the poor to get justice and to see the money given back that has been lost to corruption.”
 
Hundreds of supporters joined him in the protest, and the government agreed to offer anti-corruption legislation. But the resulting Lokpal Bill has not been passed.
 
Anti-corruption expert Bertrand de Speville says it is poor people who suffer most, and bribery must be tackled at every level.
 
“Small incidents of corruption can have disastrous consequences. You only have to think of the fields of security or public health to realize the truth of that. One small bribe can have disastrous consequences.”
 
But, he says efforts by international organizations like the World Bank to advise on ways for fighting corruption have had little effect.
 
“Given the amount of resources that have been devoted to the problem, in my view it is little short of scandalous. I don’t believe it’s that difficult. And indeed places like Hong Kong and Singapore have demonstrated that it’s not that difficult.”                     
 
Transparency International says at least some individuals appear willing to fight corruption. More than half of those questioned in the survey said they would be willing to report an incident of bribery.
 
I’m Jim Tedder.
 
And that’s As It Is for today. I’m Caty Weaver. Thanks for tuning in.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Poshih Chiu from: Taiwan, R.O.C.
07/27/2013 9:32 AM
Civilians' owning small arms and light weapons is a dangerous practice in daily life. They can use them to protect themselves, but they also might get hurt or even killed because of accidents or purposed plans. There are disputes among ordinary people sometimes. However, there are always other ways of settlement, and having access to weapons for solving problems would only make quarrels even worse.


by: BIJU.P.Y. from: SOUTH INDIA
07/20/2013 2:58 PM
Corruption degenerates society. In the modern world, there is competition in corruption and corruption in competition. Yes, money is the root of all evils. Modern man has become so powerhungry and corrupt that he pratices evil to the greatest extent. Also, violence in the world is all the more on the increase. The easy availability of weapons has reduced man to a beast. Only strict and disciplined behaviour can bring man to sanity. Thank you.

Learn with The News

  • Orbital Sciences Antares Launch

    Video Questions for NASA after Rocket Explosion

    An unmanned privately-owned rocket bringing supplies to the International Space Station exploded seconds after launch Tuesday night. The accident did not cause any injuries on the ground. However, it has raised questions about efforts by the US space agency NASA to use private companies. More

  • FILE - Zambia's new interim president is Guy Scott.

    Audio Guy Scott Named Interim Leader in Zambia

    Guy Scott is Africa’s first white president since F.W. de Klerk governed South Africa from 1989 to 1994. Chinese former army General has admitted to taking huge bribes. U.S airlines do not know where a passenger began his or her travels for Ebola screening. Free Syrian Army helped Kurds in Kobani. More

  • Vietnam China Sea Disputes

    Audio Vietnam, China Look for Solution to Sea Dispute

    China and Vietnam have agreed to find a solution to a territorial conflict in the South China Sea. The two countries have sought to improve relations since the territorial dispute worsened last May. That was when China deployed oil drilling equipment to waters claimed by each side. More

  • Roberto Hernandez

    Video US Political Parties Hope to Gain Latinos' Vote

    United States citizens of Latin American ancestry could influence the U.S. elections on November 4th. Americans will vote for members of the House of Representatives, a third of the Senate, and state and local positions around the country. In California, Latinos are an important vote for Democrats. More

  • Kidnapped by Islamic State

    Video Youth Kidnapped by Islamic State Tells His Story

    Last June, Islamic State militants kidnapped more than 150 students from the city of Kobani in northern Syria. Many of those kidnapped were ethnic Kurds. The militants released most of the students several months later. But about 20 students remain in captivity. One of those freed is Azad. More

Featured Stories

  • Star House

    Video Home of Last Comanche Chief Close to Ruins

    One of the most interesting people in U.S. history is Quanah Parker, the last chief of the country’s Comanche Indian tribe. Quanah Parker was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Quanah Parker was a fierce fighter. But that ended one day in 1875. More

  • FILE - A veterinarian at the nonprofit Bali Animal Welfare Association gives a rabies shot to a puppy in Kebon Kaja village, Bangli Regency in Bali, Indonesia.

    Audio Mass Vaccination of Dogs Can Eliminate Rabies

    About 70,000 people worldwide die every year of rabies. Rabies is a viral infection that people get mainly through dog bites. Scientists say vaccinating dogs can effectively get rid of rabies outbreaks in dog populations. And this will have a domino effect, fewer humans with rabies. More

  • Methane oxidizing

    Photogallery Small Organisms in Deep Sea Rocks Eat Methane

    The gas methane has been linked to rising temperatures on Earth. But methane does not stay in the atmosphere as long as another “greenhouse gas” -- carbon dioxide. Scientists say both gases trap heat from the sun. They prevent heat from escaping into outer space. More

  • New York Mayor Bill de Blasio meets children at the Brooklyn Chinese American Association Early Childhood Education Center. (AP Photo/Newsday, Linda Rosier, Pool)

    Audio Chinese Americans: Discrimination Still a Problem, but Improving

    Despite their American citizenship, some immigrants to the United States report they still are treated like foreigners. However, members of the Chinese American community say attitudes are starting to change. Helen Zia said, “Whenever US-China relations get chilly, Chinese Americans get pneumonia." More

  • Audio Oscar de la Renta Dressed First Ladies and Movie Stars

    Clothing designer Oscar de la Renta died Monday at his home in the American state of Connecticut. He was 82 years old. His wife said he died of problems related to cancer. Mr. de la Renta dressed American movie stars and first ladies such as Jacqueline Kennedy, Nancy Reagan and Hillary Clinton. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner BlogConfessions of an English Learner Blog

Tell us About Our Programs