July 06, 2015 13:51 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

  • Audio Average Americans Gave Away Billions in 2014

    Last year, Americans again showed they are generous people. A majority of Americans, two-thirds, gave money to charity in 2014. And they gave away more money than ever before. They gave away an estimated total of $358 billion. It is a seven percent increase from 2013. More

  • Audio New York Officials Block Pro-Muslim Advertising

    Two Muslims are taking New York City’s public transportation system to court. The Metropolitan Transit Authority had accepted anti-Muslim advertising until last year. But in a sudden change, it is now barring pro-Muslim ads. The two say that violates their rights under the U.S. constitution. More

  • Uber CEO Travis Kalanick speaks during the Baidu and Uber strategic cooperation and investment signing ceremony at Baidu's headquarters in Beijing, December 17, 2014.

    Audio Uber Making a Big Push to Win Over Chinese Consumers

    The car-sharing smartphone application Uber reported in June it is receiving one million requests for rides every day in China. The American-based company is taking steps to win over Chinese consumers, and compete with local businesses. Uber plans to expand to 50 more Chinese cities this year. More

  • President Barack Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, July 1, 2015.

    Video US, Cuban Embassies to Reopen

    The move ends more than 50 years of tensions between the two countries. Many countries, groups support the decision by President Obama. But the US Congress could refuse to provide money to open an American embassy in Havana. | In The News More

  • Blue Point Oysters from New York's Great South Bay

    Video Oysters Return to New York’s Great South Bay

    The Blue Point oyster is returning to the Great South Bay of New York after almost disappearing from the world marketplace. Over-farming, pollution and Hurricane Sandy had severely damaged the Blue Point oyster business. Now, the population is growing in its home on the coast of Long Island. More

Featured Stories

  • Three F-35 Joint Strike Fighters (rear to front) AF-2, AF-3 and AF-4. A new system to prevent pilots from suffering loss of consciousness is being developed for the aircraft.

    Video New Device May Help Jet Pilots

    While flying high above Earth’s surface, jet fighter pilots may suffer loss of eyesight for brief periods. Some pilots may even lose consciousness. These experiences, commonly called blackouts, can lead to tragic results. An Israeli company may have developed a device that could save pilots’ lives. More

  • People-Lewis Black

    Video Summer 2015 Brings Movies for Toddlers to Teens

    A girl's emotions star in 'Inside Out,' an animation from Pixar. 'Minions' is the story of the little yellow creatures from the 'Despicable Me' series. Don't like cartoon movies? Try "Paper Towns' based on a John Green book or 'Ricki and the Flash' starring Meryl Streep and daughter Maggie Gummer. More

  • Everyday Grammar: Beating Problems with Adverbs

    Audio Everyday Grammar: Beating Problems with Adverbs

    Some common mistakes in English happen when speakers confuse adjectives and adverbs. And some adverbs look the same but have opposite meanings. Do not fear, the Everyday Grammar expert is here to sort it all out for you. Learn why -ly usually (but not always) tells you a word is an adverb. More

  • Audio Things You (Probably) Don’t Know About the 4th of July

    Sure, you know Americans celebrate their Independence Day on the fourth day of July. But do you know they have the wrong date? Or where they get all those fireworks? Hint: not from the UK. More

  • Audio Independence Day

    Independence Day is a huge celebration in the United States. People celebrate by having parades and picnics and usually end the day with fireworks. So what do some of these words mean? More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner
Confessions of an English Learner blog

Tell us About Our Programs