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Homicide is an act of a
human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species of primate, characterized by bipedality, bipedalism and large, complex brains. This has enabled the development of advanced tools, culture, and language. Humans are highly ...

human
killing
killing
another person. A homicide requires only a volitional act that causes the death of another, and thus a homicide may result from accidental, reckless, or negligent acts even if there is no intent to cause harm. Homicides can be divided into many overlapping legal categories, including
murder
murder
, manslaughter,
justifiable homicide The concept of justifiable homicide Homicide is the act of one human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allo ...
, killing in
war War is an intense armed conflict between states, government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its broad associative definition, g ...

war
(either following the
laws of war The law of war is the component of international law that regulates the conditions for initiating war (''jus ad bellum'') and the conduct of warring parties (''jus in bello''). Laws of war define sovereignty and nationhood, states and territor ...
or as a
war crime A war crime is an act that constitutes a serious violation of the laws of war that gives rise to individual Crime, criminal responsibility. Examples of crimes include Crimes against humanity, intentionally killing civilians or Prisoners of war ...
),
euthanasia Euthanasia (from el, εὐθανασία; "good death": εὖ, ''eu''; "well" or "good" + θάνατος, ''thanatos''; "death") is the practice of intentionally ending life to relieve pain Pain is a distressing feeling often caused by int ...

euthanasia
, and
capital punishment Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is the State (polity), state-sanctioned killing of a person as punishment for a crime. The sentence (law), sentence ordering that someone is punished with the death penalty is called a dea ...
, depending on the circumstances of the death. These different types of homicides are often treated very differently in human
societies A society is a group of individuals involved in persistent social interaction In social science, a social relation or social interaction is any relationship between two or more individuals. Social relations derived from individual agenc ...

societies
; some are considered
crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term ''crime'' does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accepted definition,Farmer, Lindsay: "Crime, definitions of", in ...
s, while others are permitted or even ordered by the
legal system The contemporary national legal systems are generally based on one of four basic systems: civil law (legal system), civil law, common law, statutory law, religious law or combinations of these. However, the legal system of each country is shaped b ...
.


Criminality

Criminal homicide takes many forms including accidental killing or murder. Criminal homicide is divided into two broad categories,
murder
murder
and manslaughter, based upon the state of mind and intent of the person who commits the homicide. A report issued by the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime in July 2019 documented that nearly 464,000 people around the world were killed in homicides in 2017, a number significantly in excess of the 89,000 killed in armed conflicts during the same period.


Murder

Murder is the most serious crime that can be charged following a homicide. In many jurisdictions, murder may be punished by
life in prison Life imprisonment is any sentence of imprisonment for a crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term ''crime'' does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and univers ...

life in prison
or even
capital punishment Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is the State (polity), state-sanctioned killing of a person as punishment for a crime. The sentence (law), sentence ordering that someone is punished with the death penalty is called a dea ...
. Although categories of murder can vary by jurisdiction, murder charges fall under two broad categories: * First degree murder: The premeditated, unlawful, intentional killing of another person. * Second degree murder: The intentional, unlawful killing of another person, but without any premeditation. In some jurisdictions, a homicide that occurs during the commission of a dangerous
crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term ''crime'' does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accepted definition,Farmer, Lindsay: "Crime, definitions of", in ...
may constitute murder, regardless of the actor's intent to commit homicide. In the
United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., federal di ...

United States
, this is known as the
felony murder rule The rule of felony murder is a legal doctrine in some common law jurisdiction Jurisdiction (from Latin ''Wikt:ius#Latin, juris'' 'law' + ''Wikt:dictio, dictio'' 'declaration') is the practical authority granted to a legal body to administe ...
. In simple terms, under the felony murder rule a person who commits a felony may be guilty of murder if someone dies as a result of the commission of the crime, including the victim of the felony, a bystander or a co-felon, regardless their intent—or lack thereof—to kill, and even when the death results from the actions of a co-defendant or third party who is reacting to the crime.


Manslaughter

Manslaughter is a form of homicide in which the person who commits the homicide either does not intend to kill the victim, or kills the victim as the result of circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to become emotionally or mentally disturbed to the point of potentially losing control of their actions. The distinction between murder and manslaughter is sometimes said to have first been made by the ancient Athenian lawmaker Draco in the 7th century BC. The penalty for manslaughter is normally less than the penalty for murder. The two broad categories of manslaughter are: *
Voluntary manslaughter Voluntary manslaughter is the killing of a human being in which the offender acted during ''the heat of passion'', under circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to become emotionally or mentally disturbed to the point that they cannot ...
: the intentional, unpremeditated killing of another person as the result of a disturbed state of mind, or ''heat of passion''. * Involuntary manslaughter: the unintentional killing of another person through an act of recklessness that shows indifference to the lives and safety of others, or an act of negligence that could reasonably be foreseen to result in death. The act that results in death may be intentional, such as pushing somebody in anger, but their death (such as by their subsequently falling, striking their head, and suffering a lethal head injury) is not. Another form of manslaughter in some jurisdictions is constructive manslaughter, which may be charged if a person causes a death without intention but as the result of violating an important safety law or regulation.


Lawful excuse

Not all homicides are crimes, or subject to criminal prosecution. Some are legally privileged, meaning that they are not criminal acts at all. Others may occur under circumstances that provide the defendant with a full or partial defense to criminal prosecution. Common defenses include: *
Self-defense Self-defense (self-defence in some varieties of English) is a countermeasure that involves defending the health and well-being of oneself from harm. The use of the right of self-defense The right of self-defense (also called, when ...
: while most homicides by civilians are criminally prosecutable, a
right of self-defense The right of self-defense (also called, when it applies to the defense of another, alter ego defense, defense of others, defense of a third person) is the right for people to use reasonable or defensive force, for the purpose of defending one ...
(often including the right to defend others) is widely recognized, including, in dire circumstances, the use of deadly force. * Mental incapacity: A defendant may attempt to prove that they are not criminally responsible for a homicide due to a mental disorder. In some jurisdictions, mentally incompetent killers may be involuntarily committed in lieu of criminal trial. Mental health and development are often taken into account during sentencing. For example, in the United States, the death penalty cannot be applied to convicted murderers with intellectual disabilities. *
Defense of infancy The age of criminal responsibility is the age below which a child is deemed incapable of having committed a criminal offence. In legal terms, it is referred to as a defence/defense of infancy, which is a form of defense Defense or defence may ref ...
– Small children are not held criminally liable before the age of criminal responsibility. A
juvenile court A juvenile court (or young offender's court) is a tribunal A tribunal, generally, is any person or institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington, are "stable, valued, recurring patterns of behavior." Institutions can re ...
may handle defendants above this age but below the legal
age of majority The age of majority is the threshold of adulthood Biologically, an adult is an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual contiguous system that embodies th ...

age of majority
, though because homicide is a serious crime some older minors are charged in an adult justice system. Age is sometimes also taken into account during sentencing even if the perpetrator is old enough to have criminal responsibility. *
Justifiable homicide The concept of justifiable homicide in criminal law is a defense to culpable homicide (criminal or negligent homicide). Generally, there is a burden of production of exculpatory evidence Exculpatory evidence is evidence Evidence, broadly c ...
or privilege: Due to the circumstances, although a homicide occurs, the act of killing is not unlawful. For example, a killing on the battlefield during war is normally lawful, or a police officer may shoot a dangerous suspect in order to protect the officer's own life or the lives and safety of others. The availability of defenses to a criminal charge following a homicide may affect the homicide rate. For example, it has been suggested that the availability of " stand your ground" defense has resulted in an increase in the homicide rate in U.S. jurisdictions that recognize the defense, including Florida.


By state actors

Killings by government agents may be considered lawful or unlawful according to: * Domestic law *
International law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relations between nations. It establishes normative guidelines and a common conceptual framework to guide ...
to which the government has agreed by treaty *
Peremptory norm A peremptory norm (also called or ' ; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through ...
s which are de facto enforced as obligatory on all countries, such as prohibitions against genocide, piracy, and slavery Types of state killings include: *
Capital punishment Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is the State (polity), state-sanctioned killing of a person as punishment for a crime. The sentence (law), sentence ordering that someone is punished with the death penalty is called a dea ...
, where the judicial system authorizes the death penalty in response to a severe crime, though some countries have abolished it completely * Lawful killing during
war War is an intense armed conflict between states, government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its broad associative definition, g ...

war
, such as the killing of enemy combatants * Lawful use of
deadly force#redirect Deadly force Deadly force, also known as lethal force, is the use of force that is likely to cause serious bodily injury or death to another person. In most jurisdictions, the use of deadly force is justified only under conditions of ...
by
law enforcement officer A law enforcement officer (LEO), or peace officer in North American English, is a public-sector The public sector (also called the state sector) is the part of the economy composed of both public services and public enterprises. Public sectors ...
s or
military personnel Military personnel are members of the state's armed forces. Their roles, pay, and obligations differ according to their military branch ( army, navy, marines Marines or naval infantry, are typically a military force trained to operate on Lit ...
to maintain public safety in emergency situations. *
Extrajudicial killing An extrajudicial killing (also known as extrajudicial execution or extralegal killing) is the homicide, killing of a person by governmental authorities without the sanction of any Judiciary, judicial proceeding or legal process. They often target ...
, where government actors kill people (typically individuals or small groups) without judicial court proceedings *
War crime A war crime is an act that constitutes a serious violation of the laws of war that gives rise to individual Crime, criminal responsibility. Examples of crimes include Crimes against humanity, intentionally killing civilians or Prisoners of war ...
s that involve killing (war crimes not authorized by the government may also be committed by individuals who are then subject to domestic
military justice Military justice (also military law) is the legal system (bodies of law and procedure) that governs the conduct of the Active duty, active-duty personnel of the armed forces of a country. In some country, nation-states, Civil law (legal system) ...
) * Widespread, systematic killing by the government of a particular group, which depending on the target, could be called
genocide Genocide is the intentional action to destroy a people—usually defined as an ethnic, national, racial, or religious Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, mor ...
,
politicide Political cleansing of population is the eliminating categories of people in specific areas for political reasons. The means can vary from forced migration to politicide. Politicide Politicide is the deliberate physical destruction or elimina ...
, or
classicideClassicide is a concept proposed by Michael Mann (sociologist), Michael Mann to describe the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of a social class through persecution and violence. Although first used by Fred Schwarz in 1972, ...
. In some cases these events may also meet definitions of
crimes against humanity Crimes against humanity are certain acts that are purposely committed as part of a widespread or systematic policy, directed against civilians, in times of war War is an intense armed conflict between states, government A gove ...
. Scholars study especially large homicide events (typically 50,000 deaths in five years or less) as
mass killing Mass is both a property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and concrete, abstract is what belongs to or with something, whether as an attribute or as a component of said thing. In the context of this article, it is one or mo ...
s. Some medium- and large-scale mass killings by state actors have been termed
massacre A massacre refers to the killing of multiple individuals and is usually considered to be morally unacceptable, especially when perpetrated by a group of political actors against defenseless victims. The word is a loan of a French term for "bu ...

massacre
s, though not all such killings have been so named. The term ''
democide Democide is a concept proposed by U.S. political scientist Rudolph Rummel to describe "the intentional killing of an unarmed or disarmed person by government agents acting in their authoritative capacity and pursuant to government policy or high ...
'' has been coined by
Rudolph Rummel Rudolph Joseph Rummel (October 21, 1932 – March 2, 2014) was a political scientist and professor at the Indiana University, Yale University, and University of Hawaiʻi. He spent his career studying data on collective violence and war with a view ...
to describe "murder by government" in general, which includes both extrajudicial killings and widespread systematic homicide. Killings by government agents might be called "murder" or "mass murder" in general usage, especially if seen by the commentator as unethical, but the domestic legal definitions of murder, manslaughter, etc., usually exclude killings carried out by lawful government action.


Systematic government killing

Deliberate massacres of captives or civilians during
war War is an intense armed conflict between states, government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its broad associative definition, g ...

war
time or periods of
civil unrest Civil disorder, also known as civil disturbance or civil unrest, is an activity arising from a mass act of civil disobedience (such as a demonstration, riot, or strike) in which the participants become hostile toward authority, and authorities ...
by the state's military forces include those committed by
Genghis Khan ''Chinggis Khaan'' ͡ʃʰiŋɡɪs xaːŋongol script: ''Chinggis Qa(gh)an/ Chinggis Khagan'' , birth_name = Temüjin ; xng, Temüjin, script=Latn; ., name=Temujin , successor = Ögedei Khan , spouse = , issue = , house = Borjigin , ...

Genghis Khan
, the
Golden Horde The Golden Horde ( tt, , , ), self-designated as Ulug Ulus, 'Great State' in Turkic, was originally a Mongols, Mongol and later Turkicized khanate established in the 13th century and originating as the northwestern sector of the Mongol Empire. ...
, the troops of
Vlad the Impaler Vlad III, most commonly known as Vlad the Impaler ( ro, Vlad Țepeș ) or Vlad Dracula (; ro, Vlad Drăculea ; 1428/311476/77), was Voivode of Wallachia three times between 1448 and his death. He is often considered one of the most important ...

Vlad the Impaler
, the British Empire in its colonies, the
Empire of Japan The was a historical nation-state that existed from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 until the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of Japan, 1947 constitution and subsequent formation of modern Japan. It encompassed the Japanese ...

Empire of Japan
, the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a Federalism, federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a Political union, union of multiple national Republics of t ...
,
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany, (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. "National Socialist Germany") officially known as the German Reich from 1933 until 1943, and the Greater German Reich from 1943 to 1945, was t ...

Nazi Germany
during the
Second Sino-Japanese War The Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) was a military conflict that was primarily waged between the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. The war made up the Chinese theater of the wider Pacific War, Paci ...
and
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a World war, global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved World War II by country, the vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great ...
, the 1st genocide of the 20th century
Armenian genocide The Armenian Genocide (Terminology of the Armenian Genocide, other names) was the systematic mass murder and ethnic cleansing of around 1 million ethnic Armenians from Asia Minor and adjoining regions by the Ottoman Empire and its ruling ...

Armenian genocide
by the Ottoman Turks,
The Holocaust The Holocaust, also known as the Shoah, was the genocide Genocide is the intentional action to destroy a people—usually defined as an ethnic, national, racial, or religious Religion is a social system, social-cultural syste ...
, the
Nanjing Massacre The Nanjing Massacre or the Rape of Nanjing (alternately written as the Nanking Massacre or the Rape of Nanking) was an episode of mass murder and mass rape committed by Imperial Japanese troops against the residents of Nanjing Nan ...
, the Katyn Forest Massacre of
Polish Polish may refer to: * Anything from or related to Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Pol ...

Polish
citizens in 1940 and the massacres of political prisoners after the launch of
Operation Barbarossa Operation Barbarossa (german: link=no, Unternehmen Barbarossa), also known as the German invasion of the Soviet Union, was the code name for the invasion of the Soviet Union by Nazi Germany and some of its Axis powers, Axis allies, which starte ...

Operation Barbarossa
, the Three Alls Policy, the massacre of
Soviet Jews The history of the Jews in the Soviet Union is inextricably linked to much earlier expansionist policies of the Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . was a historical empire that extended across Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continent ...
at
Babi Yar Babi Yar ( uk, Бабин Яр, ''Babyn Yar'' or ''Babin Yar''; russian: Бабий Яр, ''Babiy Yar'') is a ravine in the Ukraine, Ukrainian capital Kyiv and a site of massacres carried out by Nazi Germany, German forces during Eastern Front ( ...
, the mass murder of the
HungarianHungarian may refer to: * Hungary, a country in Central Europe * Kingdom of Hungary, state of Hungary, existing between 1000 and 1946 * Hungarians, ethnic groups in Hungary * Hungarian algorithm, a polynomial time algorithm for solving the assignmen ...
,
Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may refer to: ** Serbian language ...
and
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...
population in
Vojvodina Vojvodina ( ) is an autonomous province that occupies the northernmost part of Serbia. It lies within the Pannonian Basin, bordered to the south by the national capital Belgrade and the Sava and Danube Rivers. The administrative center, Novi Sad ...

Vojvodina
in the "Vengeance of Bacska", the murder of 24 unarmed villagers by British troops in the
Batang Kali massacreThe Batang Kali massacre was the killing of 24 unarmed villagers by British troops of the Scots Guards on 12 December 1948 during the Malayan Emergency. The incident occurred during counter-insurgency A counter-insurgency or counterinsurgency ( ...
during the Malayan Emergency, the mass killings in Indonesia during
Suharto Suharto (; ; 8 June 1921 – 27 January 2008) was an Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania between the Indian Ocean, Indian and Paci ...
's rise to power, the murder of suspected leftists during
Operation Condor Operation Condor ( es, link=no, Operación Cóndor, also known as ''Plan Cóndor''; pt, Operação Condor) was a United States-backed campaign of political repression and state terrorism, state terror involving Intelligence (information gatheri ...
in South America, the murder of Vietnamese civilians by American soldiers in the during the
Vietnam War {{Infobox military conflict , conflict = Vietnam War , partof = the Indochina Wars and the Cold War , image = VNWarMontage.png , image_size = 300px , caption = Clockwise, from top left: U.S. ...
, the genocidal massacres of the Maya population during the
Guatemalan Civil War The Guatemalan Civil War was a civil war A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups within the same state or country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or politi ...
, the massacre at El Mozote during the
Salvadoran Civil War The Salvadoran Civil War was a civil war in El Salvador which was fought between the military-led junta government of El Salvador and the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) (a coalition or "umbrella organization" of left-wing grou ...
, and repeated attacks on civilians during the Syrian Civil War including the Al-Qubeir massacre. Actions in which the state indirectly caused the death of large numbers of people include man-made disasters caused by the state, such as the famines in India during British rule, the
atrocities in the Congo Free State In the period from 1885 to 1908, many well-documented atrocities were perpetrated in the Congo Free State ''(Work and Progress) , national_anthem = Vers l'avenir , capital = Vivi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Vivi Boma, Democratic Republ ...
, the
Khmer Rouge The Khmer Rouge (, ; km, ខ្មែរក្រហម, ; " Red Khmers") is the name that was popularly given to members of the Communist Party of Kampuchea (CPK) and by extension to the regime through which the CPK ruled Cambodia Ca ...
years in
Cambodia Cambodia (; also Kampuchea ; km, កម្ពុជា, ), officially the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochinese Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is in area, bordered by Thailand to Cambodia–T ...
, the
Holodomor The Holodomor ( uk, Голодомо́р, Holodomór, ; derived from uk, морити голодом, lit=to kill by starvation, translit=moryty holodom, label=none), also known as the Terror-Famine and sometimes referred to as the Great F ...

Holodomor
in
Soviet Ukraine The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (Ukrainian SSR, UkrSSR or UkSSR; uk, Украї́нська Радя́нська Соціалісти́чна Респу́бліка, translit=Ukrayins'ka Radians'ka Sotsialistychna Respublika, УРСР; ...
and wider Soviet famine, the famines and poverty caused by the
Great Leap Forward The Great Leap Forward (Second Five Year Plan) of the People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, mo ...
and the
Cultural Revolution The Cultural Revolution, formally known as the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, was a sociopolitical movement Movement may refer to: Common uses * Movement (clockwork), the internal mechanism of a timepiece * Motion (physics), com ...
in the
People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population of more than 1.4 billion ...

People's Republic of China
, and the
famine in Yemen A famine is a widespread scarcity of food Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual con ...
triggered by the U.S.–backed Saudi Arabian-led intervention and
blockade 300px, Douglas C-47 Skytrain, C47s unloading at Tempelhof Airport in Berlin, part of the airlift of supplies which broke the Soviet Union's 1948 Berlin Blockade, land blockade of West Berlin A blockade is the act of actively preventing a count ...
.


Rates


Global

A 2011 study by the
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC; French: ''Office des Nations unies contre la drogue et le crime'') is a United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international ...
brought together a wide variety of data sources to create a worldwide picture of trends and developments. Sources included multiple agencies and field offices of the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for har ...

United Nations
, the
World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a list of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health. The WHO Constitution states its main objective as "the attainment ...
, and national and international sources from 207 countries. The report estimated that in 2010, the total number of homicides globally was 468,000. More than a third (36%) occurred in
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are ...

Africa
, 31 percent in the
Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North North is one of the four compass points or cardinal directions. It is the opposite of south and is perpendicular to East and West. ''North'' ...
, 27 percent in
Asia Asia () is a landmass variously described as part of Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict crite ...
, five percent in
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered from largest ...

Europe
and one percent in
Oceania Oceania (, , ) is a Region, geographic region that includes Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Spanning the eastern hemisphere, Eastern and Western Hemispheres, Oceania has a land area of and a population of over 41 million. Wh ...

Oceania
. Since 1995, the homicide rate has been falling in Europe, North America, and Asia, but has risen to a near “crisis point” in
Central America Central America ( es, América Central, , ''Centroamérica'' ) is a region of the Americas. It is bordered by Mexico to the north, Colombia to the south, the Caribbean Sea to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Central America consist ...
and the
Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole, Kawayib; nl, Caraïben; Papiamento: ) is a region of the Americas that comprises the Caribbean Sea, its surrounding coasts, and its islands (some ...
. Of all homicides worldwide, 82 percent of the victims were men, and 18 percent were women. On a per-capita scaled level, "the homicide rate in Africa and the Americas (at 17 and 16 per 100,000 population, respectively) is more than double the global average (6.9 per 100,000), whereas in Asia, Europe and Oceania (between 3 and 4 per 100,000) it is roughly half". UNODC, in its 2013 global report, estimated the total number of homicides worldwide dropped to 437,000 in 2012. The Americas accounted for 36 percent of all homicides globally, Africa 21 percent, Asia 38 percent, Europe five percent and Oceania 0.3%.UNODC
Global Study on Homicide
2013 Report
The world's average homicide rate stood at 6.2 per 100,000 population in 2012, but the Southern Africa region and Central America have intentional homicide rates four times higher than the world average. They are the most violent regions globally, outside of regions experiencing wars and religious or sociopolitical terrorism. Asia exclusive of West Asia and Central Asia, Western Europe, Northern Europe, as well as Oceania had the lowest homicide rates in the world. About 41 percent of the homicides worldwide occurred in 2012 with the use of guns, 24 percent with sharp objects such as knife, and 35 percent by other means such as poison. The global conviction rate for the crime of intentional homicide in 2012 was 43 percent. The 2011 Global Study on Homicide reported that " ere homicide rates are high and firearms and organized crime in the form of drug trafficking play a substantial role, 1 in 50 men aged 20 will be murdered before they reach the age of 31. At the other, the probability of such an occurrence is up to 400 times lower. micide is much more common in countries with low levels of human development, high levels of income inequality and weak rule of law than in more equitable societies, where socioeconomic stability seems to be something of an antidote to homicide. In cases of intimate partner and family-related homicide cases, women murdered by their past or present male partner make up the vast majority of homicide victims worldwide."


Historic European

In the mid-second millennium, local levels of violence in Europe were extremely high by the standards of modern developed countries. Typically, small groups of people would battle their neighbors using the farm tools at hand, such as knives, sickles, hammers, and axes. Mayhem and death were deliberate. The vast majority of Europeans lived in rural areas as late as 1800. Cities were few, and small in size, but their concentration of population was conducive to violence and their trends resembled those in rural areas Across Europe, homicide trends show a steady long-term decline. Regional differences were small, except that Italy's decline was later and slower. From approximately 1200 AD through 1800 AD, homicide rates from violent local episodes, not including military actions, declined by a factor of ten, from approximately 32 deaths per 100,000 people to 3.2 per 100,000. In the 20th century, the homicide rate fell to 1.4 per 100,000. Police forces seldom existed outside the cities; prisons only became common after 1800. Before then, harsh penalties were imposed for homicide (severe whipping or execution) but they proved ineffective at controlling or reducing the insults to honor that precipitated most of the violence. The decline does not correlate with economics or measures of state control. Most historians attribute the trend in homicides to a steady increase in self-control of the sort promoted by Protestantism, and necessitated by schools and factories. Eisner argues that macro-level indicators for societal efforts to promote civility, self-discipline, and long-sightedness are strongly associated with fluctuations in homicide rates over the past six centuries.


See also

*
List of types of killing In the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading language of international dis ...
* List of killings by law enforcement officers by countries


References


Further reading

* Lappi-Seppälä, Tapio, and Martti Lehti. "Cross-comparative perspectives on global homicide trends." ''Crime and Justice'' 43.1 (2014): 135-230. * Pinker, Steven. ''The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined'' (2011)


External links

{{authority control Causes of death Crimes