How Violence Plagues the World’s Poor

February 14, 2014

“The locusts of everyday violence have been allowed to swarm unabated in the developing world. And they are laying waste to the hope of the poor.” – Gary A. Haugen and Victor Boutros in their new book, ”The Locust Effect”

While working in over 190 countries and territories around the world, UNICEF comes face to face every day with the reality that poor people are vulnerable to violence. Globally, the facts are stunning. More than 20 million children, women and men are held in situations of forced labor. One in five women will be a victim of rape or attempted rape – meaning sexual violence makes everyday activities like going to school, gathering water, using a communal restroom or taking public transport dangerous.

World in Fear

The truth is that that 4 billion people  —  most of the world’s poorest people — live in places where justice systems don’t or can’t protect them from these kinds of “everyday violence.” This past summer, we introduced our #ENDViolence campaign to

draw attention to this issue. Last week, our friends at International Justice Mission (IJM) launched an effort of their own called the Locust Effect.

One element of the campaign is this video that shows what the world is up against as we work against violence.  You won’t want to miss the powerful moment at 1:48. Want to learn more? Check out The Locust Effect, by IJM’s president Gary A. Haugen, released early last week. Join the conversation using the hashtag #LocustEffect. Find out about UNICEF's efforts to #ENDviolence against children.


Sample social media photograph. (Photo courtesy of IJM)