The origin and development of safe communities
The term “safe community” was first officially used at the First World Conference on Accident and Injury Prevention, which took place in Stockholm, Sweden, in September 1989. The Conference endorsed the Manifesto for Safe Communities, which states the “All human beings have an equal right to health and safety”. This premise is a fundamental element of the World Health Organization (WHO) Health for All strategy and the WHO Global Programmed on Accident Prevention and Injury Control. It has since inspired communities around the world to take action the leads to their development as safe communities.
What is a safe community?
A safe community is one in which all its members can live, work, study and play in a safe and healthy manner. It does not mean they have eliminated all the hazards that cause accidents and sickness Instead, it indicates that individuals and organizations in the community have agreed to join forces and implement a structured approach that works towards these common objectives in an effective way.
The WHO Collaborating Center on community Safely Promotion initiated the safe community programme and establish a system to recognize by communities that make structured efforts to increase their safely and health standards by naming them as a “International Safe community”. Since 1989, more than 300 communities with population ranging from 2,000 to 2,000,000 have been certified as International Safe Community.
Indicators for International Safe Community:
- An infrastructure based on partnership and collaborations, governed by a cross-sector group that is responsible for safety promotion in their community;
- Long-term, sustainable programs covering genders and all ages, environments, and situations;
- Programs that target high-risk groups and environments, and programs that promote safety for vulnerable groups;
- Programs that are based on the available evidence:
- Program that document the frequency and causes of on injuries;
- Evaluation measures to assess their programs, processes and the effects of change;
- On –going participation in national and international Safe Communities network.
Safe communities take off in Asia
The Hong Kong Occupational Safety and Health Council was appointed International Safe Community Support Center in 1999. The Council introduced the safe community concept into the territory in the same year, as part of its community-based efforts to raise the standards of occupational safety and health. This initiative received widespread support from many sections of the community.
The Safe community concept has also attracted great interest in Mainland China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and Iran, while many others communities in Asia are preparing to have the same honor.
The Asia Safe Community Network
Asia Safe Community Network will serve to meet a fast-increasing demand for information about the safe community concept in Asia. In particular, the objective is to open doors for individuals and community concept in Asia. In particular, the objective is to open doors for individuals and communities in the region to enhance their cooperation, exchange ideas, and learn valuable lessons from one another. As the world’s family of safe communities becomes ever learn valuable lessons member communities grow closer together, united by a common desire to become safer, healthier, more harmonious and more caring places in which to live, work, study and play.