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UNICEF's child injury league table. An analysis of legislation: more mixed messages
  1. E Towner1,
  2. J Towner2
  1. 1Department of Child Health, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  2. 2Division of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Northumbria at Newcastle, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr E Towner, Community Child Health, Department of Child Health, Donald Court House, 13 Walker Terrace, Gateshead NE8 1EB, UK;E.L.M.Towner{at}


This paper presents a summary table and discussion of legislation related to child injury prevention in member countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. The table is an expanded version of the one which appeared in the UNICEF Report Card “Child Deaths by Injury in Rich Countries” (2001). A commentary is provided on the variations in legislation between countries in terms of range and form of measures and an estimate of degree of enforcement. As legislation is generally considered a powerful tool in injury prevention, the paper examines whether those countries with the widest range of legislation and the strongest enforcement have made the most progress in reducing child injury deaths since the 1970s. It also considers whether a commitment to extensive legislation is reflected in a country's position in the UNICEF league table of injury death. The initial conclusion to these two basic issues is that no clear picture can be seen and we thus need to know far more about the relationship between legislation and societies and cultures as they vary from place to place. This paper hopes to stimulate more widespread debate about the role of legislation in different countries.

  • legislation
  • league table
  • rich nations

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