The Economic Burden of Violence Against Children in South Africa

Xiangming Fang, Xiaodong Zheng, Deborah Fry, Gary Ganz, Tabitha Casey, Celia Hsiao, Catherine L. Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The purpose of this study was to estimate the economic burden of violence against children in South Africa. We assembled summative estimates of lifetime prevalence, calculated the magnitude of associations with negative outcomes, and thereby estimated the economic burden of violence against children. According to our calculations, 2.3 million and 84,287 disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) lost in South Africa in 2015 were attributable to nonfatal and fatal violence against children, respectively. The estimated economic value of DALYs lost to violence against children (including both fatal and nonfatal) in South Africa in 2015 totalled ZAR173 billion (US $ 13.5 billion)– or 4.3% of South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015. In addition, the reduced earnings attributable to childhood physical violence and emotional violence in South Africa in 2015 were ZAR25.2 billion (US $ 2.0 billion) and ZAR9.6 billion (US $ 750 million), respectively. In addition, South Africa spent ZAR1.6 billion (US $ 124 million) on child care and protection in fiscal year 20015/2016, many of which costs are directly related to violence against children. This study confirms the importance of prioritizing violence against children as a key social and economic concern for South Africa’s future.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1431
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2017

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • economic burden
  • violence against child
  • South Africa
  • DALY


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