Sun, Apr 17, 2005 - Page 2 News List

`Safe Community' idea has long history

By Wang Hsiao-yi  /  STAFF REPORTER

First made public in the 1970s, the "Safe Community" concept refers to an on-going drive for neighbors with mutual concerns to integrate resources, reduce all types of accidents or injuries, create safer and harmonious environments and enhance the physical, mental and social comfort of the community.

Following a WHO Declaration in Ottawa, Canada, the concept of the Safe Community was further implemented in the 1980s. In 1989, the WHO even inaugurated a Safe Community Collaboration Center in Stockholm, Sweden to facilitate the network of safe communities all over the globe.

Driven by each community rather than a political entity or a country, there are currently around 83 certified or designated safe communities all over the world. In Asia, there are three of them, including South Korea's Su-won City and Hong Kong's Kwai Ching and Tuen Mun areas. In Taiwan, there are four areas which will be surveyed and examined this year by the WHO. These include Taipei's Neihu District, Chiayi County's Alishan, Taichung's Tungshih Township and Hualien's Feng-pin area. In China, several areas in Beijing and Shanghai are also trying to win the WHO's approval.

To be recognized as a safe community, each community is required to pass six indexes including establishment of injury prevention programs, implementation of community activities and ensuring the safety of minority groups and people with high-risk occupations.

TRANSLATED BY PERRY SVENSSON

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