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Violence has immediate and long-term repercussions for the health of individuals and communities. Recent increases in the understanding of public health approaches to violence prevention have focused on the policies and practices of government, health, and other public sector agencies. However, the roles of commercial bodies in fostering and preventing violence remain largely
unaddressed. The wealth and influence of some companies now exceeds that of many countries. Consequently, it is timely to explore the roles of commercial processes in violence. Using a conceptual framework for the commercial determinants of health, we examine seven practices: political; scientific; marketing; supply chain and waste; labor and employment; financial; and reputational management. We include areas directly linked with violence (e.g., firearms) and those that indirectly impact violence through the following: design and promotion of products; employment practices; and impacts on environment, poverty, and local resources. A range of avoidable commercial behaviors
are found to increase levels of violence including the following: lobbying practices; distortion of scientific processes; polluting manufacture and supply lines; poor employee protections; financial investment in organizations and regimes associated with violence; and misleading communications and marketing. We conclude commercial actors can take action to ensure their workers, clients,
suppliers, and distributors help prevent, not promote, violence. New technologies such as artificial intelligence are transforming corporate processes and products and offer opportunities to implement violence prevention through commercial developments (e.g., monitoring online content). International regulation of commercial behaviors is needed to prevent interpersonal and interstate conflict
and harms to health and trade.


  • alcohol, climate, commercial determinants, employment, firearms, marketing, pollution, violence
Original languageEnglish
Article number352
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number3
Early online date15 Mar 2024
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2024

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