New Delhi: India has slipped to a low of 128 in the Global Peace Index ranking with the country along with Pakistan and Sri Lanka experiencing more incidents of internal conflicts, terrorism and human rights abuses.
Overall the world became less peaceful for the second consecutive year, said the fourth annual GPI released.
As the global economy continues to falter, this year’s data shows an intensification of conflicts and growing instability linked to the downturn that began in 2008, with several countries seeing sharp increases in homicides, violent demonstrations and fear of crime, it said.
The only study to quantify global peacefulness, the GPI is produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).
According to the report, South Asia saw the greatest decrease in peacefulness, as a result of increased involvement in conflicts, a rise in deaths from internal conflict and human rights abuses.
The main countries experiencing decreases in peacefulness were India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
Three BRIC countries-Russia (143), India (128) and China (80)-saw substantial declines in peacefulness, while Brazil’s score remained essentially stable (83) compared to the 2009 Index.
In fact, Russia saw one of the largest drops in peacefulness of any country this year due to its war with Georgia, ongoing acts of terror, and some protests across the country resulting from a deteriorating economic situation.
China saw its score deteriorate because of worsening security in parts of the country, notably Xinjiang province, where violent conflict prompted rises in several measures of societal safety, the report said.
However, the US (85) improved its 2010 GPI score, registering its biggest year-on-year improvement since the first Index was released in 2007.
The improvement came as a result of a decrease in the number of deaths from external conflict and an increase in political stability.
Western Europe continues to be the most peaceful region, with the majority of the countries ranking in the top 20.
All five Scandinavian nations rank in the top ten; however, Denmark dropped five spots to 7 because of decrease in respect for human rights and continuing involvement in Afghanistan.
Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan were the least peaceful countries for the second consecutive year.
Syria, Georgia, the Philippines, Russia and Cyprus were this year’s biggest fallers; the report said.
“How peaceful a country is depends on the internal structures, institutions, and attitudes that sustain and promote peace as well as on external factors,” said Clyde McConaghy, board director of the IEP.
“This year’s top five countries, and more peaceful countries in general, have certain things in common: well functioning governments, stable business environments, respect for human rights, low levels of corruption, high rates of participation in education, and freedom of information,” McConaghy said.