A trip right about now sounds nice, huh? Well, whether you are planning on a week away or a study abroad trip, researching places to go can be a daunting task. What are your priorities? For most, the safety of an area plays a major role in deciding on a destination. As it seems the world is in constant chaos, and watching the news or staying updated might not be your favorite hobby, let’s take a look at the most peaceful places in the world based 60 percent on internal peace and 40 percent on external peace (according to the latest the Global Peace Index 2011 Report):
Iceland tops the list, rising from 2010’s second place most peaceful place. Although in 2008 to 2009 Iceland experienced financial turmoil and political instability, the reformist Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir has managed an economic recovery and created more jobs during 2010. “Icelandic society remains essentially harmonious, with measures of safety and security including violent crime, internal conflict and the number of homicides all accorded very low scores,” according to the report.
New Zealand is named second most peaceful country as they have had a “rise in the number of internal security officers.” The country has also scored lowest in comparison to the other 153 countries in terms of “likelihood of violent demonstrations, the homicide rate and the level of respect for human rights (Political Terror Scale).”
Although Japan has suffered multiple environmental catastrophes, a strong earthquake, a deathly tsunami and “ensuing nuclear crisis” Japan ranks highly in terms of overall domestic peace and ranks low on their level of militarization.
Denmark has increased the penalty for illegal gun possession which largely contributes to their fourth place ranking. “Danish exports of major conventional weapons per head declined to the lowest possible score,” says the GPI report. Some of the other factors that has landed Denmark a fourth place spot is their freedom “from internal conflict,” their political stability, and their lack of conflict with neighboring countries, according to the index.
The Czech Republic is the fifth most peaceful country in the world. This is due to their “strongly Europhile foreign minister, Karel Schqarzenberg,” who has “pursued an active but pragmatic foreign policy, combining liberal economic positions in international and EU affairs with a careful eye to the Czech Republic’s national interest,” says the GPI Report of 2011.
The next five most peaceful countries are Finland, Canada, Norway, Slovenia and Ireland.
It should be noted that traveling to places other than these ten can be generally safe, especially as the United States has ranked 82 out of 153 countries, according to the report by the Institute for Economics & Peace.
As safety while traveling is always important, be sure to download the Smart Traveler App provided by The US Department of State to find safety tips about the country you are looking to visit. Also registering your trip with the State could literally save your life. A friend of mine traveling in Japan was notified about the tsunami and was able to avoid the catastrophe.
Good luck and safe travels!
I’m reading Calculus