Leading global risk analytics firm Maplecroft has released its latest quarterly Civil Unrest Index. The index tracked changes in social or political unrest that could disrupt business operations across 197 countries.
Maplecroft found that globally, civil unrest has risen in 20% of countries worldwide from the third to fourth quarter of this year. This rising unrest has taken the form of mass demonstrations, ethnic or religious violence, and increasing labour protest.
Predictably, Maplecroft determined that Hong Kong has been especially hard hit. Due to its massive democracy protests this month, the Chinese-administered region fell 62 places on the firm’s stability ranking. It is now the 70th most unstable country in the world and is placed at “high risk.”
The scale of the protests, according to Maplecroft, has cost retailers in the territory upwards of $US283 million already.
Civil unrest has also further increased in a number of Asian economic hubs, such as Thailand, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, and China. Companies operating in these countries have faced varied labour disruptions and strikes which have caused significant economic impact, according to Maplecroft.
The five countries facing the most extreme unrest are, in order, Syria, the Central African Republic (CAR), Pakistan, Sudan, and South Sudan.
Syria is the midst of a multi-year civil war that has effectively partitioned the country between ISIS, the Assad regime, Kurds, secular rebels, and al-Qaeda linked jihadists.
The CAR, Sudan, and South Sudan are all in the midst of intense ethnic or sectarian fighting. The UN Security Council had unanimously voted to send peacekeepers to CAR amid fears that fighting there between Muslims and Christians could lead to genocide.
To create the Civil Unrest Index, Maplecroft used a strict methodology that took into both qualitative and quantitative data into account. Factors that played a role in determining the likelihood of unrest in a country included food security, the frequency of instances of civil unrest, and the levels of corruption within a country.
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