Monday, June 27, 2011

The Hall of Shame

Yearly collaboration between Foreign Policy magazine and the Fund for Peace results in the creation of a list containing the countries that have the worst reputation for the treatment of their citizens. The results for 2011 have recently been posted with the top five being Somalia, Chad, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Haiti. The top ten also includes Iraq and Afghanistan.

The results are based on the Failed States Index that ranks countries from critical to most stable. The more points a country receives, the higher toward the red it goes. Various factors are taken into account such as demographic pressures, number of refugees, human flight, uneven development, economic decline, lack of public services, delegitimization of state, the number of human rights violations, and level of security. However, the statistical evidence can only hint at the bleak picture that people in critical counties face. Numbers cannot adequately explain the devastation, the fear, the corruption, the lack of basic human needs that are rampant in certain areas of the world.

Foreign Policy chose seven members of the Hall of Shame to exemplify and censure. For example, in Niger, the population on average goes to school for only 4.3 years. The country is afflicted by having the second-lowest literacy rates in the world. The Democratic Republic of Congo has the unfortunate reputation of being "the rape capitol of the world." And, in Afghanistan, corruption provides the framework of economic life where bribes are as commonplace as cashing a check at a bank.

For an interactive graphic of the world according to the Failed States index, click here.

In the meantime, the fact that these countries are being recognized for their maltreatment of their citizens', alerts others in more stable countries that there are issues that can be addressed and improved upon. And perhaps, by next year, some of those countries will be pulled out of the red.

-Chelsey Dambro

Source: Foreign Policy