Country risk categories
Safeture has assigned each country an overall risk level. This risk level is weighted based on the risk levels of all ten country risk categories. These ten risk categories are the following:
- Civil Unrest
- Health and medical
- Infrastructure and transport
- Insurgency and armed conflict
- International Relations
- Political stability
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Country risk levels
The security risks in countries and regions are rated on the following five-level scale:
- Negligible. Political system is very stable, with no diplomatic disputes. Crime rates are low and protests rare and non-violent. No terrorist or other armed groups are known to be operating in the country. Medical facilities are very good. Environmental hazards are limited, with infrastructure and transport system comprehensive, effective, and reliable.
- Low. Political system is mostly stable, with only low-level diplomatic disputes. Low levels of crime, with most illicit activity suppressed by effective law enforcement. Protests can cause some disruption. Threats from terrorists and other armed groups are limited, but isolated regions or certain groups may face a specific threat. Medical facilities are fair. Threats from environmental hazards are generally equalled by effective disaster management bodies and safety standards.
- Medium. Political stability faces challenges. Ongoing diplomatic dispute(s). Crime levels are high in some areas, and there is a clear presence of organised crime. Frequent protests, sometimes violent, often cause disruption. Terrorist groups have been known to operate in area, but opportunity for attack is limited. Armed groups challenge government control in some areas. Good quality medical care is limited to urban areas. Significant environmental hazards and inconsistent emergency response in some areas. Infrastructure and transport system unreliable and/or unsafe.
- High. Political system is highly unstable. International relations marred by armed conflict and/or widespread sanctions. Crime levels too high for security forces to adequately cope. Large-scale protest action is frequent and causes significant disruption. Frequent terrorist attacks. Armed groups control parts of the country and/or possess both intent and capability to overthrow central government. Medical facilities limited; medevacs likely required. Regular extreme environmental hazards or natural disasters. Infrastructure and transport options limited.
- Critical. Anarchical situation and/or total war. Virtual breakdown in law and order. Medical facilities non-existent, medevac may not be available. Environmental disaster underway.
Risk Levels for Civil Unrest
Below you will find the definitions of the risk levels within the Civil Unrest category:
- Negligible: Stable economic and political situation. Infrequent and non-violent protests. Protest issues are effectively resolved within the accepted legal framework. Labor situation is largely stable, with infrequent localized strikes. Inter-communal harmony.
- Low: Infrequent to regular protests cause some disruption. Occasional strikes cause localized disruption but are neither systemic nor sector focused. Localized inter-communal tension and rare violence between individuals. Mass peaceful protests. Security forces are able to contain protests or disperse with acceptable levels of force. Violent clashes are rare.
- Medium: Frequent protests often cause disruption. Strikes affect multiple sectors or cause a shutdown in a single sector. Security force capability is generally satisfactory but presence at demonstrations sometimes results in violent clashes. Foreign interests may be affected but are not generally targeted. Communities are polarised, with regular small-scale violence.
- High: Large-scale protest actions occur frequently and cause significant disruption. Strikes cause a complete shutdown of entire industries or sectors. Security forces struggle or are unable to cope with protests and instead cause antagonism, often resulting in violent clashes. Rioting occurs periodically, causing economic damage and potential threats to human life. Regular mass violence between polarised communities.
- Critical: Mass violent protests occur very frequently. Demonstrations have a critical impact on business continuity, and violence is large-scale. Security forces are unable to deal with violence at demonstrations. Rioting is a very regular occurrence causing considerable economic damage and a major threat to human life.
Risk Levels for Crime
Below you will find the definitions of the risk levels within the Crime category.
- Negligible. Crime rates are very low and typically limited to certain areas. No specific threat to foreign personnel or assets. No to low-level organized crime. Effective law enforcement.
- Low. Crime rates are low. Small-scale activity by organized criminal groups, including drug and human trafficking and counterfeiting. Periodic isolated incidents of violence between rival criminal groups; overall civilian impact low. Law enforcement and legal institutions are generally robust.
- Medium. High crime rates in some areas. Organized crime groups are well established. Known production/transit point for illicit goods on the international market. Frequent incidents of violence between criminal groups. Clashes involve law enforcement agencies. Ineffectual law enforcement and legal institutions.
- High. Crime levels are too high for security forces to adequately cope. Low-level criminals routinely carry firearms. Major producer/transit point for illicit goods. Criminal groups well-armed. Sustained clashes involving law enforcement agencies. Organized criminal activity is evident throughout society. Law enforcement incapable of effectively countering organized crime: the effort to counter criminal institutions result in violent intimidation.
- Critical. Virtual breakdown in law and order. Illegal goods and organized crime form a large part of the economy. Organized crime groups control avenues of power and operate with autonomy. Law enforcement/forces incapable of countering criminal activity. Criminal groups are better armed and informed than national authorities.
Risk Levels for Environment
Below you will find the definitions of the risk levels within the Environment category.
- Negligible: Environmental hazards are limited. Conditions may cause limited disruption to organizations or individuals but are predictable and manageable.
- Low: Environmental hazards can cause damage or harm but are predictable and manageable. Extreme environmental events occur seasonally. Natural disasters occur but are usually small-scale. Conditions can disrupt travel and commodity supplies in affected areas. Conditions can impact local infrastructure/ telecommunications. Effective disaster management bodies and safety standards.
- Medium: Environmental extremes occur seasonally and are generally predictable. Natural disasters occur with some regularity. Disruption to commodity supplies/business continuity in country. Frequent loss of life to environmental factors common. Inconsistent emergency response in some areas.
- High: Regular extreme environmental hazards or natural disasters, difficult to predict and manage. Inadequate and ill-prepared emergency response. Consequences include disruption to commodity supplies/business continuity. Large loss of life. Weak government institutions/emergency services to prevent disasters.
- Critical: Environmental disaster underway. Consistent environmental disasters make areas inhabitable/force mass evacuations. Transport and basic services vulnerable to devastation. Substantial loss of life, consistent exposure to uninhabitable conditions. No government institutions/emergency services to prevent or respond to disasters.
Risk Levels for Health & Medical
Below you will find the definitions of the risk levels within the Health & Medical category.
- Negligible: Medical facilities are effective and easily available. Common ailments pose no specific additional risk.
- Low: Medical facilities fair. Vulnerable individuals may be especially susceptible to a range of communicable diseases, but precautionary measures and sanitation can mitigate the risk.
- Medium: Good-quality medical care limited to major urban areas. A range of communicable diseases exist, but precautionary measures and sanitation can mitigate the risk. Inconsistent emergency response.
- High: Limited medical facilities even in major cities – medevac likely required. Multiple communicable diseases with few precautionary measures adopted or epidemic of fatal communicable disease. Inadequate and ill-prepared emergency response.
- Critical: Medevac required for any treatment / medevac not available. Epidemic of fatal communicable disease.
Risk Levels for Infrastructure & Transport
Below you will find the definitions of the risk levels within the Infrastructure & Transport category.
- Negligible: Extensive and resilient Critical National Infrastructure (CNI). Transport system is extensive, safe, and reliable.
- Low: CNI is resilient but with precedent for elements failing for short periods of time (less than 24hrs). Transport system is effective but not extensive.
- Medium: CNI is not extensive nor resilient and is sometimes unable to cope with demands placed upon it. Transport system is unsafe, unreliable, and ineffective. Major routes are blocked for short periods with some regularity. Sporadic disruption to basic commodity supplies. Some disruption to telecommunication systems. Power cuts frequent.
- High: CNI is failing with regularity. CNI is limited and unable to cope with demands placed upon it by local and foreign nationals. Transport options are limited, and major routes are blocked for prolonged periods of time. Essential commodities (fuel, food, and water) are in short or irregular supply. Power and other utility supplies are cut with frequency (several times per day) and for periods longer than six hours.
- Critical: CNI has completely failed. Freedom of choice in terms of transport options is extremely limited. Supply of essential commodities is very infrequent.
Risk Levels for Insurgency and Armed Conflict
Below you will find the definitions of the risk levels within the Insurgency and Armed Conflict category.
- Negligible. No modern precedent for internal armed conflict. No known separatist groups.
- Low. Government legitimacy is contested peacefully. Domestic political issues generate low levels of violent protest. Groups with separatist or anti-government agendas exist but lack the intent and/or capability to use violence. Precedent for internal armed conflict.
- Medium. Government legitimacy is challenged by armed non-state actors with intent to secede or overthrow the government. The government capacity to deliver essential services, including security, across the territory is challenged.
- High. Government legitimacy is challenged by well-armed non-state actors with both intent and capability to overthrow the government. Well-armed separatist groups pose a significant threat to territorial integrity. Government control is removed over part of the country. Armed groups pose a threat to major economic centers outside areas of their control.
- Critical. Civil war. Separatist groups undermine territorial integrity to the extent that there is no recognized central authority. Multi-polar conflict involving several insurgencies.
Risk Levels for International Relations
Below you will find the definitions of the risk levels within the International Relations category.
- Negligible: Diplomatic relations are amicable. No precedent for dispute.
- Low: Ongoing low-level diplomatic disputes. Precedent for escalated, yet non-violent disputes. Belligerent diplomatic communications regarding specific issues. Nationally targeted cyber-attacks. Threats made by other countries that military action may be taken in relation to specific issue(s).
- Medium: Ongoing diplomatic dispute with precedent for armed conflict. Targeted/partial sanctions. Diplomatic negotiations in quagmire. Small-scale border incursions by hostile powers with violence limited geographically. Security forces on increased readiness and/or deployed to protect critical national infrastructure. Foreign governments recall non-essential staff.
- High: Conflict in limited geographical area utilising conventional forces. Wide-ranging sanctions and international isolation. Overt threats to further escalate levels of violence or geographical spread. Foreign governments remove all staff.
- Critical: Intensified/total conflict in area and general mobilisation of armed forces. Use of extraordinary military capabilities (i.e. nuclear, biological or chemical weapons).
Risk Levels for Kidnap
Below you will find the definitions of the risk levels within the Kidnap category.
- Negligible: Kidnap incidents are rare, isolated, and not part of any specific organised criminal activity.
- Low: Kidnap incidents occur regularly but remain mostly within criminal circles or have business/personal motivations. Some fatalities of victims. Targets may include foreign travellers involved in express kidnappings.
- Medium: Kidnappings are systematic as part of organised criminal activity, with some violence and occasional fatalities involved. Express kidnappings of foreign nationals occur more widely and some explicit targeting of expatriate community. Kidnap for ransom of foreign nationals occurs sporadically. Some evidence of complicity of state actors.
- High: Kidnap widespread. Use of violence prevalent; moderate numbers of fatalities registered. Terrorist groups and other non-state actors use kidnapping to elicit financial or political ransoms. Explicit intent to target expatriate community. State security apparatus unable to provide security to protect expatriate community. Evidence of complicity by state actors.
- Critical: Kidnap widespread. Confirmed complicity of state actors. All protective measures to reduce kidnap threat are rendered null and void or non-existent
Risk Levels for Political Stability
Below you will find the definitions of the risk levels within the Political Stability category.
- Negligible. Crime rates are very low and typically limited to certain areas. No specific threat to foreign personnel or assets. No to low-level organised crime. Effective law enforcement.
- Low. Crime rates are low. Small-scale activity by organised criminal groups, including drug and human trafficking, counterfeiting. Periodic isolated incidents of violence between rival criminal groups; overall civilian impact low. Law enforcement and legal institutions generally robust.
- Medium. High crime rates in some areas. Organised crime groups well established. Known production/transit point for illicit goods on international market. Frequent incidents of violence between criminal groups. Clashes involve law enforcement agencies. Ineffectual law enforcement and legal institutions.
- High. Crime levels are too high for security forces to adequately cope. Low-level criminals routinely carry firearms. Major producer/transit point for illicit goods. Criminal groups well-armed. Sustained clashes involving law enforcement agencies. Organised criminal activity evident throughout society. Law enforcement incapable of effectively countering organised crime: effort to counter criminal institutions result in violent intimidation.
- Critical. Virtual breakdown in law and order. Illegal goods and organised crime form large part of economy. Organised crime groups control avenues of power and operate with autonomy. Law enforcement/forces incapable of countering criminal activity. Criminal groups better armed and informed than national authorities.
Risk Levels for Terrorism
Below you will find the definitions of the risk levels within the Terrorism category.
- Negligible: No evidence of terrorist groups operating in the area. No history of terrorist attacks Location is not known as a focal point for extremism. Security forces display a very high level of professionalism and capability in preventing and responding to acts of terrorism.
- Low: Credible evidence of terrorist groups active, albeit at a low level. Precedent for terrorist activity in past decade. Opportunity and capability for terrorist action is limited. Isolated areas or certain groups may face a specific threat. Security forces display a high level of professionalism and capability in preventing and responding to acts of terrorism.
- Medium: Terrorist groups are active in the area and demonstrate both intent and capability to carry out attacks. Opportunity for attack is limited. Precedent for terrorist attacks – including mass- casualty incidents – but such occurrences are infrequent or historical. Security forces are under- resourced when combating terrorist threat.
- High: Terrorist attacks are frequent. Mass-casualty attacks have occurred. Security forces provide inadequate risk mitigation. There is widespread support for terrorist aims and methods in the area. The potential for regular mass-casualty attacks is high.
- Critical: Terrorist intent, opportunity and capability are extreme, and attacks frequently cause mass- casualties. There is widespread support for terrorist aims and methods in the area and active involvement in support and recruitment of terrorists is evident. Security forces provide few or no effective countermeasures.