Cambodia’s Ranking Drops in Peace Index But Score Goes Up

Cambodia slid five places down the annual Global Peace Index released Tuesday, ranking 111th out of 162 countries surveyed. But despite ceding five of the seven spots it gained in last year’s index—which measures safety, security, conflict and militarization—the country received a slightly higher score than in 2014.

The Institute for Economics and Peace’s index measures global and national peacefulness, defined by a country’s stability and absence of violence—along with the absence of fear of violence among its citizens. The index scores countries using data from the year before.

Europe once again topped the chart as the world’s most peaceful region in 2014, with Iceland beating out a number of Scandinavian countries as the most peaceful country. The Middle East was the world’s least stable region, with Syria and Iraq being the least peaceful countries on the list.

The Asia-Pacific was ranked third behind Europe and North America.

“The South China Sea remains a potential area for conflict, with countries involved in the dispute (China, Vietnam and the Philippines) all showing a worsening of their scores in the 2015 index,” the report says.

The cost of containing violence in 2014 cost Cambodia $2.3 billion—or $154 per person—in 2014, which began with the government enforcing a ban on public gatherings following the violent suppression of opposition protests in January. Cambodia spent $1.5 million on containing violence in 2013.

Speaking by telephone, the institute’s founder, Steve Killelea, said domestic issues were still a primary concern for Cambodia and its neighbors.

“The pressing issues for countries in Asean are internal conflicts, migration, minorities,” he said.

Mr. Killelea added that corruption in Cambodia—especially in the judiciary and the police—was among the strongest indicators for instability and a lack of peace.

Earlier this month, the World Justice Project ranked Cambodia 99th out of 102 countries included in its annual Rule of Law Index.

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