Protesters march on a street during a rally against the extradition bill on June 9, 2019 in Hong Kong China. Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators marched in Hong Kong on Sunday against a controversial extradition law designed to send suspected criminals to mainland China on trial. (Photo by Anthony Kwan / Getty Images)
Anthony Kwan | Getty Images
Almost a quarter of the countries in the world saw an increase in protests and riots last year, and this value will continue to increase in 2020, according to a new study.
There are 195 countries around the world when the Vatican and Palestine are included, and a newly released riot index claims that 47 of these countries saw a surge in riots in 2019.
The data model, released by socio-economic and political analysis firm Verisk Maplecroft on Thursday, also predicted that the number will increase to 75 countries in 2020.
The British consulting firm identified Hong Kong and Chile as the two hotspots where the unrest has increased the most since the beginning of 2019. According to the research, no country is expected to have peace for at least two years.
Shiite Muslim rebels hold up their weapons during an anti-air rally in Sanaa on March 26, 2015.
Khaled Abdullah | Reuters
Other areas that are now considered breeding grounds for the protest are Nigeria, Lebanon and Bolivia. In addition to these three countries, Ethiopia, India, Pakistan and Zimbabwe are among the countries that fall under the "extreme risk" category.
Since the last index release, Sudan has overtaken Yemen and is the country with the highest risk worldwide.
Sudan has been in a crisis since the fall of ruler Omar al-Bashir in April. The country was plagued by protests and murders when military forces fought democracy supporters to control the country.
The conflict in Yemen has been raging since 2015 when Shiite and Sunni Muslim forces struggle for power.
No flash in the pan
Maplecroft's forecasts for 2020 are bleak as both the number of countries where protests are taking place and the intensity of the unrest tend to increase.
The index assumes that 75 of the 125 countries surveyed will experience a deterioration in stability. This number means that almost 40% of all 195 nations in the world will be affected to some extent by disturbances and protests.
While the greatest unrest is predicted in Ukraine, Guinea-Bissau and Tajikistan, it is the larger countries that could cause the greatest concern.
The predicted cross-references in the analysis are increasing, as is the risk that demonstrators will suffer human rights violations or sharp reactions from the security forces.
The countries in this difficult category include the influential countries Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Thailand and Brazil.
UK-based analysts claim that since 2019 is unlikely to be a "flash in the pan," companies and investors are facing increasing unrest.
According to Maplecroft, the pressure on global companies to assume corporate responsibility will increase, especially in countries "rich in natural resources where mining and energy projects often need a high level of protection".
"However, companies face a significant risk of complicity when they use state or private security forces who commit violations," the report added.