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Mercer Consulting has released a global report on personal safety that aims to rank cities by their safety levels to help companies compensate employees fairly when placing them on assignments.
According to the firm, these are the most dangerous cities:
1. Baghdad, Iraq – The capital of Iraq, Baghdad, is lthe world’s most dangerous city in Mercer’s rankings. Following the withdrawal of military forces from Iraq as of Dec. 31, the U.S. State Department and British Foreign Office warn their citizens against all but essential travel to Iraq. They add that those traveling there should do so only with a professional security company. Monthly car bombings and threats of attack against U.S. targets throughout Iraq continue, including in the "Green Zone" of Baghdad.
2. N’Djamena, Chad – The upheaval in Libya has destabilized large parts of Chad, and there is an underlying threat of terrorism and kidnappings.
3. Abidjan, Ivory Coast – The national forces loyal to Ouattara continue to seek to secure all parts of Abidjan and the interior. Crimes such as muggings, robberies, burglaries and carjackings pose risks for foreign visitors in Abidjan. Political rallies and public gatherings should be avoided. Yellow fever, cholera and measles cases have also been reported in the Abidjan area since the start of 2011.
4. Bangui, Central African Republic – There were outbreaks of violence in Bangui in early June 2011 resulting in government-imposed curfews in the city, and recently there have been attacks on some Europeans on the scenic walks.
5. Kinshasa, Democratic Rep. of the Congo – The capital has a critical crime threat, and U.S. citizens continue to be the victims of serious crimes, including armed robbery by groups posing as law enforcement officials in both urban and rural areas, especially after nightfall. It has been reported that robberies by gangs of street children are increasingly common and becoming more aggressive.
6. Karachi, Pakistan – U.K. and U.S. citizens are urged to keep a low profile, avoid large gatherings and limit movements on Fridays, the Muslim holy day.
7. Tbilisi, Georgia – the region could explode at any minute, given the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
8. Sana’a, Yemen – the biggest threat here is kidnap by armed tribes, criminals and terrorists.
9. Nairobi, Kenya – Plenty of local unrest here, recent attacks in the city in 2012 include a grenade attack on a church near Nairobi city center on April 29, with one death reported. A series of grenade explosions in the central business district on March 10th that killed at least six people and wounded dozens.
10. Conakry, Guinea Republic – According to Mercer, criminals target visitors at the airport, in the traditional markets and near hotels and restaurants frequented by foreigner.
On the other end of the spectrum, Luxembourg ranks highest for personal safety. Bern, Helsinki and Zurich, follow. According to Mercer, Vienna has the best living standard in the world.
In the North America, the safest cities are all Canadian, Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver and Toronto (All tied at 17th globally).
The highest ranked cities for safety in United States according to Mercer are Chicago, Honolulu and Houston – all ranked 53rd globally,
Reprinted with permission from Economic Policy Journal.