How can we measure peace? The Global Peace Index is an effort to try to compare peacefulness between different countries in the world. It does this by looking at how much money and effort each country spends on violence. In how many wars and violent conflicts is it involved? How many weapons does it produce and export? How easy is it for a normal citizen to buy a weapon? How much money does the military get from the state?
According to the Global Peace Index, some countries are doing better than others. But even the most peaceful countries spend a lot of money each year on war and violence.
Open the website of the Global Peace Index (http://visionofhumanity.org/indexes/global-peace-index/) and look at your country of residence by clicking on it on the map. You then see more information about your country by clicking on “Full Stats”.
Comment below anwers to the following questions:
1. What surprised you about your country
2. In what aspects can your country still improve?
3. The ranking of which countries surprises you? Which ones are more peaceful than you thought? Which ones are more violent than you thought?
Time to put your new knowledge from the Global Peace Index into practice:
- Share the Global Peace Index website in your social media, ideally together with a comment about how your country can improve.
- Look up organisations and initiatives in your country that work on improving your country’s ranking in the Global Peace Index. That could be organisations that advocate for stricter gun laws, for less military spending, for prohibiting weapon exports.
- The organisation War Resisters International for example works on this and has members in more than 40 countries: https://wri-irg.org/en/network/affiliates
- See how you can support these organisations, e.g. by joining them, donating to them or spreading the word about their work in your social media.