August 9, 2023
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It doesn’t matter which way the world is spinning because one place always seems to stay afloat. This small island nation in the North Atlantic has been ranked as the safest country in the world by the Global Peace Index. With a population of only 372,000, Iceland has remained at the top of the list year after year. Here are some of the reasons behind its success.
Iceland has an average of 15 murders committed annually. This rate works out to a murder ratio of 1.1 per 100,000 people, compared to the United States, which has a murder rate of 5 per 100,000 people.
The same calm attitude towards life and property also extends to drugs and weapon-related crimes.
As a member of the European Union and the Schengen Agreement, Iceland has strong economic, political, and cultural ties with other European countries. In addition, Iceland is a member of the Nordic Council, a forum for cooperation between the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden). Iceland also has friendly relations with the United States, with whom it has a defense agreement, and with Canada, with whom it has a free trade agreement. Overall, the nation has a reputation for being a cooperative and peaceful member of the international community.
Iceland is one of the most literate nations in the world. It has an average literacy rate higher than all European Union member states and many other developed nations. Additionally, there is a significant gender gap in education levels, with women exceeding men by 20 points on average.
With such an educated population, the country faces lesser cases of discrimination and social unrest.
The country is working hard to maintain the ecological integrity of its ecosystem by imposing strict environmental laws. This movement has resulted in very low pollution rates, with no significant global warming being reported yet. These laws have also helped advance the prospect of peace in the country by ensuring a sustainable, balanced ecosystem.
Iceland is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, but the country has no military bases, and spending on defense usually accounts for just 0.6% of GDP. This relatively low level of defense spending is a rarity among developed nations and indicates that Iceland has a relatively peaceful foreign policy.
It, however, has reserve units of the special police and fire service as well as an emergency response unit that can be deployed within less than an hour after any disaster.
The mass media in Iceland are free from government intervention and tend to publish controversial statements and reports. Article 19 on freedom of expression and article 10 on freedom of information are specifically defined in the Icelandic constitution.
The country has also ratified the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights, and other laws guaranteeing civil liberties. These freedoms have helped preserve peace by allowing citizens to express their opinions without fear or intimidation.
The social welfare system in Iceland offers a wide range of benefits to the locals. These include free health care, education, unemployment benefits, and social services like daycare and family counselling.
On top of that, women have access to free childcare facilities run by the government and local municipalities. This system facilitates a more peaceful society in the country, with stronger familial bonds based on trust.
The nation has developed a culture of tolerance and respect for different ethnic groups and religions. While most of the locals are Christians, there is a significant population of Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, atheists, and agnostics as well.
This kind of diversity means that Icelanders are less likely to exhibit hatred towards their fellow citizens and are more likely to respect their rights. Moreover, the country has very progressive LGBTQ rights. There are no legal restrictions on sexual activity and gender identity, as well as same-sex marriage.
Iceland is one of the fastest-growing European countries, with an economic growth rate four times that of the European Union average. The Icelandic economy is based on fishing, tourism and renewable energy resources, which have been its primary drivers since they were discovered in recent decades.
With such a stable economy, the country can fund a strong social security system that provides free healthcare, education, and various social services. This system keeps the country free of unrest and ensures that the local families can live in peace and harmony.
The nation’s local government is relatively strong, due to its focus on building a sustainable economy based on local resources and fiscal responsibility. The direct democratic system also helps promote citizen participation in establishing laws and policies.
Iceland has a rich and unique cultural heritage strongly based on Nordic ideals, such as Nordic mythology, the Sami people, and the traditional Icelandic clan system known as Þingalið. This heritage has helped develop a strong national identity, further promoting peaceful relations within the country.
In addition, many cultural activities in the country promote cross-cultural understanding, such as the Icelandic Opera Festival and the Reykjavik Arts Festival.
Volunteerism is a strong part of the culture in Iceland, with about 40% of the population doing it regularly. This attitude stems from its earliest settlers, mostly outlaws and political refugees from Norway and the British Isles.
This sense of volunteerism has been passed down to modern times and has helped to create a peaceful society with higher levels of trust between its people. It has also encouraged higher levels of community philanthropy, including cultural events and social services that promote well-being for everyone.
Iceland has a strong legal system to enforce laws and maintain law and order. Crimes are generally prosecuted via the discretion of the police, but officers can also be called out at any time to come up with a solution to some issue.
Regarding convictions, Iceland has a very low recidivism rate compared to other countries due to its strict punishment for criminal behavior.
Additionally, the country embraces alternative dispute resolution processes, which is a major contributing factor towards the country’s peaceful reputation.
The perception of corruption in Iceland is very low, and the country is ranked as one of the least corrupt countries in the world. There are strict laws to stem bribery, with a prison term of up to eight years for its perpetrators. Besides that, most of their public systems are cashless, making it virtually impossible to bribe any official.
With highly advanced security technology and servers, Iceland can efficiently monitor its people’s activities and maintain law and order. The nation can also monitor its borders and coastlines with high technology and digital privacy devices.
Most of this technology was installed in the last two decades, including a national network of automatic number plate recognition cameras used by the police to catch criminals and improve public safety.
Iceland is a very hostile environment for international terrorists since it is a small country with high surveillance and internet censorship. The security laws are especially strict for immigrants and refugees from countries with a history of terrorist activities. This measure makes it difficult for anyone to come in and establish a terrorist cell in the country.
All these factors have contributed towards ranking Iceland as one of the most peaceful nations in the world, with a very low crime rate and a general sense of safety. The population is also very happy and satisfied with their living conditions, which further promotes their love for their country and desire to protect it.