Most Lawless Countries in The World: Lawlessness is the absence of law enforcement, law and order. It is the state of anarchy ongoing in a given state. Lawlessness can be analyzed in different heads; when there is no law covering a particular mischief but such law is dormant and may be incapable of being enforced, and when there is law but the available law is notoriously contravened with or without remorse, and there is less or no positive act of prevention and regulation.
Ordinarily, people possess the right to live in a society without fear of threat or harm. This has been shown to be a mere sentence, as on the other hand, there is no society without ill. Yes, there is no society without ill, hence the essence of the establishment of different law enforcement agencies saddled with the duty of maintaining law and order, protecting the citizenry, and promoting peaceful economic and socio- cultural atmosphere.
It is the responsibility of the government of a state to ensure through policies and governance that the country is not rendered lawless. Good number of countries have failed in this aspect. This article discusses the 10 most lawless countries notorious for being and celebrating the state of their lawlessness. The list seems to be topped by African countries.
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Most Lawless Countries in the World 2024
1. Somalia: Somalia is a country in the West Africa. Somalia got her independence on July 1, 1960. Somalia was colonized by the European powers. The country has been in violence since January 1991 following the ousting of Siad Barre’s government. In Somalia, there is still extreme leadership and territorial conflict. The country is said to have no legal structure. Some urban regions have their private police, wielding powers arbitrary and have become a tool for violence as opposed to the supposed protection.
Therefore any region can arise one day and formulate their own police unit. This shows how much of anarchy they practice. In Somalia, adult literacy is low. Having uninformed citizens is a threat on its own, and worse is when they are at the helm of affairs and governance, its impact on the economy and the future.
In Somalia, homicide is on the rise. Enforcement of their maritime laws is a problem. This has rendered their waters permeable, open to toxic waste, over-fishing and other illegal activities. Consequently, they have no clean water. This of course has direct negative impact on trade and commercial activities. Somalia has no functioning central electricity grid since 1991. Governance is Somalia is rated extremely bad.
Absence of regulation contributes to their poor economy, whilst they are still suffering from the effect of civil war. There is kidnapping at its peak, sea piracy, terrorist bombing and massacre, and they enjoy extremely poor medical sector. Their police force has lost functionality and credibility. They are incapacitated and intimidated. They cannot offer protection nor maintain law and order following the level at which banditry in Somalia is operating. The police unit also is corrupt. There is also very low political transparency.
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2. Cameroon: Cameroon is a Central Africa country. She gained her independence in January 1st. 1960. Cameroon is notorious for land and territorial disputes and homophobic attacks. Cameroon had had corruption since their independence in 1960.
Their police institution also is not trusted. They enjoy high rate of administrative corruption. Institution of anti- corruption agencies made no difference as corruption was from the root. Agencies such as National Anti- Corruption Commission (CONAC), The Ministries of Supreme State Control and Public Contracts, Elections Cameroon (ELECAM) in charge of ensuring free and fair election. The state of lawlessness has permeated all sectors of the economy in Cameroon. It is worse when it is being fostered by the government, hence their unwillingness to fight corruption.
Cameroon has a weak Judiciary. There is neopatrimonialism which is the accumulation of power. In Cameroon, there is high rate of human right abuse. The military and other forces are utilized as a means of oppression on citizens they are meant to protect. There are extra judicial executions, arson, arbitrary arrests, torture and detention. Crisis has led to innocent civilians being displaced from their homes.
There is laxity in prosecuting offenders. There is secessionist and intimidation of session activists in North West and South West regions after they declared their new nation’s independence – Ambazonia. Cameroon government reacted by massive killing and suppression of suspected regions; the height of the lawlessness.
Cameroon has thousands of refugees and asylum seekers. There is high rate of sexual violence from military personnel, armed separatists and civilians amidst the conflict between the government and separatists.
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3. Nigeria: Nigeria being the giant of African is also a giant of corruption and lawlessness. Lawlessness resulting from geo- political, socio- economic and human factor conflict. Killing, abduction and terrorism is at its peak in Nigeria. The government have failed in their duty of keeping the country safe and habitable and this is the hallmark of lawlessness.
Executive lawlessness seems to be the most dangerous form of lawlessness, where leaders wield arbitrary powers, monopolize the nation’s economy and resources while other arms of government is incapacitated. Nigeria suffer from ethnic crisis as from her independence in 1960. This same ethnic crisis was a motive behind the war and is yet unresolved till now. Boko Haram insurgency has become a major threat to people’s right to life and peaceful atmosphere.
Herdsmen attack surfaced. Governments sponsor terrorists and abductors, compensate and reward terrorists and bandits as a means of purported negotiation. Nigeria enjoys weak Judiciary. Nigerian Police is not trusted. There is high rate of cybercrime. There is embezzlement of public funds on a rotation policy and shocking rate of corruption practically in all sectors.
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4. Iraq: The list would be incomplete without Iraq. Iraq is a Middle East country. They had had wars which has lasted from 2003, following the United States overthrow and execution of Suddam Hussein government. Iraq is notorious for war, internal and external conflicts and terrorist attacks.
Since inception, there has been unrest in the country resulting from power drunk leaders who are concerned about their personal interest as opposed to security and life of citizens. As expected, war gives room for atrocities, abuse of human rights, sexual violence and the rest, and then impossibility of having a structured legal system and enforcement of law.
5. Afghanistan: Afghanistan is notorious for terrorism. It is another home for drug trafficking. There is violation of women’s and child’s right all over the country. Corrupt governance and injustice is at its peak. Transparency International Corruption Perception Index 2017 ranked Afghanistan 177th out of 180 countries.
6. Burundi: Burundi is notable for high rate of killings. They suffer from poor governance and ethnic wars. Yet they have extremely poor medical sector. Burundi government employs means of oppression on the NGOs, pressure groups, activist groups and media agencies, thereby violating their human rights. In other words, there is abuse of human rights in Burundi.
The government employs the security forces who are meant to protect the citizens, as a means of achieving their oppression. Political crisis came at its peak following President’s attempt to go for third term by making a move to amend the constitution and extend the tenure of the president to 7 years, which was disputed.
In Burundi, arbitrary arrest is the order of the day. This executive activities shows the level of lawlessness which the country operates on. The police is also not trusted by citizens as they are tools used by the government for oppression.
7. Venezuela: Venezuela is a South American country notable for high rate of crime. Insecurity is at its peak. There is high rate of abduction and robbery. The government is also arbitrary in nature. Enforcement of policies in Venezuela is almost an impossible task. There is also a poor criminal justice system.
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8. Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe formerly known as Rhodesia, is another lawless African country suffering from high rate of corruption permeating all sectors. Zimbabwe was colonized by Britain and they got their independence on 18th April, 1980, Robert Mugabe being the Prime Minister. Their economy is poor, their currency has no significant value which is a contributing factor to the country’s incapacity to manage security.
Their police system is known to be inefficient. There is rampant human right abuse, weak judiciary and absolute arbitrary governance right from history. Zimbabwe is a case custody of a country practicing dictatorship.
9. Mexico: Lawlessness is manifest in Mexico arising from the political games; authoritarian governance. This has permeated other sectors, having direct impact on the economic and social growth of the country.
Mexico is notorious for drug trafficking, consequential drug war, money laundering and citizenry abuse and oppression by police and armed forces. Mexico’s geographical location being adjacent to the largest illegal drug market. Transparency International Corruption Perception Index ranked Mexico 130 out of 180 countries.
10. Colombia: Colombia is a country in South America. Colombia had had a long lasted war which has rendered the country absolutely lawless, resulting from Cold War 1964 – 1992 and the War on Drugs 1993 till present.
The country suffer from political conflict and they are also notorious for drug trafficking, and also records of abduction, human trafficking and humans being displaced from their homes by forced armed gang recruitment and clashes amongst armed groups, police brutality. Colombia also suffer from political conflicts, corruption and poor law enforcement.
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11. Yemen: Among the world’s most corrupt countries is Yemen. Every aspect of society is rife with corruption, from the highest governmental echelons to the general public. Because of the nation’s shoddy judicial system, corrupt officials can easily escape punishment.
Yemen is ranked among the most corrupt nations in the world by Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index. The high levels of corruption are a result of both the absence of accountability for public officials and the opaqueness of public institutions. Yemen’s progress has been hampered as a result of multiple political unrest and economic difficulties.
12. Libya: Another nation afflicted by corruption is Libya. Following the overthrow of previous tyrant Muammar Gaddafi, corruption has permeated every aspect of the political and economic structures of the nation. Because of Libya’s abundant oil resources, corruption has grown, with officials abusing their power to benefit their families and themselves.
Corruption has flourished due to a lack of strong anti-corruption legislation and mechanisms that hold officials responsible. Libya is among the most corrupt nations in the world, per Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index. The nation’s continued political and economic unrest is partly attributable to its failure to combat corruption.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka, ACMC, is a lawyer and a certified mediator/conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a developer with knowledge in various programming languages. Samuel is determined to leverage his skills in technology, SEO, and legal practice to revolutionize the legal profession worldwide by creating web and mobile applications that simplify legal research. Sam is also passionate about educating and providing valuable information to people.