Kidnappings have been on the rise in several countries, usually over some kind of ransom demand. So now, for the first time, the U.S. State Department is noting that risk.
U.S. travel advisories look at crime, civil unrest, health or the potential for terrorism in each country. Then a threat level is assigned. The highest is Level 4, which means ‘Do Not Travel’. Now, the U.S. State Department has added a new indicator, “K,” to denote the risk of being kidnapped or held hostage. The State Department will use a new indicator to flag the risk of kidnapping in high-threat countries in an effort to reduce incidents overseas. The new indicator has been already assigned to 35 countries across the globe.
The category was added just days after the release of a California woman who had been held for a week after being kidnapped by gunmen in a national park in Uganda.
Countries With High Risk of Kidnappings
These are the 35 countries making the initial list:
- Burkina Faso
- Central African Republic
- Pakistan (Balochistan province and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province, including the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)
- Turkey (areas near the Syria and Iraq borders)
- South Sudan
- Democratic Republic of the Congo (North Kivu and Ituri provinces)
- Cameroon (North, Far North, Northwest and Southwest regions, and parts of East and Adamawa regions)
- Papua New Guinea
- Ukraine (eastern parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts)
- Ethiopia (Somali Regional State)
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Bangladesh (Southeast Bangladesh, including the Chittagong Hill Tracts)
- Russia (the north Caucasus, including Chechnya and Mount Elbrus)
- Algeria (areas near the eastern and southern borders and areas in the Sahara Desert)
- Malaysia (eastern area of Sabah State)
- Angola (urban areas)
You can check out an interactive map here.