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About the GCN Security Map

  • The following classification will be used on GCN for our visual on persecution mapping and as a tag for each article on persecution. It is intended to help GCN readers easily but comprehensively gauge a region’s security environment.
  • Our classification is based on the perceptions of religious freedom and persecution in different regions. It does not yet factor or analyze unforeseeable events that could directly influence a security environment. These include a financial crisis, a sudden change in the country’s international relations, an outbreak of a deadly disease or a natural calamity.
  • Our classification of security levels focuses on two key elements:
  1. An analysis of the security environment in which individuals and community live and;
  2. A violent or potentially violent activity as a result of the degradation of the security environment.
  • The factors we identified that determine how secure the environment is include:
  1. The existence, nature and strength of relationships between communities,
  2. The presence/absence of antagonistic groups in the system,
  3. The strength of policies and their enforcement and;
  4. The level of impunity of officials within the system.
  • Each colour category (Red, Yellow and Blue) in our classification shows the features of that conflict level and the expected response of individuals living in that context



Emphasis on

Features of the Conflict

Expected Response


Visible Active Danger as a result of the degradation of the environment

The security environment is in absolute disarray leading to targeted and organized violence

  • Relationships between different groups are confrontational, tense and prone to violence
  • Clear and present danger from antagonistic groups operating in the environment
  • Government policies may be biased
  • Nature of persecution is well-organized, targeted and frequent
  • Level of impunity is very high
  • Frequent (moderate to high intensity) activity
  • Be on guard because a situation of great insecurity may arise without warning. Daily life will continue but with significant caution.


Danger is visible and low- level activity present

The Security Environment

  • Presence of mainly negative relationships in the midst of a few positive relationships in community relations and organizations
  • Strong presence and influence of antagonistic groups in the public space
  • Government policies are unilaterally created and biased
  • Level of impunity for government officials for their negligence is high
  • Low level activity that is often easily contained – protests, Isolated incidents,
    • Individuals living in this context have to constantly watch over their back for fear of sudden harm


Low Potential for Danger

The Security Environment

  • Presence of both positive and negative networks and organizational relationships
  • Relationships between communities are largely uncertain.
  • Antagonistic groups may be present but they are outliers and their activity is neither consistent or significant
  • Government policies are made without much transparency and policies are neutral
  • Level of impunity of government officials is low but the levels of governmental checks and balances still function. Enforcement of policies continue but are not as strong as they should be
  • There is no need to be very worried. Situations of persecution will occur rarely, but it is still very important to be prepared for events if they do.
  • Daily life continues as usual.