The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on the level of conflict and violence in the world, with some of these effects likely to last for years to come.

While it was initially thought that the pandemic would actually reduce violence around the world, this proved to be true for only some indicators of violence. Although key indicators of internal conflict did decrease in 2020, the impact of the pandemic on active conflicts was short-lived, and the total level of political and civil unrest rose in 2021.

The below map shows COVID-19 related violent incidents from January 2020 to April 2021, the latest data available. There were over 5,000 pandemic-related incidents during this period that involved some form of violence, ranging from violent demonstrations and riots in response to lockdown measures, to physical assaults targeted at people of Asian descent. There were at least 158 countries that recorded one or more violent incidents – directly related to the pandemic – during this time.

Read more on COVID related violence in the Global Peace Index 2021 report.


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Vision of Humanity is brought to you by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), by staff in our global offices in Sydney, New York, The Hague, Harare and Mexico. Alongside maps and global indices, we present fresh perspectives on current affairs reflecting our editorial philosophy.