Brief Overview: Currently, there are only 11 countries under Level 1 of the travel advisory of the USA, as per data provided by the Bureau of Consular Affairs, 19 countries under Level 2, 79 countries under Level 3, and 103 countries under Level 4. The levels are determined not only by Risk Indicators but also by the nature of bilateral relations with the concerned country and the ability to assist in the event of an emergency, as many developed countries such as Switzerland, Norway, France, the United Kingdom, and Iceland are classified as Level 4.
Travel advisory levels
Level 1 - Exercise Normal Precautions: This is the lowest advisory level for safety and security risk. There is some risk in any international travel.
Level 2 - Exercise Increased Caution: Be aware of heightened risks to safety and security.
Level 3 - Reconsider Travel: Avoid travel due to vital risks to safety and security.
Level 4 – Do Not Travel: This is the highest advisory level due to the greater likelihood of life-threatening risks. The ability of the USA government to help in an emergency may be severely limited. Citizens of the United States are advised not to travel to the country, according to the Department of State.
C – CRIME INDIA – C T U O
T – TERRORISM PAKISTAN – T K O
U – CIVIL UNREST CHINA – H O
H – HEALTH SRI LANKA – T H
N – NATURAL DISASTER BANGLADESH – C T H K
E – TIME LIMITED EVENT AFGHANISTAN – C T U H K O
O – OTHER
K – KIDNAPPING
The travel-consular website of the United States of America labels INDIA with four risk indicators: C, T, U, and O. Even though the US Bureau of Consular Affairs has given a green light in the Covid-19 threat level by issuing Level 1 for health factors, indicating a low level of covid cases in the country it advises US citizens to avoid going to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, except for the region of Ladakh, due to terrorism and civil unrest there. It also restricts movements within a 10-kilometer radius of the India-Pakistan border due to the risk of armed conflict While our neighbours, China and Pakistan, are under Level 3: Reconsider travel.
It also raises concern for woman travellers and suggests having a male companion while visiting India, which gives ‘Women Travellers Unsafe’ standing to India’s tourism. "Indian authorities report rape is one of the fastest-growing crimes in India. Violent crimes, such as sexual assault, have occurred at tourist sites and in other locations," it said.
By the end of 2020, 79 rape cases against foreign tourists were in the trial, but there was a conviction in just one such case considering the caution that even female residents of India have to take after 8 p.m. This specific concern seems justified.
Advisory on North-eastern states
The advisory further states that the USA government employees do not have the required flexibility to approach the north-eastern states of India in an emergency and have to take prior authorization from the U.S. Consulate General in Kolkata. States mentioned being Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Manipur.
Advisory on Central and East India
It further declares a significant part of tourist destinations to be unsafe for traveling by exemplifying the frequent terrorist attacks of Maoist extreme groups or ‘Naxalites’ on Indian defence forces on the borders of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, and Odisha and in rural parts of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.
In the end, India`s ranking in the desirability index of the USA is not the big picture, the loopholes in the country`s safety are. Since India's economy has improved, it is expected that the government will take effective steps to make the country safe for women as well. All factors promoting a higher standard of living are meaningless if women in our country do not benefit from them.
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