Kidnappings per Country 2022

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Kidnapping rates vary from country to country, though not entirely in sync with the rates of other violent crimes around the world. Along with factors such as murder rate, frequency of rape, and whether or not a country is currently at war, kidnapping is one of the crimes that contribute to a country's rank among the world's most dangerous or most violent countries. Kidnapping takes many forms and occurs for a wide variety of reasons. It is also worth noting that the definition of kidnapping and the frequency with which it is reported and recorded may vary from one country to another.

10 Countries with the Highest Rates of Kidnapping in the World*

  1. Turkey — 42.669
  2. Turkey — 42.669
  3. Lebanon — 15.384
  4. Kuwait — 12.69
  5. Canada — 10.285
  6. Belgium — 10.245
  7. South Africa — 9.569
  8. New Zealand — 9.508
  9. Pakistan — 9.452
  10. Eswatini — 9.354
  11. United Kingdom (England & Wales) — 8.835

* Incidents per 100,000 people - United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime 2018

Different forms of kidnapping and the reasons why kidnappings happen.

The most common form of kidnapping in many developed countries is the abduction of a child by a parent, who is typically estranged from the other parent and does not have legal custody of the child. The parent resorts to kidnapping either to cause the other parent emotional distress, because they fear the other parent will keep the child from them, or because they feel the other parent poses a threat to the child's well being. Though much less common, there also exist instances of children being kidnapped for more nefarious purposes, such as human trafficking or sexual exploitation.

In less-develeloped countries, kidnappings are often politically or economically motivated. Some kidnappings are carried out by insurgents as an act of terrorism, an effort to draw attention to their cause, or a means of extorting the government to comply with the kidnappers' demands. Other kidnappings are performed by individuals seeking to raise funds, either by holding the abductee for ransom or selling them to human traffickers.

Famous kidnappings throughout history

Arguably the best-known and most influential kidnapping in American history was the abduction of Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr., the 20-month-old son of famed pilot Charles Lindbergh. The "Lindbergh baby" was taken from the family's home on March 01, 1932. Although the kidnapper repeatedly communicated that the baby was safe and the Lindberghs paid the demanded random, the child's body was found on May 12, almost 10 weeks after the kidnapping, and showed signs of having been dead for roughly eight weeks. While a perpetrator was eventually arrested and convicted, the evidence was entirely circumstantial. The Lindbergh kidnapping inspired the creation of the Federal Kidnapping Act as well as several state-level anti-kidnapping laws.

One of the more unusual kidnappings in the Western World was that of Patty Hearst, the 19-year-old heiress and descendant of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst. Kidnapped in 1974 by a domestic terrorist group called the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), Hearst was abused, coerced, and brainwashed to the point that she took up the group's principles and began committing crimes. She was arrested 19 months after her abduction and convicted of bank robbery,

Another famous case of kidnapping occurred in Iran in 1979, when 52 Americans were taken hostage by fundamentalist Islamic revolutionaries. The Iranian Hostage Crisis, as it came to be known, lasted 444 days, including the entire final year of U.S. President Jimmy Carter's term, and impacted the balance of political power around the globe.

In more recent years, several kidnappings have garnered national attention in the United States. Many have led to new laws—and in one instance, a new television show.

On July 7, 1981, 10-year-old Adam Walsh was taken from a department store in Hollywood, Florida. His partial remains were discovered two weeks later. His father, John Walsh, became the host of a television show called America's Most Wanted, which showed reenactments of unsolved crimes and asked the public to call a toll-free hotline if they saw the suspects or had information pertaining to the case. The series ran for 26 seasons and, as of April 20, 2021, has helped capture more than 1,190 fugitives.

11-year-old Jaycee Dugard was kidnapped in Meyers, California on June 10, 1991 and held prisoner for more than 18 years by Phillip and Nancy Garrido. The crime, in which the Garridos kept Dugard (and eventually her two daughters, both sired by Garrido via sexual assaults) in sheds and tents in their backyard, could have been discovered multiple times, were it not for several errors in judgement and protocol by law enforcement authorities.

In 1996, nine-year-old Amber Hagerman was kidnapped from a parking lot in Arlington, Texas. Her body was recovered days later. This tragic event led to the creation of the Amber Alert system, which utilizes radio, TV, text messages, and other communication methods to quickly notify the public when an abduction has taken place and, when possible, describe the vehicle involved. The Amber Alert system has expanded to or inspired similar systems in dozens of additional countries, including Canada, Mexico, China, Russia, Australia, and 26 European nations.

In 2002, Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped from her own bedroom at the age of 14 and spent nine months at the mercy of her captors, Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Ileen Barzee. She was eventually rescued after Mitchell was recognized by a viewer who had seen the kidnapping profiled on America's Most Wanted.

Kidnappings per Country 2022

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Kidnappings per Country 2022

Country Kidnappings Year of Data
Turkey42.6692014
Lebanon15.3842015
Kuwait12.692009
Canada10.2852017
Belgium10.2452017
South Africa9.5692017
New Zealand9.5082018
Pakistan9.4522018
Eswatini9.3542004
United Kingdom8.8352018
Saint Vincent And the Grenadines8.2222016
Maldives6.8492017
Saint Kitts And Nevis6.0682011
Luxembourg5.9682018
France5.9042016
Germany5.4892018
India5.1112013
Benin4.7432017
Ecuador4.4082018
Mauritius3.9972011
Iraq3.7242014
Israel3.5392011
Cameroon3.4972017
Barbados3.4942017
Lesotho3.1152009
Turkmenistan2.72004
Portugal2.6622018
Monaco2.6272016
Cape Verde2.5752018
Guatemala2.4732015
Netherlands2.4622018
Uganda2.3662016
Bahamas2.3342018
Morocco2.2932018
Tajikistan2.2342011
Bahrain2.1912006
Moldova2.162014
Antigua And Barbuda2.0772018
Armenia1.8632018
Zimbabwe1.7932008
Saudi Arabia1.7822017
Australia1.7712018
Slovakia1.6872018
Chile1.6342018
Ireland1.5992017
Bermuda1.572015
Romania1.5582018
Mexico1.4532018
Dominica1.3962018
Belize1.3312017
Algeria1.3012015
Andorra1.2622014
Ukraine1.252017
Sri Lanka1.2252018
Puerto Rico0.9482017
Bulgaria0.8932018
Burundi0.8022014
United Arab Emirates0.82018
Qatar0.7962004
Bangladesh0.7942006
Bolivia0.742018
Guinea Bissau0.7292016
Greece0.7032018
Uruguay0.6962018
Venezuela0.6852018
Poland0.6472015
Jordan0.5672006
Colombia0.5622018
Latvia0.5192018
Panama0.4312018
Haiti0.4142018
Kazakhstan0.4092017
Honduras0.4072018
Peru0.3812018
Jamaica0.3752018
North Macedonia0.3362017
Cyprus0.3362018
Nigeria0.3342013
Egypt0.3232011
Timor Leste0.3222017
Kyrgyzstan0.3172018
Brazil0.3152018
Italy0.3052018
Bosnia And Herzegovina0.32018
Trinidad And Tobago0.2922015
Slovenia0.2892018
Palestine0.2832012
Brunei0.2782004
Guinea0.2572008
Croatia0.242016
El Salvador0.2352017
Oman0.2282018
Russia0.2232018
Dominican Republic0.2022016
Costa Rica0.2022017
Rwanda0.1942013
Mongolia0.1892018
Yemen0.1822009
Japan0.1782016
Spain0.1732018
Albania0.1732018
Macau0.1732013
Serbia0.1592018
Czech Republic0.1222018
Nicaragua0.122010
Georgia0.0982010
Botswana0.0962014
Switzerland0.0942018
South Korea0.0882018
Indonesia0.0832018
Nepal0.0732016
Uzbekistan0.0722017
Paraguay0.0722018
Finland0.0722018
Belarus0.0632018
Austria0.0562018
Madagascar0.0452015
Philippines0.032012
Azerbaijan0.032018
Kenya0.0212018
Hungary0.0212018
Senegal0.0142015
Hong Kong0.0142013
Myanmar0.0072018
Thailand0.0062018
Tanzania02015
Singapore02011
Lithuania02018
Estonia02018
Guyana02018
Bhutan02018
Montenegro02018
Malta02018
Sao Tome And Principe02011
Grenada02017
Liechtenstein02016
Vatican City02015

Kidnappings per Country 2022

Sources