Corruption affects all levels of society but tends to have the greatest impact on the poor. It increases the cost and lowers the quality of public services, and can limit access to essential infrastructure, education, health care and other key needs. Due to its clandestine nature, corruption is difficult to detect and measure, and therefore to tackle. For the three World Governance Indicators assessed ('Control of Corruption'; 'Rule of Law' and 'Regulatory Quality') most regions of the tropics performed more poorly than the rest of the world. Northern Africa & the Middle East had the highest rates of corruption, while the Caribbean performed better than everywhere else on the 'Control of Corruption' indicator.
The intensity and organisation of violent crime can take many forms, and can have a major impact on the wellbeing of victims and communities. While representing only a small fraction of overall crime, intentional homicide is one of the most serious offences in civil society and is thus used here as a measure of the prevalence of crime. In 2004, the tropics on the whole reported a homicide rate of 14.5 per 100,000 population (about 375,000 murders). This was almost three times that of the rest of the world at 5.6 per 100,000. South America (at 32.9), Central & Southern Africa (21.6) and Central America (17.0) had the highest rates in the tropics.
Around the world millions of people have had to flee their home countries to escape war, genocide, torture and persecution. Globally, although refugee numbers fell almost 30% in the two decades to 2010, several million people are currently classified as refugees while many more are considered internally displaced people (IDPs) or asylum seekers. In 2010, of the main countries where refugees originated from, 8 out of 10 were in, or partly in, the tropics.