Freedom and Rights in South Korea
An important aspect of responsible and ethical travel is an awareness of your destination country's record on political and economic freedoms, civil and political rights, and corruption and press censorship. Here we have amalgamated data from a range of indices produced by different worldwide organisations (see details below) to assess the status of South Korea across these measures. South Korea currently has an overall ranking of 46 out of 195 countries. To see how South Korea compares with other countries, see our full list of countries freedoms and rights. Please be aware this is just intended as a broad overview and snapshot and the rankings are dependent on the criteria used by the respective organisations.
|Freedom in the World||Free||2||-|
|Democracy Index||Full democracy||8.06||21 (167)|
|Index of Economic Freedom||Mostly Free||71.5||29 (179)|
|Press Freedom Index||Noticeable problems||26.55||59 (179)|
|ILGA LGBT rights||Limited rights||3||-|
|Corruption Perceptions Index||Low corruption||55||43 (174)|
Freedom in the World
Freedom in the World, Freedom House’s flagship publication, is the standard-setting comparative assessment of global political rights and civil liberties. Published annually since 1972, the survey ratings and narrative reports on 195 countries and 14 related and disputed territories are used by policymakers, the media, international corporations, civic activists, and human rights defenders to monitor trends in democracy and track improvements and setbacks in freedom worldwide.
Year of Report: 2015 Scoring: 1 to 7 (1=most free, 7=least free)
Results: 2 - Free
Breakdown: Political Rights (2), Civil Liberties (2)
The Democracy Index is produced by the Economist Intelligence Unit and is intended to provide a snapshot of democracy worldwide across 165 states. It is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture. Countries are placed within one of four types of regimes: full democracies; flawed democracies; hybrid regimes; and authoritarian regimes.
Year of Report: 2014 Scoring: 0 to 10 (0=least democratic, 10=most democratic)
Results: 8.06 - Full democracy Rank: 21/167
Breakdown: Electoral Process and Pluralism (9.17), Functioning of Government (7.86), Political Participation (7.22), Political Culture (7.5), Civil Liberties (8.53)
Index of Economic Freedom
For over a decade, The Wall Street Journal and The Heritage Foundation, Washington's preeminent think tank, have tracked the march of economic freedom around the world with the influential Index of Economic Freedom. Since 1995, the Index has brought Adam Smith's theories about liberty, prosperity and economic freedom to life by creating 10 benchmarks that gauge the economic success of 185 countries around the world, covering 10 freedoms from property rights to entrepreneurship.
Year of Report: 2015 Scoring: 1 to 100 (1=least free, 100=most free)
Results: 71.5 - Mostly Free Rank: 29/179
Press Freedom Index
The Reporters Without Borders index, which is published each year, measures the state of media freedom throughout the world. It reflects the degree of freedom that journalists, news media and netizens enjoy in each country, and the efforts made by the authorities to respect and ensure respect for this freedom. It asks questions about every kind of violation directly affecting journalists, netizens and news media and the degree of impunity enjoyed by those responsible for these violations.
Year of Report: 2015 Scoring: 1 to 100 (1=most free, 100=least free)
Results: 26.55 - Noticeable problems Rank: 59/179
ILGA LGBT rights
The ILGA Report on State-Sponsored Homophobia is a comprehensive outline of the legal status of same-sex sexual activity in countries across the world. In addition to core legal issues, it addresses issues around same-sex marriage and adoption, the prohibition of discrimination in employment and constitutionally and issues around hate crimes and incitement to hatred.
Year of Report: 2015 Scoring: -5 to 10 (-5=fewest rights, 10=most rights)
Results: 3 - Limited rights
Breakdown: Homosexuality legal (2), Equal age of Consent (1)
Corruption Perceptions Index
The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) from Transparency International ranks countries and territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. It is a composite index – a combination of polls – drawing on corruption-related data collected by a variety of reputable institutions. The CPI reflects the views of observers from around the world, including experts living and working in the countries and territories evaluated.
Year of Report: 2014 Scoring: 1 to 100 (1=most corruption, 100=least corruption)
Results: 55 - Low corruption Rank: 43/174