Freedom and Rights

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 - Freedom in the World by Freedom House, the Democracy Index by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the Index of Economic Freedom by the Heritage Foundation, the Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders, ILGA LGBT rights by the International Lesbian Gay Association and the Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International (see more details). The range of indices by organisations with different philosophies and perspectives allows us to provide a broad overview of the status of a country and its governing regime - however this is just a snapshot and not a thorough analysis of freedom and rights. This is not intended to deter you from travelling to any specific country, rather a resource to help inform your decision.

in the
Index of
1. SwedenFreeFullMostly FreeGoodBroad rightsLow
2. DenmarkFreeFullMostly FreeGoodBroad rightsLow
3. NorwayFreeFullMostly FreeGoodBroad rightsLow
4. New ZealandFreeFullFreeSatisfactoryBroad rightsLow
5. NetherlandsFreeFullMostly FreeGoodBroad rightsLow
6. IcelandFreeFullMostly FreeSatisfactoryBroad rightsLow
7. FinlandFreeFullMostly FreeGoodBroad rightsLow
8. SwitzerlandFreeFullFreeSatisfactoryBroad rightsLow
9. CanadaFreeFullMostly FreeSatisfactoryBroad rightsLow
10. LuxembourgFreeFullMostly FreeSatisfactoryBroad rightsLow
11. IrelandFreeFullMostly FreeSatisfactoryBroad rightsLow
12. United KingdomFreeFullMostly FreeSatisfactoryBroad rightsLow
13. BelgiumFreeFlawedModerately FreeSatisfactoryBroad rightsLow
14. AustraliaFreeFullFreeSatisfactorySome rightsLow
15. UruguayFreeFullModerately FreeSatisfactoryBroad rightsLow
16. GermanyFreeFullMostly FreeSatisfactorySome rightsLow
16. AustriaFreeFullMostly FreeSatisfactoryBroad rightsLow
18. EstoniaFreeFlawedMostly FreeSatisfactoryBroad rightsLow
19. AndorraFree--SatisfactorySome rights-
20. FranceFreeFullModerately FreeSatisfactoryBroad rightsLow
21. PortugalFreeFlawedModerately FreeSatisfactoryBroad rightsLow
22. SpainFreeFullModerately FreeSatisfactoryBroad rightsLow
23. United States of AmericaFreeFullMostly FreeSatisfactorySome rightsLow
24. ChileFreeFlawedMostly FreeSatisfactorySome rightsLow
25. San MarinoFree---Some rights-
26. LiechtensteinFree--SatisfactorySome rights-
27. MaltaFreeFullModerately FreeSatisfactoryBroad rightsLow
28. SloveniaFreeFlawedModerately FreeSatisfactoryBroad rightsLow
29. JapanFreeFullMostly FreeNoticeable problemsLimited rightsLow
30. LithuaniaFreeFlawedMostly FreeSatisfactorySome rightsLow
31. Czech RepublicFreeFlawedMostly FreeSatisfactorySome rightsLow
32. Costa RicaFreeFullModerately FreeSatisfactorySome rightsLow
33. PolandFreeFlawedModerately FreeSatisfactorySome rightsLow
34. CyprusFreeFlawedModerately FreeSatisfactorySome rightsLow
35. SlovakiaFreeFlawedModerately FreeSatisfactorySome rightsLow
36. South AfricaFreeFlawedModerately FreeSatisfactoryBroad rightsMedium
37. Cape VerdeFreeFlawedModerately FreeSatisfactorySome rightsLow
38. TaiwanFreeFlawedMostly FreeSatisfactorySome rightsLow
39. IsraelFreeFlawedMostly FreeNoticeable problemsSome rightsLow
40. PalauFree---Limited rights-
40. Marshall IslandsFree---Limited rights-
42. MonacoFree---Some rights-
43. LatviaFreeFlawedModerately FreeSatisfactorySome rightsLow
44. CroatiaFreeFlawedModerately FreeNoticeable problemsBroad rightsMedium
45. HungaryFreeFlawedModerately FreeNoticeable problemsSome rightsLow
46. South KoreaFreeFullMostly FreeNoticeable problemsLimited rightsLow
47. ItalyFreeFlawedModerately FreeNoticeable problemsSome rightsMedium
48. BahamasFree-Moderately Free-Limited rightsLow
49. RomaniaFreeFlawedModerately FreeSatisfactorySome rightsMedium
50. MauritiusFreeFullMostly FreeNoticeable problemsNo rightsLow
51. BrazilFreeFlawedMostly UnfreeNoticeable problemsSome rightsMedium
52. SerbiaFreeFlawedModerately FreeNoticeable problemsSome rightsMedium
53. BotswanaFreeFlawedModerately FreeSatisfactoryNo rightsLow
54. GeorgiaPartly FreeHybridMostly FreeNoticeable problemsSome rightsLow
55. Federated States of MicronesiaFree-Repressed-Limited rights-
56. BulgariaFreeFlawedModerately FreeNoticeable problemsSome rightsMedium
57. ArgentinaFreeFlawedRepressedNoticeable problemsBroad rightsMedium
58. VanuatuFree-Moderately Free-Limited rights-
59. BarbadosFree-Moderately Free-No rightsLow
60. MongoliaFreeFlawedMostly UnfreeNoticeable problemsLimited rightsMedium
61. El SalvadorFreeFlawedModerately FreeSatisfactorySome rightsMedium
62. MontenegroFreeHybridModerately FreeNoticeable problemsSome rightsMedium
63. MexicoPartly FreeFlawedModerately FreeDifficultBroad rightsMedium
64. PanamaFreeFlawedModerately FreeNoticeable problemsLimited rightsMedium
65. GreeceFreeFlawedMostly UnfreeNoticeable problemsLimited rightsMedium
66. ColombiaPartly FreeFlawedMostly FreeDifficultBroad rightsMedium
67. Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesFree-Moderately Free-No rightsLow
68. PeruFreeFlawedModerately FreeNoticeable problemsLimited rightsMedium
69. GhanaFreeFlawedModerately FreeSatisfactoryNo rightsMedium
70. AlbaniaPartly FreeHybridModerately FreeNoticeable problemsSome rightsMedium
71. NamibiaFreeFlawedMostly UnfreeSatisfactoryNo rightsMedium
72. BelizeFree-Mostly UnfreeSatisfactoryNo rights-
73. LesothoFreeFlawedRepressedNoticeable problemsLimited rightsMedium
74. JamaicaFreeFlawedModerately FreeSatisfactoryNo rightsMedium
75. FijiPartly FreeHybridMostly UnfreeNoticeable problemsSome rights-
76. Saint LuciaFree-Mostly Free-No rights-
77. SurinameFreeFlawedMostly UnfreeSatisfactoryLimited rightsMedium
78. EcuadorPartly FreeHybridRepressedNoticeable problemsBroad rightsMedium
79. SingaporePartly FreeFlawedFreeDifficultNo rightsLow
80. Dominican RepublicFreeFlawedModerately FreeNoticeable problemsLimited rightsMedium
81. MacedoniaPartly FreeFlawedModerately FreeDifficultSome rightsMedium
82. SamoaFree-Moderately FreeSatisfactoryNo rightsLow
83. BoliviaPartly FreeHybridRepressedNoticeable problemsBroad rightsMedium
84. MoldovaPartly FreeFlawedMostly UnfreeNoticeable problemsSome rightsMedium
85. DominicaFree-Moderately Free-No rightsLow
86. Trinidad and TobagoFreeFlawedModerately FreeSatisfactoryNo rightsMedium
86. TongaFree-Mostly UnfreeSatisfactoryNo rights-
88. PhilippinesPartly FreeFlawedModerately FreeDifficultLimited rightsMedium
89. BeninFreeHybridMostly UnfreeNoticeable problemsLimited rightsMedium
90. Bosnia and HerzegovinaPartly FreeHybridMostly UnfreeNoticeable problemsSome rightsMedium
91. Timor-LestePartly FreeFlawedRepressedNoticeable problemsSome rightsHigh
92. Sao Tome and PrincipeFree-Mostly Unfree-Limited rightsMedium
93. KosovoPartly Free--Noticeable problemsSome rightsMedium
94. NicaraguaPartly FreeHybridMostly UnfreeNoticeable problemsSome rightsHigh
95. SenegalFreeFlawedMostly UnfreeNoticeable problemsNo rightsMedium
96. TurkeyPartly FreeHybridModerately FreeDifficultLimited rightsMedium
97. SeychellesPartly Free-Mostly UnfreeNoticeable problemsNo rightsLow
98. Saint Kitts and NevisFree---No rights-
98. TuvaluFree---No rights-
100. GuatemalaPartly FreeHybridModerately FreeDifficultLimited rightsMedium
101. IndiaFreeFlawedMostly UnfreeDifficultNo rightsMedium
102. TunisiaFreeFlawedMostly UnfreeDifficultNo rightsMedium
103. MozambiquePartly FreeHybridMostly UnfreeNoticeable problemsSome rightsMedium
104. IndonesiaPartly FreeFlawedMostly UnfreeDifficultNo rightsMedium
105. ParaguayPartly FreeFlawedModerately FreeNoticeable problemsLimited rightsHigh
106. BhutanPartly FreeHybridMostly UnfreeNoticeable problemsNo rightsLow
107. HondurasPartly FreeHybridMostly UnfreeDifficultSome rightsHigh
108. MalaysiaPartly FreeFlawedMostly FreeDifficultNo rightsLow
109. ArmeniaPartly FreeHybridModerately FreeNoticeable problemsLimited rightsMedium
110. KiribatiFree-Repressed-No rights-
111. Burkina FasoPartly FreeHybridMostly UnfreeSatisfactoryLimited rightsMedium
112. GuyanaFreeHybridMostly UnfreeNoticeable problemsNo rightsMedium
113. MaliPartly FreeHybridMostly UnfreeDifficultLimited rightsMedium
114. NepalPartly FreeHybridMostly UnfreeNoticeable problemsLimited rightsHigh
115. UkrainePartly FreeHybridRepressedDifficultLimited rightsHigh
116. ZambiaPartly FreeFlawedMostly UnfreeNoticeable problemsNo rightsMedium
117. NigerPartly FreeHybridMostly UnfreeSatisfactoryLimited rightsMedium
118. NauruFree---No rights-
118. GrenadaFree---No rights-
120. TanzaniaPartly FreeHybridMostly UnfreeNoticeable problemsNo rightsMedium
121. KyrgyzstanPartly FreeHybridModerately FreeNoticeable problemsLimited rightsHigh
122. MadagascarPartly FreeHybridModerately FreeNoticeable problemsLimited rightsHigh
123. ThailandNot FreeHybridModerately FreeDifficultLimited rightsMedium
124. JordanNot FreeAuthoritarianModerately FreeDifficultLimited rightsMedium
125. MalawiPartly FreeHybridMostly UnfreeNoticeable problemsNo rightsMedium
126. Papua New GuineaPartly FreeFlawedMostly UnfreeNoticeable problemsNo rightsHigh
127. LiberiaPartly FreeHybridMostly UnfreeNoticeable problemsNo rightsMedium
128. QatarNot FreeAuthoritarianMostly FreeDifficultNo rightsLow
129. Sierra LeonePartly FreeHybridMostly UnfreeNoticeable problemsNo rightsMedium
130. Antigua and BarbudaFree---No rights-
131. MaldivesPartly Free-Mostly UnfreeNoticeable problemsNo rights-
132. Ivory CoastPartly FreeAuthoritarianMostly UnfreeNoticeable problemsLimited rightsMedium
133. United Arab EmiratesNot FreeAuthoritarianMostly FreeDifficultNo rightsLow
134. HaitiPartly FreeAuthoritarianMostly UnfreeNoticeable problemsLimited rightsHigh
135. GabonNot FreeAuthoritarianMostly UnfreeNoticeable problemsLimited rightsMedium
136. KenyaPartly FreeHybridMostly UnfreeNoticeable problemsNo rightsHigh
137. KuwaitPartly FreeAuthoritarianModerately FreeNoticeable problemsNo rightsMedium
138. LebanonPartly FreeHybridMostly UnfreeNoticeable problemsNo rightsHigh
139. BruneiNot Free-Moderately FreeDifficultNo rights-
140. CambodiaNot FreeHybridMostly UnfreeDifficultLimited rightsHigh
141. ComorosPartly FreeAuthoritarianMostly UnfreeSatisfactoryNo rightsHigh
142. BangladeshPartly FreeHybridMostly UnfreeDifficultNo rightsHigh
143. MoroccoPartly FreeHybridModerately FreeDifficultNo rightsMedium
144. VenezuelaPartly FreeHybridRepressedDifficultSome rightsHigh
145. TogoPartly FreeAuthoritarianMostly UnfreeNoticeable problemsNo rightsHigh
146. Solomon IslandsPartly Free-Repressed-No rights-
147. UgandaNot FreeHybridMostly UnfreeNoticeable problemsNo rightsHigh
148. OmanNot FreeAuthoritarianModerately FreeDifficultNo rightsMedium
149. KazakhstanNot FreeAuthoritarianModerately FreeVery seriousLimited rightsHigh
150. RwandaNot FreeAuthoritarianModerately FreeVery seriousLimited rightsMedium
151. Guinea BissauPartly FreeAuthoritarianMostly UnfreeNoticeable problemsLimited rightsHigh
152. Sri LankaPartly FreeHybridMostly UnfreeVery seriousNo rightsMedium
153. BahrainNot FreeAuthoritarianMostly FreeVery seriousLimited rightsMedium
154. PakistanPartly FreeHybridMostly UnfreeVery seriousNo rightsHigh
155. TajikistanNot FreeAuthoritarianMostly UnfreeDifficultLimited rightsHigh
156. BelarusNot FreeAuthoritarianRepressedDifficultLimited rightsMedium
157. RussiaNot FreeAuthoritarianMostly UnfreeDifficultLimited rightsHigh
158. AzerbaijanNot FreeAuthoritarianModerately FreeVery seriousLimited rightsHigh
159. DjiboutiNot FreeAuthoritarianMostly UnfreeVery seriousLimited rightsMedium
159. NigeriaPartly FreeAuthoritarianMostly UnfreeNoticeable problemsExtreme discriminationHigh
161. GuineaPartly FreeAuthoritarianMostly UnfreeNoticeable problemsNo rightsHigh
162. Congo-BrazzavilleNot FreeAuthoritarianRepressedNoticeable problemsLimited rightsHigh
163. AlgeriaNot FreeAuthoritarianRepressedDifficultExtreme discriminationMedium
164. MauritaniaNot FreeHybridMostly UnfreeNoticeable problemsExtreme discriminationMedium
165. SwazilandNot FreeAuthoritarianMostly UnfreeDifficultNo rightsMedium
166. EgyptNot FreeAuthoritarianMostly UnfreeVery seriousNo rightsMedium
167. EthiopiaNot FreeAuthoritarianMostly UnfreeDifficultNo rightsMedium
168. VietnamNot FreeAuthoritarianMostly UnfreeVery seriousLimited rightsMedium
169. Democratic Republic of the CongoNot FreeAuthoritarianRepressedDifficultLimited rightsHigh
170. CubaNot FreeAuthoritarianRepressedVery seriousSome rightsMedium
171. CameroonNot FreeAuthoritarianMostly UnfreeDifficultNo rightsHigh
172. GambiaNot FreeAuthoritarianMostly UnfreeDifficultNo rightsHigh
173. ChinaNot FreeAuthoritarianMostly UnfreeVery seriousLimited rightsMedium
174. BurundiNot FreeAuthoritarianMostly UnfreeDifficultNo rightsHigh
175. Central African RepublicNot FreeAuthoritarianRepressedNoticeable problemsLimited rightsHigh
176. AngolaNot FreeAuthoritarianRepressedDifficultNo rightsHigh
177. BurmaNot FreeAuthoritarianRepressedDifficultNo rightsHigh
178. ZimbabweNot FreeAuthoritarianRepressedDifficultNo rightsHigh
179. LaosNot FreeAuthoritarianMostly UnfreeVery seriousLimited rightsHigh
180. IraqNot FreeHybrid-DifficultNo rightsHigh
181. LibyaNot FreeAuthoritarian-DifficultNo rightsHigh
182. Equatorial GuineaNot FreeAuthoritarianRepressedVery seriousLimited rights-
183. ChadNot FreeAuthoritarianRepressedDifficultNo rightsHigh
183. Saudi ArabiaNot FreeAuthoritarianModerately FreeVery seriousExtreme discriminationMedium
185. AfghanistanNot FreeAuthoritarian-DifficultNo rightsHigh
186. South SudanNot Free--DifficultNo rightsHigh
187. YemenNot FreeAuthoritarianMostly UnfreeVery seriousExtreme discriminationHigh
188. UzbekistanNot FreeAuthoritarianRepressedVery seriousNo rightsHigh
189. IranNot FreeAuthoritarianRepressedVery seriousExtreme discriminationHigh
190. EritreaNot FreeAuthoritarianRepressedVery seriousNo rightsHigh
191. TurkmenistanNot FreeAuthoritarianRepressedVery seriousNo rightsHigh
192. SyriaNot FreeAuthoritarian-Very seriousNo rightsHigh
193. North KoreaNot FreeAuthoritarianRepressedVery seriousLimited rightsHigh
194. SudanNot FreeAuthoritarian-Very seriousExtreme discriminationHigh
195. SomaliaNot Free--Very seriousExtreme discriminationHigh

Data Sources

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     Countries and Territories Profiled: 200

Classifications: Free (1 to 3), Partly Free (3 to 5), Not Free (5 to 7)

Democracy Index

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     Countries and Territories Profiled: 167

Classifications: Full democracy (8 to 10), Flawed democracy (6 to 8), Hybrid regime (4 to 6), Authoritarian regime (<4)

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     Countries and Territories Profiled: 178

Classifications: Free (80 to 100), Mostly Free (70 to 80), Moderately Free (60 to 70), Mostly Unfree (50 to 60), Repressed (<50)

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     Countries and Territories Profiled: 178

Classifications: Good situation (1 to 10), Satisfactory situation (10 to 25), Noticeable problems (25 to 35), Difficult situation (35 to 50), Very serious situation (>50)

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     Countries and Territories Profiled: 200

Classifications: Broad rights (7 to 10), Some rights (4 to 7), Limited rights (0 to 4), No rights (0 to -2), Extreme discrimination (-2 to -5)

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     Countries and Territories Profiled: 175

Classifications: Low corruption (50 to 100), Medium corruption (30 to 50), High corruption (<30)