Which Country Has The Most “Freedom”?

By Katja Kaila

According to the Freedom House report[1] , the countries with most freedom in the world as of 2018 are the following (0=Least Free, 100=Most Free):

  • Finland (100)
  • Norway (100)
  • Sweden (100)

There are relatively well-scoring countries in all continents. The countries that get close to 100:

  • Canada (99)
  • Netherlands (99)
  • Australia (98)
  • Luxembourg (98)
  • New Zealand (98)
  • Uruguay (98)
  • Denmark (97)
  • Portugal (97)
  • San Marino (97)
  • Andorra (96)
  • Barbados (96)
  • Ireland (96)
  • Japan (96)
  • Switzerland (96)
  • Belgium (95)
  • Iceland (95)

In Sub-Saharan Africa, Cape Verde leads with its score of 90.

(Photo source: Freedom World 2018 Table of Country Scores)

Incidentally, the United States scores 86/100, which means there are 50 countries in the world that score better when it comes to freedom[2] .

How do they measure freedom?

Freedom House describes the principles behind their report (emphasis mine):

“The report’s methodology is derived in large measure from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948. Freedom in the World is based on the premise that these standards apply to all countries and territories, irrespective of geographical location, ethnic or religious composition, or level of economic development. Freedom in the Worldoperates from the assumption that freedom for all people is best achieved in liberal democratic societies.

Freedom in the World assesses the real-world rights and freedoms enjoyed by individuals, rather than governments or government performance per se. Political rights and civil liberties can be affected by both state and nonstate actors, including insurgents and other armed groups.

Freedom House does not believe that legal guarantees of rights are sufficient for on-the-ground fulfillment of those rights. While both laws and actual practices are factored into scoring decisions, greater emphasis is placed on implementation.

(Source: Methodology: Freedom in the World 2018)

And this is what their methodology looks like (emphasis mine):

Freedom in the World is produced each year by a team of in-house and external analysts and expert advisers from the academic, think tank, and human rights communities. The 2018 edition involved more than 100 analysts and more than 30 advisers. The analysts, who prepare the draft reports and scores, use a broad range of sources, including news articles, academic analyses, reports from nongovernmental organizations, individual professional contacts, and on-the-ground research. The analysts score countries and territories based on the conditions and events within their borders during the coverage period. The analysts’ proposed scores are discussed and defended at a series of review meetings, organized by region and attended by Freedom House staff and a panel of expert advisers. The final scores represent the consensus of the analysts, advisers, and staff. Although an element of subjectivity is unavoidable in such an enterprise, the ratings process emphasizes methodological consistency, intellectual rigor, and balanced and unbiased judgments.”

(Source: Methodology: Freedom in the World 2018)

As a whole, there have been backlashes in many regions, and political rights and civil liberties have deteriorated in many countries. The Freedom House concludes we’re dealing with a decline in global freedom for the 12th consecutive year.

They call it a crisis of democracy:

Democracy faced its most serious crisis in decades in 2017 as its basic tenets—including guarantees of free and fair elections, the rights of minorities, freedom of the press, and the rule of law—came under attack around the world.”

(Source: Freedom in the World 2018)

Freedom has to be defended over and over again.

It’s not something that should ever be taken for granted.

Source: Quora

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