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Freedom Map exposes the rise of authoritarianism

18 July 20220 comments

A fascinating new interactive map paints a disturbing picture of freedom and human rights in retreat across the globe.

Produced by human rights NGO Freedom House, the map rates the relative freedom and democracy statuses of countries across the world.

It comes after Freedom House’s 49th annual Freedom in the World report found that democracy has declined globally for the 16th year in a row.

The report says authoritarians are collaborating to undermine democracy, human rights and media freedom are under attack, and only 1 in 5 people now live in a free country.

The report found that countries which suffered democratic declines over the past year outnumbered those which strengthened democracy by more than two to one.

“Authoritarian regimes have become more effective at co-opting or circumventing the norms and institutions meant to support basic liberties, and at providing aid to others who wish to do the same,” the report said.

“In countries with long-established democracies, internal forces have exploited the shortcomings in their systems, distorting national politics to promote hatred, violence, and unbridled power,” it said.

The report said countries that have teetered between democracy and authoritarianism are increasingly tilting toward the latter.

“The global order is nearing a tipping point, and if democracy’s defenders do not work together to help guarantee freedom for all people, the authoritarian model will prevail,” the report said.

The threat to democracy is the result of 16 consecutive years of decline in global freedom. A total of 60 countries suffered declines over the past year, while only 25 improved.

Around 38 per cent of the global population live in countries deemed by the report to be ‘not free’, the highest proportion since 1997. Only about 20 per cent now live in countries deemed ‘free’.

Australia ranked 95 out of 100 on the freedom index, the UK 93, the US 83, while China ranked 1, Russia 9 and Afghanistan 10.

Sweden, Norway and Finland ranked 100.

See the map here: Explore the Map | Freedom House