The country received a score of 95 in Freedom House’s 2017 report, losing five civil liberties points in the freedom of expression and belief, rule of law, and individual rights categories. Finland, Norway and Sweden are tied at number 1 with a score of 100. Freedom means different things to different people.
But Freedom House, an independent watchdog organization that releases an annual report on freedom around the world, measures it in terms of civil liberties and political rights.
Their annual report, Freedom in the World, “operates from the assumption that freedom for all people is best achieved in liberal democratic societies.”
In 2018, more than 130 in-house and external analysts and advisers from academia, think tanks, and human rights institutions created the report by collecting data from media, research articles, government documents, and other sources.
That data was then used to score a country’s political rights on a scale of 0-40 and its civil liberties on a scale of 0-60.
Freedom House measured political rights by the degree with which a country’s elections are free and fair, as well as by how much political pluralism and participation there is. Civil liberties, on the other hand, were measured by how free and independent the media is and how much freedom of expression and assembly there is.
“Political rights and civil liberties around the world deteriorated to their lowest point in more than a decade in 2017, extending a period characterized by emboldened autocrats, beleaguered democracies, and the United States’ withdrawal from its leadership role in the global struggle for human freedom.
Democracy is in crisis. The values it embodies—particularly the right to choose leaders in free and fair elections, freedom of the press, and the rule of law—are under assault and in retreat globally.” ~~~Michael J. Abramowitz, President, Freedom House