A British group says that their latest study of worldwide freedom of expression shows that only 15% of the world’s population lives where people can receive or share information freely.
In its Global Expression Report 2022, Article19, an international human rights organization, said that in authoritarian nations such as China, Myanmar and Russia, and in democracies such as Brazil and India, 80% of the world’s population lives with less freedom of speech than a decade ago.
The report says that authoritarian regimes and rulers continue to tighten control over what their people see, hear and say.
While mentioning Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the report points to the Chinese government as “exercising ultimate authority over the identities, information and opinions of hundreds of millions of people”.
The annual report examines freedom of expression in 161 countries using 25 indicators to measure how free each person is to express, communicate and participate in society, without fear of harassment, legal consequences or violence. It creates a score from zero to 100 for each country.
This year, the report ranks Denmark and Switzerland tops in the world, each with points of 96. Norway and Sweden each have points of 94, and Estonia and Finland both received points of 93. The study showed that the 10 most open countries are European.
The United States ranked 30th on the scale. In 2011 it was the 9th in the world. The United States has seen a decrease of nine points in its score, which places the country in the lower part of the category of open expression. It was globally ranked in the lowest quartile in 2021 in its scores for equality in civil liberties for social groups, political polarization and social polarization and political violence.
The report said that in the last two decades, there have been more dramatic downward shifts in freedom of expression around the world than ever before. Many of these arise as a result of seizures or coups, but many more nations have seen an erosion of rights, often under democratically elected populist leaders.
Article 19 derives its name from the article under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information. and ideas. through all media and across borders. “