Today we celebrate the Human Rights Day. At this occasion we not only commemorate the great advances in human freedom through history – the abolition of slavery, the spread of religious liberty, the secular decline of violence, strengthening of women’s freedom, respect for the free speech, among others – but also honor those groups and individuals who work to promote or safeguard human rights in the parts of the world these are currently being violated or under a threat.
Believing in the inherent dignity of individuals means that human freedom is worth defending with all our strength and passion. For that reason, and because freedom plays a central role in human progress, it is also worth to understand the developments and limitations of freedom around the world. This was precisely one of the key reasons for creating the Human Freedom Index, which is published in collaboration between the Cato Institute, Fraser Institute, Institute for Economic Analysis, Liberales Institute, and Visio Institute (the latter two are members of the 4liberty network).
The Human Freedom Index is the most comprehensive global measure of civil, personal and economic freedom so far. You may view the index here – see how countries and regions of the world rank, examine how income and democracy relate to freedom, get a sense of how various freedoms relate to one another, and otherwise gauge how the world is doing on 76 distinct indicators.
Lastly, although Human Rights Day, technically, commemorates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we think the Human Freedom Index and its definition of freedom – the absence of coercive constraint – can assist us in thinking more carefully about the state of freedom around the world.