Revealed: The 10 Countries That Care the Most About Human Rights, According to Perception

More than 400,000 Rohingya – Myanmar’s stateless Muslim minority – have fled to Bangladesh in recent weeks to escape escalating violence in the country’s Rakhine state.

The Myanmar crisis, which U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein described as “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing,” is one of many situations where people are fleeing persecution around the globe.

In Venezuela, President Nicolás Maduro holds more than 600 detainees as political prisoners. In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte’s “war on drugs” has killed more than 7,000 people. And in the Middle East, about 6.3 million people are internally displaced from Syria, according to the nonprofit organization Human Rights Watch.

In the midst of these events, other countries have shown how much they value the rights and freedoms of their citizens and others. Sweden cares the most about human rights, according to the 2017 Best Countries rankings, in which more than 21,000 global citizens evaluated 80 countries across a number of characteristics.

In the survey, respondents answered how closely they related each of the countries to the phrase “cares about human rights.” Respondents were provided no further detail about the phrase, so it was left to their interpretation.


Sweden, which along with the United Kingdom requested a closed-door U.N. Security Council meeting last week to address the Rohingya crisis, has been a strong promoter of human rights beyond its borders. The country is also known for being a strong proponent of women’s rights, calling itself the “first feminist government in the world.”

Joining Sweden at the top of the ranking are Canada and Norway. Canada recently granted 31 Chechens asylumafter they faced violence in Russia.

Myanmar, on the other hand, ranks in the bottom 10 at No. 72. China, with the most executions in the world, ranks last. Since 2015, the country has been in the spotlight for detaining lawyers and activists.

Here’s a look at the 10 Countries That Care Most About Human Rights, ranked by perception:

Country Cares About Human Rights Rank Overall Best Country Rank
Sweden 1 6
Canada 2 2
Norway 3 10
Denmark 4 12
Netherlands 5 11
Finland 6 13
Switzerland 7 1
Australia 8 8
New Zealand 9 14
Austria 10 18



Written by How Africa

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