Category Archives: Measuring oppression and exploitation

This section presents measurements of the  types of harm included in our website.  It will show how various types of harm (and a few concepts related to harm)  have been measured.  They do not have the same methodology by any means. This section will only give an approximate idea of harm and its components, one that certainly could be refined and discussed. What will emerge is at least a first look at the issue and a better perspective on its importance.

 

Corruption Perceptions Index 2020

Transparency International January 28, 2021. This year’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) paints a grim picture of the state of corruption worldwide. Like previous years, more than two-thirds of countries score below 50 on this year’s CPI, with an average score of just 43. Most countries have made little to no progress in tackling corruption. Our research shows corruption not only undermines the global health response to COVID-19, but also contributes to a continuing crisis of democracy.

The index, which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople, uses a scale of zero to 100, where zero is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.

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Freedom in the World 2020

Sarah Repucci and Amy Slipowitz Freedom House March 3, 2021 See full report. (36 page PDF file.)

Credit: Freedom House

As a lethal pandemic, economic and physical insecurity, and violent conflict ravaged the world in 2020, democracy’s defenders sustained heavy new losses in their struggle against authoritarian foes, shifting the international balance in favor of tyranny. Incumbent leaders increasingly used force to crush opponents and settle scores, sometimes in the name of public health, while beleaguered activists—lacking effective international support—faced heavy jail sentences, torture, or murder in many settings.

These withering blows marked the 15th consecutive year of decline in global freedom. The countries experiencing deterioration outnumbered those with improvements by the largest margin recorded since the negative trend began in 2006. The long democratic recession is deepening.

The impact of the long-term democratic decline has become increasingly global in nature, broad enough to be felt by those living under the cruelest dictatorships, as well as by citizens of long-standing democracies. Nearly 75 percent of the world’s population lived in a country that faced deterioration last year. The ongoing decline has given rise to claims of democracy’s inherent inferiority. Proponents of this idea include official Chinese and Russian commentators seeking to strengthen their international influence while escaping accountability for abuses, as well as antidemocratic actors within democratic states who see an opportunity to consolidate power. They are both cheering the breakdown of democracy and exacerbating it, pitting themselves against the brave groups and individuals who have set out to reverse the damage.

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Land inequality is rising in most countries, study says

Cover of Uneven Ground

International Land Coalition November 24, 2020

New measures and analysis proves that land inequality is significantly higher than previously recorded, with data reporting a 41 percent increase compared to traditional census data. The report, Uneven Ground: land inequality at the heart of unequal societies, is the first of its kind, shedding new light on the scale and speed of this growing phenomenon and providing the most comprehensive picture available today. The report was informed by 17 specially commissioned research papers as well as analysis of existing data and literature under a wide partnership led by the International Land Coalition, and in close collaboration with Oxfam.

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Democracy Report 2020: Autocratization surges, resistance grows

Cover of Democracy Report 2020. Credit: V-Dem

The V-Dem Institute, an independent research institute based at the Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, has released its 2020 Democracy Report.

Main findings include:

  • Autocratization – the decline of democratic traits – accelerates in the world: for the first time since 2001, autocracies are in the majority: 92 countries – home to 54% of the global population. Almost 35% of the world’s population live in autocratizing nations – 2.6 billion people.
  • EU has its first non-democracy as a member: Hungary is now classed as an electoral authoritarian regime.
  • Major G20 nations and all regions of the world are part of the “third wave of autocratization.” Autocratization is affecting Brazil, India, the United States of America, and Turkey, which are major economies with sizeable populations, exercising substantial global military, economic, and political influence. Latin America is back to a level last recorded in the early 1990s while Eastern Europe and Central Asia are at post-Soviet Union lows. India is on the verge of losing its status as a democracy due to the severely shrinking of space for the media, civil society, and the opposition under Prime Minister Modi’s government.
  • Attacks on freedom of expression and the media intensify across the world, and the quality of elections begins to deteriorate. Attacks on freedom of expression and media freedom are now affecting 31 countries, compared to 19 two years ago. The Clean Elections Index fell significantly in 16 nations while improving in only twelve. Media censorship and the repression of civil society have intensified in a record 37 countries – eleven more than the 26 states currently affected by severe autocratization. Since these indicators are typically the first to move in a gradual process of autocratization, this development is an early warning signal for what might be yet to come.
  • Pro-democracy resistance grows from 27% in 2009 to 44% in 2019 amidst the autocratization surge. During 2019, citizens in 29 democracies mobilized against autocratization, such as in Bolivia, Poland, and Malawi. Citizens staged mass protests in 34 autocracies, among them Algeria, Hong Kong, and Sudan. 
  • New V-Dem indicators on Civic and Academic Space show that autocratization taints the whole society. Academic freedom has registered a conspicuous average decline of 13% in autocratizing countries over the last 10 years. The right to peaceful assembly and protest has declined by 14% on average in autocratizing countries. Toxic polarization, pro-autocracy mass protests, and political violence rise in many autocratizing countries, such as in Brazil and Poland.

Access the full report here

Ten worst countries in the world for working people Credit: ITUC

2020 ITUC Global Rights Index: violations of workers’ rights at seven-year high

Ten worst countries in the world for working people Credit: ITUC

ITUC June 18, 2020 The breakdown of the social contract has been exposed in the 2020 International Trade Union Confederation Global Rights Index with violations of workers’ rights at a seven-year high.

This trend, by governments and employers, to restrict the rights of workers through limiting collective bargaining, disrupting the right to strike, and excluding workers from unions, has been made worse by a rise in the number of countries that impede the registration of unions.

An increase in the number of countries that deny or constrain freedom of speech shows the fragility of democracies while the number of countries restricting access to justice has remained unacceptably high at last year’s levels.

A new trend identified in 2020 shows a number of scandals over government surveillance of trade union leaders in an attempt to instill fear and put pressure on independent unions and their members.

The General Secretary of the ITUC, Sharan Burrow, said: “These threats to workers, our economies and democracy were endemic in workplaces and countries before the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted lives and livelihoods. In many countries, the existing repression of unions and the refusal of governments to respect rights and engage in social dialogue has exposed workers to illness and death and left countries unable to fight the pandemic effectively.

“As we look towards the recovery and build resilient economies, the 2020 ITUC Global Rights Index is a benchmark against which we will hold governments and employers to account.

“If the findings of the Rights Index are not shocking enough, we are already seeing some countries take things further. Under the cover of measures to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, they are advancing their anti-workers’-rights agenda. This has got to stop and be reversed.

“The Global Rights Index exposes a breakdown in the social contract that governments and employers have with working people. There’s a trend to restrict working rights through violations of collective bargaining, withholding the right to strike and excluding workers from unions.

“But the Rights Index is not just a list of violations. It is a stark picture of the rights deficits we need to address as we build the new economic model the world needs as it recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic. It must be a resilient global economy built on a New Social Contract: a new commitment to workers’ rights, renewed investment in compliance and the rule of law, and a foundation of workplace democracy.”

The Middle East and North Africa is the worst region in the world for working people, for seven years running, due to the ongoing insecurity and conflict in Palestine, Syria, Yemen and Libya, coupled with the most regressive region for workers’ representation and union rights.

The ten worst countries for working people in 2020 are Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Honduras, India, Kazakhstan, the Philippines, Turkey and Zimbabwe.

The seventh edition of the ITUC Global Rights Index ranks 144 countries on the degree of respect for workers’ rights. Key findings include:

  • 85 per cent of countries violated the right to strike.
  • 80 per cent of countries violated the right to collectively bargain.
  • The number of countries that impeded the registration of unions has increased.
  • Three new countries entered the list of ten worst countries for workers (Egypt, Honduras, India)
  • The number of countries that denied or constrained freedom of speech increased from 54 in 2019 to 56 in 2020.
  • Workers were exposed to violence in 51 countries.
  • Workers had no or restricted access to justice in 72 per cent of countries.
  • Workers experienced arbitrary arrests and detention in 61 countries.