Freedom of the World 2024 Report

For over 50 years, Freedom House has been a leading authority on global political rights and civil liberties. Its annual report, Freedom of the World, analyzes the electoral process, political pluralism and participation, government functioning, freedom of expression and belief, associational and organizational rights, rule of law, and personal autonomy and individual rights of various countries and territories around the globe. Each area is given a numerical rating and a detailed description according to a very specific methodology in order to help readers see the current status of each region and compare it to previous years.

This year’s report, Freedom in the World 2024: The Mounting Damage of Flawed Elections and Armed Conflict, presents the analysis of 195 countries and 15 territories based on data from January 1, 2023, to December 31, 2023. Key findings include:

  • Global freedom declined for the 18th consecutive year in 2023;
  • Widespread problems with elections, including violence and manipulation, drove deterioration in rights and freedoms;
  • Armed conflicts and threats of authoritarian aggression made the world less safe and less democratic;
  • The denial of political rights and civil liberties in disputed territories dragged down freedom in the associated countries; and
  • Pluralism is under attack but remains a source of strength for all societies.

In general, the authors agreed that notable threats to freedom in 2023 included organized crime groups, the suppression of practicing a chosen religion, restrictive laws targeting LGBTQ+ rights, and the arbitrary deportation and physical violence shown towards many migrants and refugees. They conclude with several policy recommendations. Overall, by providing a nuanced understanding of liberty worldwide, Freedom House empowers individuals and policymakers to advocate for positive change.

For more information, check out the HSDL’s In Focus topic on Election Security and documents related to political rights.

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