The Freedom House Survey for 2012: Breakthroughs in the Balance

Issue Date April 2013
Volume 24
Issue 2
Page Numbers 46-61
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In Freedom House’s annual report on political rights and civil liberties for 2012, the number of countries exhibiting gains, 16, lagged behind the number with declines, 28. The most noteworthy gains were in Egypt, Libya, Burma, and Côte d’Ivoire. While the Middle East experienced some of the most significant improvements, it also registered major declines, with a list of worsening countries that includes Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Syria, and the United Arab Emirates. Declines were also noted in a number of countries in Eurasia and sub-Saharan Africa. An assessment of the Freedom in the World indicators over the past five years shows the greatest gains in the Asia-Pacific and MENA regions, and the most pronounced declines in sub-Saharan Africa. The Eurasia subregion registered the lowest scores for political rights, while MENA had the worst scores for civil liberties categories. Latin America also saw declines in most indicators, especially in the civil-liberties categories.