The Human Truth Foundation

Human Rights and Freedom in Singapore

By Vexen Crabtree 2019


Comments:
FB, LJ

#equality #freedom #human_rights #politics #singapore #tolerance

Singapore
Republic of Singapore

[Country Profile Page]
StatusIndependent State
CapitalSingapore
Land Area 700km21
LocationAsia
GroupingsSmall Islands
Population5.3m (2011)2
Life Expectancy83.21yrs (2017)3
GNI$78 162 (2017)4
ISO3166-1 CodesSG, SGP, 7025
Internet Domain.sg6
CurrencyDollar (SGD)7
Telephone+658

Singapore does relatively well in ensuring human rights and freedom, compared to many other countries. Singapore comes in the top 20 in fighting corruption9, opposing gender inequality10 and in fighting anti-semitic opinions11. It does better than average in its Global Peace Index rating12, supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms13, commentary from Human Rights Watch14 and in eliminating modern slavery15. Singapore does not succeed in everything, however. It does worse than average in supporting press freedom16 and in LGBT equality17. And finally, it falls into the bottom 20 in its nominal commitment to Human Rights18. Foreign domestic workers are excluded key labor protections such working hours limits19. Singapore has draconian restrictions on what constitutes an 'assembly' and the law is so widely defined that the government can decide on a whim to ban gatherings or protests (including those involving just an individual person), and permits are often denied for political purposes19.


1. Politics and Freedom

#antisemitism #burundi #corruption #eritrea #france #freedom #human_development #human_rights #indonesia #mass_media #peace #politics #Singapore #slavery

Singapore´s draconian restrictions on public assemblies tightened during 2017, with new limitations on the ability of foreigners in the country to organize, participate in, or even financially support, public gatherings. [...] Permits are routinely denied for events addressing political topics. [...] Event organizers and sometimes participants are subjected to investigations, home searches, and seizure of electronic devices. Critics of the judiciary continue to be targeted for “scandalizing the judiciary.”

The definition of what is treated as an assembly is extremely broad, and includes one person acting alone. In August, a man who held repeated solo protests in Singapore´s central financial district calling for the resignation of the prime minister was sentenced to three weeks in prison and a fine of S$20,000 (US$14,850).

Under tightened restrictions put in place in October 2016, the government now considers the mere presence of a foreigner during an assembly to be unlawful participation that can result in criminal penalties for both the foreigner and the event organizer.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)19

Anti-Semite Opinions (2014)11
Pos.Lower is better
%11
1Laos0
2Philippines3
3Sweden4
...
16Ghana15
17Finland15
18Brazil16
19Singapore16
20Nigeria16
21Iceland16
22Uganda16
23Jamaica18
World Avg36.8
q=101.
Corruption (2012-2016)9
Pos.Higher is better
Avg Score9
1Denmark90.8
2New Zealand90.6
3Finland89.4
4Sweden88.2
5Norway86.0
6Switzerland85.8
7Singapore85.2
8Netherlands83.4
9Canada82.2
10Luxembourg81.6
11Australia80.8
12Germany79.6
World Avg43.05
q=176.
Global Peace Index (2012)12
Pos.Lower is better12
1Iceland1.11
2New Zealand1.24
3Denmark1.24
...
20Malaysia1.49
21Mauritius1.49
22Australia1.49
23Singapore1.52
24Poland1.52
25Spain1.55
26Slovakia1.59
27Taiwan1.60
World Avg2.02
q=157.

Human Rights Watch Comments (2017)14
Pos.Higher is better
Score14
1UK9
2France9
3Germany9
...
55Mexico-2
56Sri Lanka-2
57S. Africa-2
58Singapore-2
59Haiti-2
60Serbia-3
61Papua New Guinea-3
62Belarus-3
World Avg-1.9
q=123.
Nominal Commitment to HR (2009)18
Pos.Higher is better
Treaties18
1Argentina24
2Chile23
3Costa Rica23
...
184Pakistan6
185Tuvalu5
186Micronesia5
187Singapore5
188Nauru5
189Marshall Islands4
190Myanmar (Burma)4
191Palau4
World Avg15.1
q=194.
Personal, Civil & Economic Freedom (2014)13
Pos.Lower is better
Rank13
1Hong Kong1
2Switzerland2
3New Zealand3
...
38Costa Rica38
39Slovenia39
40Bulgaria40
41Singapore40
42Uruguay42
43Georgia43
44Croatia44
45Montenegro44
World Avg79.7
q=159.

Press Freedom (2013)16
Pos.Lower is better16
1Finland638
2Netherlands648
3Norway652
...
145Palestine4309
146Philippines4311
147Russia4342
148Singapore4343
149Iraq4467
150Myanmar (Burma)4471
151Gambia4509
152Mexico4530
World Avg3249
q=178.

Slavery (2018)15
Pos.Lower is better
% Victims15
1Japan0.03
2Canada0.05
3Taiwan0.05
...
69Botswana0.34
70Honduras0.34
71Poland0.34
72Singapore0.34
73Estonia0.36
74Mali0.36
75Hungary0.37
76Bangladesh0.37
World Avg0.65
q=167.

The taking of slaves has been an unwholesome feature of Human cultures since prehistory20. Private households and national endeavours have frequently been augmented with the use of slaves. The Egyptian and Roman empires both thrived on them for both purposes. Aside from labourers they are often abused sexually by their owners and their owners' friends21. The era of colonialism and the beginnings of globalisation changed nothing: the imprisonment and forced movements of labour continued to destroy many lives except that new justifications were invented based on Christian doctrine and the effort to convert non-Christians. By 1786 over 12 million slaves had been extracted from Africa and sent to colonial labour camps, with a truly atrocious condition of life22. But they were not the only ones to blame; in Africa internal nations such as the Asantes sold and bought tens of thousands of slaves23.

The abolition of the slave trade was a long and slow process. Until a relatively modern time, even philosophers, religious leaders and those concerned with ethics justified, or ignored, the problem of slavery24. The first abolitionists were always the slaves themselves. Their protests and rebellions caused the industry to become too expensive to continue. After that, it was the economic costs of maintain slave colonies that led the British to reject and then oppose the slave trade globally. Finally, the enlightenment-era thinkers of France encouraged moral and ethical thinking including the declaration of the inherent value of human life and human dignity25. A long-overdue wave of compassionate and conscientious movements swept across the West, eliminating public support for slavery, until the industries and churches that supported it had no choice but to back down.

'Modern slavery' includes forced labour (often of the under-age), debt bondage (especially generational), sexual slavery, chattel slavery and other forms of abuse, some of which can be surprisingly difficult to detect, but often target those fleeing from warzones and the vulnerable.26. Some industries (diamond, clothing, coal) from some countries (Burundi15, Eritrea15, Indonesia27) are a particular concern. The Walk Free Foundation, say that in 2016, 40.3 million people were living in modern slavery28.

Foreign migrant workers are subject to labor abuse and exploitation through debts owed to recruitment agents, non-payment of wages, restrictions on movement, confiscation of passports, and sometimes physical and sexual abuse. Foreign women employed as domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse. [...] Foreign domestic workers are still excluded from the Employment Act and many key labor protections, such as limits on daily work hours.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)19

2. Gender Equality

#gender #misogyny #politics #Singapore #women

Gender Inequality (2015)10
Pos.Lower is better10
1Switzerland0.04
2Denmark0.04
3Netherlands0.04
...
8Finland0.06
9Germany0.07
10S. Korea0.07
11Singapore0.07
12Belgium0.07
13Luxembourg0.07
14Austria0.08
15Spain0.08
World Avg0.36
q=159.

Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchialism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.

Year Women Can Vote29
Pos.Lower is better
Year29
1New Zealand1893
2Australia1902
3Finland1906
...
65Guatemala1946
66Vietnam1946
67Trinidad & Tobago1946
68Singapore1947
69Pakistan1947
70Malta1947
71Argentina1947
72S. Korea1948
World Avg1930
q=189.

Singapore is notable for its equality between the sexes.

See:

3. LGBT Equality and Tolerance

#equality #homosexuality #human_rights #intolerance #sexuality #Singapore #tolerance

LGBT Equality (2017)17
Pos.Higher is better
Score17
1Netherlands103
2Belgium90
3Sweden86
...
146Brunei-14
147Swaziland-14
148Kenya-14
149Singapore-15
150Zambia-15
151Bangladesh-17
152Tanzania-17
153Iran-19
World Avg12.6
q=196.

Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) folk is rife across the world. Legal restrictions co-exist alongside social stigmatisation and physical violence30. LGBT tolerance and equal rights have been fought for country-by-country across the world, often against tightly entrenched cultural and religious opposition. Adult consensual sexual activity is a Human Right, protected by privacy laws31. Despite this, homosexual activity is outlawed in around 80 countries30. The Social & Moral LGBT Equality Index was created to compare countries and regions, granting points to each country for a variety of factors including how long gay sex has been criminalized and the extent of LGBT legal rights. Graded negative points are given for criminality of homosexuality, unequal ages of consent, legal punishments and for not signing international accords on LGBT tolerance. The signs in many developed countries are positive, and things are gradually improving. Europe is by far the least prejudiced region (Scandinavia in particular being exemplary). The Middle East and then Africa are the least morally developed, where cultural bias goes hand-in-hand with state intolerance, all too often including physical violence.

The rights of Singapore´s LGBT community are severely restricted. Sexual relations between two male persons remains a criminal offense, and there are no legal protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Media Development Authority effectively prohibits all positive depictions of LGBT lives on television or radio. In June 2017, the Advertising Standards Agency asked a shopping center to remove the phrase “Supporting the Freedom to Love” from a promotional ad for this year´s annual Pink Dot festival on the grounds it “may affect public sensitivities.”

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)19

4. Singapore Overall National and Social Development

#human_development #Singapore

Social & Moral
Development Index
32
Pos.Higher is better
Points32
1Denmark84.0
2Sweden83.9
3Finland83.5
...
23USA71.9
24Italy71.1
25Czechia71.0
26Singapore71.0
27Portugal70.3
28S. Korea70.3
29Slovenia69.6
30Hungary69.4
31Poland67.2
World Avg53.8
q=198.

The Social and Moral Development Index concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, public health, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism, and on some technological issues. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life.

Current edition: 2019 Jan 01
http://www.humantruth.info/singapore_human_rights_and_freedom.html
Parent page: Singapore (Republic of Singapore)

All #tags used on this page - click for more:

#antisemitism #burundi #corruption #equality #eritrea #france #freedom #gender #homosexuality #human_development #human_rights #indonesia #intolerance #mass_media #misogyny #peace #politics #sexuality #Singapore #slavery #tolerance #women

Social Media

References: (What's this?)

Book Cover

Anti-Defamation League. (ADL)
(2014) ADL Global 100, Executive Summary. Accessed on global100.adl.org on 2017 Jan 02. The numbers given are of those who state that racist stereotyped statements about Jews are true; they have to agree to 6 or more of the 11 statements to be counted. An example statements is "Jews are hated because of the way they behave". The data was collected from 53,100 interviews across 101 countries plus the West Bank and Gaza. The global average is 26%.

Casely-Hayford, Gus
(2012) The Lost Kingdoms of Africa. Published by Bantram Press. A hardback book.

Crabtree, Vexen
(2019) "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" (2019). Accessed 2019 Jan 13.

Donnelly, Jack
(2013) Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice. 3rd edition. Published by Cornell University Press.

The Fraser Institute
(2016) The Human Freedom Index. Published by The Cato Institute, The Fraser Institute and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. Covers data up to 2014. On www.fraserinstitute.org/.../human-freedom-index-2016.

Human Rights Watch
(2018) World Report 2018. Covering the events of 2017.

Klein, Naomi
(2004) No Logo. Originally published 2000, HarperCollins, London, UK. A paperback book.

McCall, Andrew
(1979) The Medieval Underworld. 2004 edition. Published by Sutton Publishing. A paperback book.

Thomson, Oliver
(1993) A History of Sin. Published by Canongate Press. A hardback book.

United Nations
(2011) Human Development Report. Published by the UN Development Programme. This edition had the theme of Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All. Available on hdr.undp.org/... UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2017) Human Development Report. Published by the UN Development Programme. Data for 2015. Available on hdr.undp.org/.

Walk Free Foundation
(2018) Global Slavery Index. Published on www.walkfreefoundation.org/.

Footnotes

  1. World Bank data on data.worldbank.org accessed 2013 Nov 04.^
  2. UN (2011) .^
  3. UN (2017). Table 1.^
  4. UN (2017). Gross National Income, per person. Table 1.^
  5. International Standards Organisation (ISO) standard ISO3166-1, on www.iso.org, accessed 2013 May 01.^
  6. Top level domains (TLDs) are managed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) on www.iana.org.^
  7. According to ISO4217.^
  8. According to ITU-T.^
  9. Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (2017). Accessed 2017 Dec 30. The scores given are the TI average for the years 2012-2016.^^
  10. UN (2017). Table 5. Lower is better.^^
  11. ADL (2014). Lower is better.^^
  12. ^^
  13. Fraser Institute, the (2016). Covers data for 2014.^^
  14. Human Rights Watch (2018). Negative and positive comments have been added to create a score for each country covered in the report.^^
  15. Walk Free Foundation (2018) .^^
  16. Reporters Without Borders Report "2013 World Press Freedom Index: Dashed hopes after spring" at fr.rsf.org/.../classement_2013_gb-bd.pdf accessed 2013 Feb.^^
  17. Sources:^^
  18. Max possible=24. Total amount of treaties ratified. Nominal Commitment to Human Rights report published by UCL School of Public Policy, London, UK, at ucl.ac.uk/spp/research/research-projects/nchr accessed 2011 Apr 30.^^
  19. Human Rights Watch (2018). p479-482.^^^
  20. Thomson (1993). p28.^
  21. McCall (1979). p180.^
  22. Thomson (1993). p166.^
  23. Casely-Hayford (2012). p253.^
  24. Thomson (1993). p31.^
  25. Thomson (1993). p199.^
  26. Thomson (1993). p28-29.^
  27. Klein (2004) .^
  28. Walk Free Foundation (2018). p2.^
  29. "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life: 2.9. Women Stand for Election & Vote" by Vexen Crabtree (2019)^
  30. Donnelly (2013). Chapter 16 "Nondiscrimination for All: The Case of Sexual Minorities" p278.^
  31. Donnelly (2013). Chapter 16 "Nondiscrimination for All: The Case of Sexual Minorities" p289. According to a 1992 ruling of the Human Rights Committee, which declared that 'it is undisputed that adult consensual sexual activity in private is covered by the concept of privacy' when discussing Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. See Human Rights Committee, Communication 488/1992, paragraph 8.2.^
  32. "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2019)^

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