The Human Truth Foundation

Comparing Small Islands on Human Rights, Freedom, Tolerance and Equality

By Vexen Crabtree 2019

#equality #fertility #human_rights #morals #politics #prejudice #Small_Islands #tolerance

Human Rights, Equality & Tolerance (2020)1,2
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank1,2
1Taiwan35.0
2Malta44.0
3Cyprus44.1
4Jamaica64.6
5Seychelles71.0
6Mauritius73.4
7Dominican Rep.80.4
8Cape Verde81.3
9Trinidad & Tobago83.9
10Haiti90.1
...
35Kiribati164.8
36Solomon Islands175.3
37Tuvalu176.5
Small Islands Avg115.8
World Avg89.8
q=37.

The best countries amongst those classed as small islands at protecting human rights, engendering tolerance and supporting equality, are Taiwan, Malta and Cyprus and the collection as a whole does better than the global average. The worst countries are Tuvalu, Solomon Islands and Kiribati.


1. Results by Country

#equality #human_rights #morals #politics #prejudice #tolerance

Human Rights, Equality & Tolerance (2020)1,2
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank1,2
1Taiwan35.0
2Malta44.0
3Cyprus44.1
4Jamaica64.6
5Seychelles71.0
6Mauritius73.4
7Dominican Rep.80.4
8Cape Verde81.3
9Trinidad & Tobago83.9
10Haiti90.1
11Singapore92.0
12Barbados93.6
13Maldives98.2
14St Vincent & Grenadines103.8
15Bahrain106.9
16Timor-Leste (E. Timor)107.7
17Fiji110.7
18Bahamas115.5
19Dominica115.8
20St Lucia117.8
21Antigua & Barbuda123.5
22Samoa134.0
23Comoros135.4
24Grenada138.8
25Brunei140.7
26Cook Islands144.5
27Vanuatu145.5
28Tonga147.7
29Sao Tome & Principe147.8
30St Kitts & Nevis150.3
31Nauru153.3
32Micronesia157.0
33Palau159.8
34Marshall Islands160.0
35Kiribati164.8
36Solomon Islands175.3
37Tuvalu176.5
Small Islands Avg115.8
q=37.

The best countries in the world at ensuring human rights, fostering equality and promoting tolerance, are Denmark, Sweden and Norway1. These countries are displaying the best traits that humanity has to offer. The worst countries are Tuvalu, The Solomon Islands and Palestine1.

The data sets used to calculate points for each country are statistics on commentary in Human Rights Watch reports, its nominal commitment to Human Rights, speed of uptake of HR treaties, supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms, supporting press freedom, eliminating modern slavery, opposing gender inequality, the year from which women could participate in democracy, its success in fighting anti-semitic prejudice and LGBT equality. The regions with the best average results per country are Scandinavia, Baltic States and Europe1, whereas the worst are Micronesia, Melanesia and Australasia1.

The table on the right shows the full results list for Small Islands.

Compare Small Islands to other regions of the world: Compare International Statistics by Region and Continent.

2. Human Rights & Tolerance

2.1. Human Rights Watch Comments

#human_rights

Human Rights Watch Comments (2017)3
Pos.Higher is better
Score3
1Cyprus5
2Malta5
3Haiti-2
4Singapore-2
5Bahrain-5
Small Islands Avg0.2
World Avg-1.9
q=5.

Human Rights Watch comments concentrate mostly on negative issues, however, they also make positive comments for those countries that engage in human rights defence around the world, or who make improvements at home. By adding up positive and negative comments (including double-points for negatives that involve large scales and crimes against humanity), the Social and Moral Index turns HRW commentary into quantified values. Some countries may be unfairly penalized because HRW have not examined them, and, some countries "get away" with abuses if they manage to hide it, or if it goes unnoticed - a negative point has been given for those countries in which HRW specifically state that access to investigators has been barred. The points were limited to a minimum of -10 because there are some points at which things are so bad, with abuses affecting so many, it is difficult to be more specific about the depths of the issues.

2.2. Nominal Commitment to HR

#human_rights

Nominal Commitment to HR (2009)4
Pos.Higher is better
Treaties4
1Cyprus20
2Malta18
3Timor-Leste (E. Timor)17
4Seychelles16
5Cape Verde15
6Maldives15
7St Vincent & Grenadines15
8Mauritius14
9Jamaica14
10Dominican Rep.14
11Antigua & Barbuda13
12Bahrain12
13Trinidad & Tobago12
14Dominica12
15Haiti12
16Bahamas11
17Barbados11
18Vanuatu10
19Solomon Islands10
20Fiji10
21St Kitts & Nevis9
22Comoros9
23Cook Islands9
24Samoa9
25Sao Tome & Principe7
26Grenada7
27Tonga6
28Brunei6
29St Lucia6
30Tuvalu5
31Micronesia5
32Singapore5
33Nauru5
34Marshall Islands4
35Palau4
36Kiribati3
Small Islands Avg10.3
World Avg15.1
q=36.

There are many international agreements on human rights, and, many mechanisms by which countries can be brought to account for their actions. Together, these have been the biggest historical movement in the fight against oppression and inhumanity. Or, putting it another way: these are rejected mostly by those who wish to oppress inhumanely. None of them are perfect and many people object to various components and wordings, but, no-one has come up with, and enforced, better methods of controlling the occasional desires that states and peoples have of causing angst for other states and peoples in a violent, unjust or inhumane way. Points are awarded for the number of human rights agreements ratified by the country, plus the acceptance of the petition mechanisms for disputes. The maximum possible score in 2009 was 24.

2.3. HR Treaties Lag

#human_rights #international_law #micronesia #politics #small_islands

HR Treaties Lag (2019)5
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Yrs/Treaty5
1Cyprus5.81
2Cape Verde6.40
3Mauritius7.09
4Jamaica7.61
5Seychelles7.73
6Malta9.60
7Barbados9.94
8St Vincent & Grenadines9.98
9Dominican Rep.10.24
10Dominica11.14
11Maldives11.85
12Trinidad & Tobago12.26
13Bahrain12.55
14Haiti12.61
15Antigua & Barbuda12.76
16Vanuatu13.21
17Timor-Leste (E. Timor)13.73
18Grenada13.86
19Bahamas13.93
20St Lucia14.11
21Comoros14.82
22Fiji14.85
23Samoa14.85
24St Kitts & Nevis15.00
25Singapore15.02
26Brunei15.29
27Tonga15.55
28Micronesia15.55
29Kiribati15.80
30Solomon Islands15.81
31Nauru16.16
32Sao Tome & Principe16.17
33Tuvalu16.33
34Palau16.34
35Marshall Islands16.34
Small Islands Avg12.87
World Avg10.02
q=35.

Human Rights (HR) Treaties Lag is a count of how long it took each country to sign each of 11 key HR treaties. From the date of the first signatory of each treaty, all other countries have one point added to their score for each day they delayed in signing. Results are presented as average time in years to sign each one. The lower a country's score, the more enthusiastically it has taken on international Human Rights Treaties - which are, of course, minimal standards of good governance. The slowest are the countries of Micronesia, Melanesia, Australasia and Polynesia all lagged by over 12 years per treaty. The best regions are The Americas, Scandinavia and the Mediterranean.

2.4. Personal, Civil & Economic Freedom

#freedom #politics

Personal, Civil & Economic Freedom (2014)6
Pos.Lower is better
Rank6
1Malta16
2Taiwan26
3Cyprus33
4Mauritius34
5Singapore40
6Bahamas48
7Seychelles51
8Jamaica60
9Fiji61
10Haiti61
11Dominican Rep.63
12Brunei66
13Trinidad & Tobago79
14Barbados85
15Bahrain88
16Cape Verde92
17Timor-Leste (E. Timor)120
Small Islands Avg60.2
World Avg79.7
q=17.

The Human Freedom Index published by the Fraser Institute is...

... a broad measure of human freedom, understood as the absence of coercive constraint. It uses 79 distinct indicators of personal and economic freedom in the following areas: Rule of Law, Security and Safety, Movement, Religion, Association, Assembly, and Civil Society, Expression, Relationships, Size of Government, Legal System and Property Rights, Access to Sound Money, Freedom to Trade Internationally, Regulation of Credit, Labor, and Business. [...]

The highest levels of freedom are in Western Europe, Northern Europe, and North America (Canada and the United States. The lowest levels are in the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. [...]

Countries in the top quartile of freedom enjoy a significant higher per capita income ($37,147) [compared with] the least-free quartile [at] $8,700). The HFI finds a strong correlation between human freedom and democracy.

"The Human Freedom Index" by The Fraser Institute (2016)7

2.5. Press Freedom

#democracy #freedom #mass_media #politics #UK

Press Freedom (2013)8
Pos.Lower is better8
1Jamaica988
2Cyprus1383
3Cape Verde1433
4Trinidad & Tobago2312
5Malta2330
6Taiwan2382
7Samoa2384
8Haiti2409
9Comoros2452
10Mauritius2647
11Tonga2670
12Dominican Rep.2834
13Timor-Leste (E. Timor)2872
14Seychelles2919
15Maldives3110
16Fiji3269
17Brunei3545
18Singapore4343
19Bahrain6275
Small Islands Avg2766
World Avg3249
q=19.

The freedom to investigate, publish information, and have access to others' opinion is a fundamental part of today's information-driven world. Scores on the Press Freedom Index are calculated according to indicators including pluralism - the degree to which opinions are represented in the media, media independence of authorities, self-censorship, legislation, transparency and the infrastructure that supports news and information, and, the level of violence against journalists which includes lengths of imprisonments. The index "does not take direct account of the kind of political system but it is clear that democracies provide better protection for the freedom to produce and circulate accurate news and information than countries where human rights are flouted".

It must be noted that press freedom is not an indicator of press quality and the press itself can be abusive; the UK suffers in particular from a popular brand of nasty reporting that infuses several of its newspapers who are particularly prone to running destructive and often untrue campaigns against victims. The Press Freedom Index notes that "the index should in no way be taken as an indicator of the quality of the media in the countries concerned".

2.6. Slavery

#burundi #eritrea #france #human_rights #indonesia #slavery

Slavery (2018)9
Pos.Lower is better
% Victims9
1Taiwan0.05
2Mauritius0.10
3Bahrain0.19
4Jamaica0.26
5Barbados0.27
6Trinidad & Tobago0.30
7Singapore0.34
8Dominican Rep.0.40
9Cape Verde0.41
10Cyprus0.42
11Haiti0.56
12Timor-Leste (E. Timor)0.77
13Brunei1.09
Small Islands Avg0.40
World Avg0.65
q=13.

The taking of slaves has been an unwholesome feature of Human cultures since prehistory10. 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' friends11. 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 life12. But they were not the only ones to blame; in Africa internal nations such as the Asantes sold and bought tens of thousands of slaves13.

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 slavery14. 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 dignity15. 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.16. Some industries (diamond, clothing, coal) from some countries (Burundi9, Eritrea9, Indonesia17) are a particular concern. The Walk Free Foundation, say that in 2016, 40.3 million people were living in modern slavery18.

See:

3. Gender Equality

3.1. Gender Inequality

#gender #gender_equality #human_rights #misogyny #women

Gender Inequality (2015)19
Pos.Lower is better19
1Singapore0.07
2Cyprus0.12
3Malta0.22
4Bahrain0.23
5Barbados0.29
6Maldives0.31
7Trinidad & Tobago0.32
8St Lucia0.35
9Fiji0.36
10Bahamas0.36
11Mauritius0.38
12Jamaica0.42
13Samoa0.44
14Dominican Rep.0.47
15Sao Tome & Principe0.52
16Haiti0.59
17Tonga0.66
Small Islands Avg0.36
World Avg0.36
q=17.

The UN Human Development Reports include statistics on gender equality which take into account things like maternal mortality, access to political power (seats in parliament) and differences between male and female education rates. 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.

Gender Equality is tied sociologically with a range of other indicators of progress. For example, it correlates with a sustainable fertility rate; small islands with better equality between the genders also have sustainable rates of childbirths per woman. The chart below shows the overall trend.

Source:19,20

The correlation also extends to wealth: the worse-off the island, the worse gender equality is21, and also, the higher the fertility rate. In other words, there is a trap: poverty is linked with large families, and, large families are linked with enduring poverty. Both are obstacles to female equality. For a poor country, one way out is to reduce family sizes, keep women in education for as long as men, and therefore improve both gender inequality and national economics. But it's easier said than done, and there are often many obstacles - for example, if contraceptives and family planning are unavailable for many, how are family sizes going to be reduced? And if women find themselves necessarily tied up with births and childcare, how can they remain in education? Problems like these fall within the expertise of large-scale development programmes such as those ran by the United Nations.

3.2. Year Women Can Vote

#christianity #gender_equality #human_rights #politics #women

Year Women Can Vote
Pos.Lower is better
Year
1St Lucia1924
2Maldives1932
3Dominican Rep.1942
4Bermuda1944
5Jamaica1944
6Trinidad & Tobago1946
7Malta1947
8Singapore1947
9Seychelles1948
10Barbados1950
11Haiti1950
12Grenada1951
13Dominica1951
14St Kitts & Nevis1951
15St Vincent & Grenadines1951
16Antigua & Barbuda1951
17Mauritius1956
18Comoros1956
19Tonga1960
20Cyprus1960
21Bahamas1963
22Fiji1963
23Tuvalu1967
24Kiribati1967
25Nauru1968
26Bahrain1973
27Solomon Islands1974
28Sao Tome & Principe1975
29Cape Verde1975
30Micronesia1979
31Marshall Islands1979
32Palau1979
33Vanuatu1980
34Samoa1990
Small Islands Avg1959
World Avg1930
q=34.

Women now have equal rights in the vast majority of countries across the world. Although academic literature oftens talks of when a country "grants women the right to vote", this enforces a backwards way of thinking. Women always had the right to vote, however, they were frequently denied that right. The opposition to women's ability to vote in equality with man was most consistently and powerfully opposed by the Catholic Church, other Christian organisations, Islamic authorities and some other religious and secular traditionalists.

4. Prejudice

4.1. Anti-Semite Opinions

#antisemitism #christianity #germany #indonesia #israel #jordan #judaism #laos #morocco #netherlands #pakistan #philippines #religion #religious_violence #saudi_arabia #spain #sweden #turkey #UK #vietnam

Anti-Semite Opinions (2014)22
Pos.Lower is better
%22
1Singapore16
2Jamaica18
3Trinidad & Tobago24
4Haiti26
5Dominican Rep.41
6Mauritius44
7Bahrain81
Small Islands Avg35.7
World Avg36.8
q=7.

Anti-Semitism is the world given to irrational racism against Jews. It is not the same as anti-Judaism (involving arguments against the religion) nor the same as anti-Zionism (arguments against Israel). In history, influential Christian theologians concocted the arguments against Jews that led, very early on, to widespread Christian action against Jews23,24,25,26. As Christianity rose to power in the West and presided over the Dark Ages, there were widespread violent outbursts against Jews of the most persistent and horrible kind. The Crusades were frequently aimed at them and the feared Spanish Inquisition paid Jews particular attention. The horror of the holocaust instigated by German Nazis in the 1940s was followed (finally) by the era of European human rights and a movement against racism in general.

The places that are the least anti-Semitical are a few countries of south-east Asia (Laos, the Philippines and Vietnam) and some of the secular liberal democracies of Europe (Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK). The worst countries for antisemitism are Islamic states of the Middle East27, which are undergoing their own Dark Age. Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco, Indonesia, Pakistan and Turkey see the most oppressive and violent actions towards Jews28,29. Jews in Muslim countries face a host of restrictions and "ceaseless humiliation and regular pogroms"30. In 2004 the European Union Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia reported on violent anti-Jew crimes in the EU and found that that largest group of perpetrators were young Muslim males31.

See:

4.2. LGBT Equality

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

LGBT Equality (2017)32
Pos.Higher is better
Score32
1Malta63
2Cyprus40
3Fiji32
4Timor-Leste (E. Timor)30
5Taiwan25
6Seychelles25
7Dominican Rep.25
8Cape Verde25
9Marshall Islands20
10Nauru20
11Palau20
12Sao Tome & Principe20
13Micronesia20
14Haiti15
15Vanuatu15
16Bahamas10
17Bahrain-2
18Kiribati-5
19Jamaica-5
20Grenada-5
21Dominica-5
22Cook Islands-5
23St Lucia-9
24Barbados-10
25Mauritius-10
26Trinidad & Tobago-10
27Samoa-10
28Antigua & Barbuda-10
29St Vincent & Grenadines-10
30Brunei-14
31Singapore-15
32Maldives-19
33St Kitts & Nevis-25
34Tonga-30
35Comoros-30
36Tuvalu-30
37Solomon Islands-44
Small Islands Avg02.8
World Avg12.6
q=37.

Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) folk is rife across the world. Legal restrictions co-exist alongside social stigmatisation and physical violence33. 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 laws34. Despite this, homosexual activity is outlawed in around 80 countries33. 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.

See: