Republic of South Sudan
[Country Profile Page]
|Social and Moral Index||193rd best|
|Life Expectancy||56.13yrs (2017)2|
|GNI||$1 882 (2017)3|
|ISO3166-1 Codes||SS, SSD, 4|
South Sudan is generally poor at ensuring human rights and freedom compared to the rest of the world. S. Sudan does better than average in speed of uptake of HR treaties8. However S. Sudan performs less well in most areas. It does worse than average when it comes to commentary in Human Rights Watch reports9, supporting press freedom10 and in LGBT equality11. Since 2013 South Sudan´s civil war has seen atrocities and war crimes committed consistently by both sides, in some cases possibly constituting crimes against humanity12.
|Human Rights, Equality & Tolerance (2020)13,14|
|Pos.||Lower is better|
|122||St Vincent & Grenadines||103.8|
The best countries in the world at ensuring human rights, fostering equality and promoting tolerance, are Denmark, Sweden and Norway13. These countries are displaying the best traits that humanity has to offer. The worst countries are Tuvalu, The Solomon Islands and Palestine13.
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 Europe13, whereas the worst are Micronesia, Melanesia and Australasia13.
“In 2017, South Sudan´s civil war entered its fourth year. [...] featuring highly abusive government counterinsurgency operations. The government continued to restrict media, suppress critics, and unlawfully detain people for perceived opposition.
Since the start of the conflict, almost 2 million people have been internally displaced, and another 2 million have sought refuge in neighboring countries, with 1 million in Uganda alone. More than 230,000 people are sheltering in six United Nations bases in towns across the country. [...]
Both sides have committed abuses that qualify as war crimes, including looting, indiscriminate attacks on civilians and the destruction of civilian property, arbitrary arrests and detention, beatings and torture, enforced disappearances, rape including gang rape, and extrajudicial executions. Some abuses may also constitute crimes against humanity.”
|Human Rights Watch Comments (2017)9|
|Pos.||Higher is better|
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.
|HR Treaties Lag (2019)8|
|Pos.||Lower is better|
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.
|Press Freedom (2013)10|
|Pos.||Lower is better10|
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".
“Authorities harassed, detained, and interrogated journalists and editors. [...] South Sudanese authorities restricted international journalists from covering the conflict, including by refusing to grant them visas or accreditation, and accusing them of publishing articles critical of the government. The government blocked numerous independent online news sites.”
|Pos.||Lower is better|
|164||Central African Rep.||2.23|
The taking of slaves has been an unwholesome feature of Human cultures since prehistory16. 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' friends17. 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 life18. But they were not the only ones to blame; in Africa internal nations such as the Asantes sold and bought tens of thousands of slaves19.
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 slavery20. 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 dignity21. 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.22. Some industries (diamond, clothing, coal) from some countries (Burundi15, Eritrea15, Indonesia23) are a particular concern. The Walk Free Foundation, say that in 2016, 40.3 million people were living in modern slavery24.
|LGBT Equality (2017)11|
|Pos.||Higher is better|
|135||Trinidad & Tobago||-10|
|137||Papua New Guinea||-10|
|139||Antigua & Barbuda||-10|
|140||St Vincent & Grenadines||-10|
Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) folk is rife across the world. Legal restrictions co-exist alongside social stigmatisation and physical violence25. 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 laws26. Despite this, homosexual activity is outlawed in around 80 countries25. 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.