UN Human Rights Council Finishes its First Year

July 5th, 2007 - by admin

Rene Wadlow / Toward Freedom.com & Brett D. Schaefer / The Heritage Foundation – 2007-07-05 22:33:43


UN Human Rights Council: One Year’s Record, Lights and Shadows
Rene Wadlow / Toward Freedom.com

(July 2, 2007) — The United Nations Human Rights Council has just finished at the end of June 2007 its first year as the new human rights framework. The Council replaced the UN Commission on Human Rights, which was a subsidiary body of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). When the UN Charter was being drafted in the early months of 1945, no one expected that human rights would come to play such a large role in the UN’s work.

The Nazi death camps had not yet been opened nor the A-Bomb dropped on Hiroshima — the two crimes against which human rights efforts will always be judged.

The UN Charter signed at San Francisco was structured around three key bodies: the General Assembly, the Security Council, and the Economic and Social Council. Every activity, largely carryovers from the League of Nations days, which did not have an obvious place elsewhere, was put as a subsidiary body of ECOSOC: women, statistics, narcotics, population, human rights etc.

Each resolution passed in a subsidiary body had to be presented and potentially debated in ECOSOC before being sent on to a committee of the General Assembly. This procedure allowed governments which had failed to prevent a resolution in the Commission on Human Rights to gather support to bloc the resolution in ECOSOC or to delay it by sending it back for further study in the Commission on Human Rights.

The need to have a resolution debated in ECOSOC could delay a Commission on Human Rights resolution for six months — a fatal delay in some cases of pressing matters.

By resolution A/60/251 of the General Assembly, the Human Rights Council was created: in the UN it is on a par with the now unused Trusteeship Council. Thus resolutions move directly from the Human Rights Council to the General Assembly. Governments have also learned how to bloc human rights resolutions in the General Assembly, but, at least, the new procedure has cut out one step whose function was, in practice, to slow things down.

The Council’s membership was cut from 53 in the Commission to 47 in the Council. Each state serves for a three-year term, renewable once. Although regional blocs are not designated in the UN Charter, their use has developed in UN practice, each bloc making its own choice of candidates.

In the case of the Council, the 47 are distributed as follows among the regional groups: African states, 13; Asian states (which includes the Arab countries), 13; Eastern European states, 6; Latin American and Caribbean states, 8; Western European and other states (other means, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and depending on the case, Israel), 7.

All other UN member states can attend the Council sessions but not vote on resolutions. They can, however, be co-sponsors of a resolution presented by Council members. There are two non-member states which attend as observers — Palestine and the Vatican (Holy See), both of which play active roles. In addition to states, there are UN Specialized Agencies or programs such as the ILO, UNESCO and the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees which play active roles on certain issues, giving information and discussing with government representatives.

The representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been very active in the UN human rights bodies. NGO representatives can be grouped for analysis into three categories: single issue or single country (Kashmir, Burma, Nepal, Central America, Palestine, indigenous peoples); country specific but with a range of countries (Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch etc); broad issue NGOs (women, children, religious liberty, torture).

Some NGO representatives cooperate together to push a set of issues. The most effective at cooperation have been the women’s NGOs who have worked hard to raise the profile of issues concerning women.

There was also a good deal of cooperation to get certain types of violation to center stage such as torture or arbitrary detention. Those representatives working on the violations in a single country try to get other NGOs interested. Thus NGOs will often sign a common petition or make joint statements.

However, government representatives quickly find who is taking the lead against them and work hard to undermine the NGO representative. The NGO representatives organize informal briefings in other UN meeting rooms where they inform or update other NGOs as to what has been going on. Government representatives are welcome to attend the briefings but few do.

In practice, but not in theory, there is only a limited amount of energy and attention available. Once this energy is used up, everything else is done on automatic pilot. Resolutions are passed unchanged from one year to the next, and one can sense by the amount of private conversations going on in the room if a topic has energy behind it or not. Some years the amount of energy available will be used up in totally futile discussions.

For three years running, speeches and counter-speeches of India and Pakistan on Kashmir used up all the energy with no proposition or better understanding coming out. Other years, the US attack on Cuba’s human rights record and the multiform Cuban defense used up all the energy, again with little modification of the situation on the ground.

This year, the Human Rights Council’s available energy was used on the Israel-Lebanon war and to a lesser extent Israeli actions against the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. The second focus of energy was Darfur, Sudan. In both cases, the Council did a good job within the limits of the tools they have. Obviously, the Middle East and Sudanese issues cannot be solved by the Human Rights Council alone.

There has been some criticism from people that other, serious human rights issues are not addressed. But such criticisms do not come from those who have long followed the Commission on Human Rights. There have always been selections on which states are addressed.

As one of the NGO leaders working on Burma, we “won” on Burma because governments needed to call attention to human rights violations in one Asian country, and China, the other country on which some of us were working, had too many friends or clients. But China was too busy defending itself to give time and resources to defending Burma. Thus a Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Burma was named. There has never been a resolution on China passed in the Commission.

Basically, the issues on which the Commission and now the Council work are real issues. They are not, however, all the issues that merit attention. The weakness of the Council should provoke greater cooperation among NGOs. The UN is a reflection of the world in which we live. Its ideals provide guidelines and its institutions a framework for action.

The government representatives, the UN secretariat and the NGO representatives represent a cross section of humanity, neither all good nor all evil. The victories for human rights are small, but they are real.

Rene Wadlow is the Editor of www.transnational-persdpectives.org and an NGO representative to the United Nations, Geneva.

The UN Human Rights Council Is Not Enough:
Time for a New Approach to Human Rights

Brett D. Schaefer / The Heritage Foundation (Backgrounder #1910)

(February 8, 2006) — The United Nations’ record on promoting basic human rights is one of decline. The drafters of the Charter of the United Nations included a pledge by member states “to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women.” [1]

U.N. treaties, such as the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, which the General Assembly passed in 1948, form the core of international standards for human rights. Each U.N. member state is party to at least one of the seven major human rights treaties. Yet the U.N.’s record in promoting basic human rights in recent times has been one of failure and inaction.

Perhaps no institution illustrates this more than the U.N. Commission on Human Rights (CHR). As the premier human rights body in the U.N. system, the CHR is supposed to hold “public meetings to review the human rights performance of States, to adopt new standards and to promote human rights around the world.” [2]

Sadly, the CHR has devolved into a feckless organization that human rights abusers use to block criticism or action to promote human rights. Even Secretary-General Kofi Annan has acknowledged, “We have reached a point at which the commission’s declining credibility has cast a shadow on the reputation of the United Nations system.”[3]

Considering the tattered state of the U.N.’s reputa­tion in the wake of the Oil-for-Food scandal, peace­keeping abuses in the Congo and elsewhere, and the recent procurement scandals, one would think that the U.N. would act quickly to address the dysfunctional embarrassment of the CHR.

Regrettably, while the United States and other countries have been fighting to replace the CHR with a smaller, more effective Human Rights Council, other coun­tries that are eager to prevent scrutiny or criticism of their actions have strongly opposed these efforts.

While it is too early to predict the final outcome of negotiations, it seems likely that the resulting council will fall far short of the reformed, effective body sought by the U.S. This is hardly surprising because every nation can claim U.N. membership, regardless of its dedication to basic human rights and freedoms, and the U.N. reflects the lack of freedom and respect for human rights among its membership.

Until the U.N. can overcome this problem, the U.S. and other countries that seek to advance basic human rights should establish an independent group of politically and economically free nations to supplement and encourage U.N. efforts to promote basic human rights and freedoms.

The Struggle for Reform
The Commission on Human Rights was created by the U.N. Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 1946 to examine, monitor, and report on human rights issues in countries and human rights violations worldwide. It meets annu­ally for six weeks in March and April in Geneva, Switzerland. The CHR is subsidiary to ECOSOC, and its 53 members are elected by regional group­ings.[4] There are no qualifications for membership aside from being selected by the regional group.

The commission has fallen far from the aspira­tions of its founders. Its most important achievement was completing the Universal Declaration on Human Rights in 1948. Subsequent years were spent developing standards relating to the basic rights outlined in that document.

In recent years, however, the commission has been hijacked by human rights abusers that have used it to prevent scrutiny of human rights abuses inside their borders and block action against abus­ers. An egregious example is the failure of the com­mission to confront well-documented abuses in the Darfur region of Sudan—inaction that is abetted by Sudan’s membership on the CHR. Six of the 53 CHR members—China, Cuba, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Zimbabwe—were considered among world’s “worst of the worst” abusers of human rights by Freedom House in 2005.[5] In a mockery of the commission’s purpose, Libya served as CHR chairman in 2003.

The commission’s inability to confront human rights abusers in the U.N. led the United States and other advocates to demand that it be replaced with a more effective Human Rights Council. The U.S. and other countries have sought to make this council a smaller, more effective advocate for human rights, with standards for membership to make it more difficult for human rights abusers to serve. Specifically, the U.S. has sought to:

Establish the Human Rights Council as a prin­cipal U.N. organ that is not subordinate to the General Assembly;

Adopt minimum criteria for membership, such as prohibiting membership for countries that are subject to Security Council sanction;

Require members to be elected by a two-thirds majority of the General Assembly;

Limit the size of the council to 20 to 30 mem­bers (according to news reports), which would be much smaller than the unwieldy and ineffi­cient 53-member CHR;

Have the council sit in permanent session so that human rights abuses could be considered year-round instead of just six weeks during the year; and

Adopt a peer review system under which human rights records would be judged by other states.[6]

These reforms are strongly opposed by countries that have long used the commission to impede scrutiny and block action against human rights abusers. As a result, the Outcome Document for the September 2005 World Summit said next to nothing on the Human Rights Council aside from endorsing its creation. [7]

The subsequent months have been spent in time-consuming negotiations over the shape of the new council. Opponents of an effective council have steadfastly opposed allowing the council to sit in permanent session or set any criteria for membership. They have sought to make the council subservient to the General Assembly and to keep it at 53 members apportioned by geography.

They have even rejected the idea that countries under Security Council sanction should be barred from membership, which would affect only seven of the 191 U.N. member states. Indeed, if the opponents of reform have their way, the only change between the Commission on Human Rights and the Human Rights Council will be the name.

The February 1 draft proposal for the Human Rights Council demonstrates that the opponents of reform are succeeding in blocking major changes.[8] The proposal would:

• Make the council a subsidiary organ of the General Assembly.

• Minimally reduce the membership to 45 (compared to the CHR’s 53 members).

• Allocate a specified number of seats to regional blocs, reinforcing opportunities for the type of backroom power brokering that aided human rights abusers to gain CHR membership.

• Not require the regional groupings to offer more countries than slots, which would deny the overall membership an opportunity to vote against a particularly unqualified candidate.

• Not adopt specific qualifications for membership or bar any member of the U.N.—not even those under Security Council sanction—from sitting on the council. Instead, the proposal requests, “When electing members of the Council, Member States shall take into consideration the candi­dates’ contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights and the voluntary pledges and commitments made thereto.… Members shall also take into account whether there are any situations that constitute systematic and gross violations of human rights or any agreed measures currently in place at the United Nations against a candidate for human rights violations.”

• Formally establish controversial “rights” under the council’s authority, such as the right to development, and instruct the council to promote and protect an unspecified collection of “civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights.”

• Require the council to meet at least three times per year, only marginally increasing the session to a minimum of 10 weeks versus six weeks for the CHR.

• Subject council members to periodic review of their human rights practices based on “objective and reliable information.”

Agreement has not been reached on whether election to the council by the General Assembly will require a simple majority vote or a two-thirds majority vote. While the two-thirds requirement could make it more difficult for human rights abusers to gain seats, it is no panacea and is unlikely to deny seats to noted human rights abusers like China, Cuba, or Saudi Arabia, which wield considerable influence in the regional blocs and the General Assembly. Even viewed in the most positive light, this proposal falls far short of the reform benchmarks set forth by the United States.

Unrealistic Expectations
It should surprise no one that the council will be less than ideal. After all, every nation claims mem­bership in the U.N. even though many fail to adhere to the principles embodied in the U.N. Charter, including the commitment to fundamental human rights. [9] Indeed, many member states actively subvert those principles and repress their own populations.

The very culture of the U.N. lends itself to obfuscation, and debates over basic human rights frequently devolve into arguments over the merits of various entitlements and demands for the developed world to give additional resources and special privileges to develop­ing countries.[10]

Pakistani Ambassador to the United Nations Munir Akram illustrated this point by expressing outrage at the suggestion that states under U.N. sanction for human rights abuses should be ineligi­ble for membership on the council:

The presumption that a country is a violator of human rights is very subjective. If you want to create criteria…that exclude certain countries, why not those that don’t support trade liberalization or that don’t implement foreign aid targets? The knife cuts both ways .[11]

Regrettably, such assertions that failing to meet arbitrary aid targets is morally equivalent to state-sanctioned rape, slavery, religious persecution, or genocide are all too common at the U.N.

The problem facing the Commission on Human Rights or the proposed Human Rights Council in the promotion of basic human rights and freedoms is that a substantial portion of the U.N. membership simply does not observe these standards.

According to Freedom House, less than half of the U.N. membership is politically free. The 2006 edition of Freedom in the World lists only 89 countries that are considered free in terms of political rights and civil liberties. Worse, “six of the eighteen most repressive governments— those of China, Cuba, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Zimbabwe—are members of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), repre­senting nearly 11 percent of the 53-member body…. An additional nine countries Freedom House rates as ‘Not Free’ enjoy membership on the Commission: Bhutan, Egypt, Guinea, Mauritania, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Swaziland, and Togo. Together, ‘Not Free’ countries comprise just over one quarter of the Commission’s membership.” [12]

According to the 2006 Index of Economic Freedom, published by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal, less than half of the U.N. membership is economically “free” or “mostly free.” [13] The Index lists only 20 of 161 countries as economically “free.”

Even including “mostly free” countries, there are only 72 countries in the top two categories of economic freedom. [14] Well over half of the 2005 CHR membership were economically “mostly unfree” or “repressed” according to the 2006 Index.

The regrettable reality is that the U.N. reflects the lack of freedom among its membership. The 191-member General Assembly—strongly influenced by China, Cuba, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, and other nations opposed to an effective human rights body—will not create an independent Human Rights Council capable of taking strong actions on human rights abusers. It is therefore unrealistic to expect the U.N. to lead the effort to confront human rights abusers among its membership.

Time for a Two-Track Approach
On Human Rights

When asked about the negotiations over the Human Rights Council, U.S Ambassador John Bolton declared, “We want a butterfly. We’re not going to put lipstick on a caterpillar and declare it a success.” An effective human rights body in the U.N. could greatly bolster efforts to strengthen basic human rights and representative government.

However, such a body does not exist and is unlikely to be established if the recent proposal is any indication. Any objective observer must con­clude that the draft proposal for the Human Rights Council is far closer to a caterpillar than to a butterfly.

The question is what the United States should do about this disappointment. Continued negotiation may yield incremental improvements, but the result­ing council is unlikely to meet the standard sought by the U.S. The temptation to walk away from the inadequate council by suspending American partic­ipation and support is strong and has its merits. Such an action would make a clear statement about the council’s failings and absolve the U.S. of culpabil­ity in the council’s likely course of milquetoast inac­tion. It could possibly even spur further reform.

However, walking away would also minimize U.S. influence in the council and probably further weaken the council’s determination to confront human rights abusers. A better solution would be for the U.S. to use membership on the council to push its human rights agenda in council and to protect U.S. interests by blocking codification of objectionable “rights” while simultaneously creat­ing a supplementary human rights effort outside of the U.N. framework and political limitations.

The bipartisan Task Force on the United Nations observed that “until the United Nations holds its members accountable for their failure to observe well-established human rights norms, the United Nations is not the best forum for the pro­posed Human Rights Council.”[15] Indeed, there is no reason why the council should be the only mul­tilateral body dedicated to advancing basic human rights and freedoms.

An independent human rights body composed solely of countries dedi­cated to advancing and protecting basic human rights and freedoms could supplement the coun­cil’s efforts and pressure it into becoming more vig­orous and assertive in its inquiries, reviews, and actions.

Suggesting that governments create a more active international body to promote basic human rights and freedoms is hardly heretical. Indeed, the Council for a Community of Democracies, the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and other organiza­tions already seek to promote democracy and human rights outside of the U.N. framework.

These organizations vary in their formal structures, binding commitments, and supporting structures and bureaucracies. Theoretically, one of them could be modified to remove the regional limita­tions on membership and extend its focus on democracy and human rights to include economic liberty, but they already perform useful tasks, and establishing a new complementary group may well be a better and easier option, given the difficulty in reforming any multilateral organization.

The United States should approach other nations that are dedicated to promoting basic human rights and freedoms about cosponsoring a summit to establish an independent group to promote basic human rights and protect individual liberty. To minimize politicization of membership in this body, qualification should be determined by inde­pendent analysis of government policies on basic human rights, including political and economic freedom.

A variety of measures are available. For example, using an eligibility standard of “free” countries according to Freedom in the World 2006 and “free” or “mostly free” countries according to the 2006 Index of Economic Freedom would yield a group of at least 54 countries from all regions of the world that provide strong protections to their citi­zens’ economic and political rights.[16]

Establishing an independent human rights body outside the U.N. does not preclude cooperation with the U.N., or even merging such a body with the U.N. at some future date, if the U.N.’s member­ship were to change in a way that made it more likely to promote basic human rights and freedoms aggressively. To minimize barriers to this future option, the body should be informal, perhaps mod­eled after the G-8, and meet as often and for as long as deemed necessary to address specific human rights problems or jointly review basic human rights and freedoms around the world.

The inefficiency inherent in a group of this size should be mitigated by the common observance of basic human rights and political and economic freedom, but a much smaller executive committee should also be selected to conduct reviews and recom­mend action on countries that violate the group’s established principles. Failure to maintain mem­bership standards should result in censure or ejec­tion from the human rights body.

Governments, nongovernmental organizations, and others seeking to strengthen the observance of basic human rights should not let their affection for the U.N. blind them to its inability to hold abusers to account. The priority should be to advance the cause of basic human rights and political and eco­nomic freedom. These goals are best achieved through a two-track approach to human rights— one in the U.N. and the other outside the U.N. in the form of an independent supplementary group of economically and politically free nations.

Human rights advocates should not shy away from uncomfortable truths. Perhaps the U.N. will one day be dominated by democratic states that respect the basic rights and freedoms of their citi­zens and demand similar standards from all U.N. member states, but that is not the U.N. of today.

Failure by the U.S. and other nations to create a smaller, more effective Human Rights Council that excludes human rights abusers and non-democra­cies from membership should be a clear sign that the U.N. is too heavily influenced by the human rights abusers to serve as the sole authority for human rights. The U.S. and other like-minded countries should establish a supplementary, inde­pendent human rights body that meets those stan­dards outside the U.N. framework.

Brett D. Schaefer is Jay Kingham Fellow in Inter­national Regulatory Affairs in the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, a division of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Stud­ies, at The Heritage Foundation.


[1] Charter of the United Nations, preamble, at http://www.un.org/aboutun/charter/index.html (January 26, 2006).

[2] United Nations, “UN in Brief: What the UN Does for Justice, Human Rights and International Law,” at http://www.un.org/Overview/brief3.html (February 6, 2006).

[3] Mark P. Lagon, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Interna­tional Organization Affairs, U.S. Department of State, “The UN Commission on Human Rights: Protector or Accomplice?” testimony before the Subcommittee on Africa, Committee on International Relations, U.S. House of Representatives, April 19, 2005, at http://www.state.gov/p/io/rls/rm/44983.htm (February 4, 2006).

[4] Current membership is allocated by group, with 15 states from Africa; 12 states from Asia; 11 states from Latin America and the Caribbean; 10 states from the Western European and Others group, which includes the United States; and five states from Eastern Europe. For a current list of members, see U.N. Commission on Human Rights, “Membership,” at http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu2/2/chrmem.htm (February 4, 2006).

[5] Press release, “World’s Worst Regimes Revealed,” Freedom House, March 31, 2005, at http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=70&release=255 (February 4, 2006).

[6] Hudson Institute and Touro Law Center Institute for Human Rights, “Summary of the Outcome of the Human Rights Com­mission Negotiations: Nothing to Show,” Eye on the UN, 2005, at http://www.eyeontheun.com/un-reform.asp?p=77 (February 4, 2006).

[7] “Human Rights Council,” 2005 World Summit Outcome, General Assembly Resolution A/RES/60/1, October 24, 2005, p. 33, at http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N05/487/60/PDF/N0548760.pdf?OpenElement.

[8] U.N. General Assembly, “Human Rights Council,” draft resolution, co-chair’s text, February 1, 2006, at http://www.eyeontheun.org/ assets/attachments/documents/Draft%20of%20HR%20Council%20text%202-2-06.pdf (February 4, 2006).

[9] Charter of the United Nations, preamble.

[10] Joseph Loconte, “Relativism and Rights: Utopian Illusions Are Preventing Practical Reforms of the Human Rights Commission,” National Review Online, February 2, 2006, at http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/loconte200602020832.asp (February 4, 2006).

[11] Bloomberg, “U.S. Drive to Remake UN Stalled; Penalties Threatened,” January 11, 2006, at http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000086&sid=aeqOc0MAhbYM (February 4, 2006).

[12] Press release, “World’s Worst Regimes Revealed.”

[13] Marc A. Miles, Kim R. Holmes, and Mary Anastasia O’Grady, 2006 Index of Economic Freedom (Washington, D.C.: The Her­itage Foundation and Dow Jones & Company, Inc., 2006), at http://www.heritage.org/index (February 4, 2006).

[14] While most human rights groups and treaties do not specifically identify economic freedom among basic human rights, economic freedom is a critical element in individual liberty without which the notion of basic human rights is hollow. What can be more fundamental to human rights than the freedom to enjoy the fruits of one’s own labor? Protecting indi­viduals from unreasonable or excessive confiscation of their property is central to liberty, and permitting unreasonable state confiscation of earnings or property severely inhibits their ability to provide for their families and the pursuit of their hap­piness. Such ties between economic and political liberty extend back to the very beginnings of thought into the idea of inalienable human rights, whose foremost philosophers perceived such liberties as inextricable. For instance, John Locke asserted that “every man has a property in his own person: this no body has any right to but himself. The labour of his body, and the work of his hands, we may say, are properly his.” Thus, “[t]he great and chief end…of men’s uniting into commonwealths, and putting themselves under government, is the preservation of their property. To which in the state of nature there are many things wanting.” John Locke, The Second Treatise of Civil Government, 1690, Chap. 5, Section 27, and Chap. 9, Section 124, at http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/phl302/texts/locke/locke2/2nd-contents.html (February 6, 2006). As Thomas Jefferson noted in his 1801 inaugural address, “A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and all that is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.” Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson: Writings (New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1984), p. 494. These ideals form the core of the U.S. Constitution and the earlier Declaration of Independence, which in turn were the inspiration for international recognition of inherent individual rights.

[15] United States Institute of Peace, Task Force on the United Nations, American Interests and UN Reform: Report of the Task Force on the United Nations, June 2005, p. 34, at http://www.usip.org/un/report/usip_un_report.pdf (February 4, 2006).

[16] The countries that were both “free” according to Freedom House’s Freedom in the World 2006 and economically “free” or “mostly free” in the 2006 Index of Economic Freedom are Australia, Austria, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Botswana, Bulgaria, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Esto­nia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxem­bourg, Malta, Mexico, Mongolia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Uruguay. Because Freedom in the World ranks 192 countries and the Index ranks only 161, there may be additional countries that could qualify but are not covered by both publications. One example is Lichtenstein, which is not graded in the Index but would probably be rated “free” or “mostly free.” Freedom House, “Freedom in the World 2006: Selected Data from Freedom House’s Annual Global Survey of Political Rights and Civil Liberties,” at http://www.freedomhouse.org/uploads/pdf/Charts2006.pdf (February 4, 2006), and Miles et al., 2006 Index of Economic Freedom.

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