This piece was originally published by The Guardian, in print and online.
Fundamental human rights are reported to have diminished in almost two-thirds of the 113 countries surveyed for the 2018 Rule of Law Index, amid concerns over a worldwide surge in authoritarian nationalism and a retreat from international legal obligations.
“All signs point to a crisis not just for human rights, but for the human rights movement,” said Professor Samuel Moyn of Yale University. “Within many nations, these fundamental rights are falling prey to the backlash against a globalising economy in which the rich are winning. But human rights movements have not historically set out to name or shame inequality.”
The 2018 index, published by the World Justice Project (WJP), gathers data from more than 110,000 households and 3,000 experts to compare their experiences of legal systems worldwide, by calculating weighted scores across eight separate categories. While Venezuela retains its unwanted position at the bottom of the index – just behind Cambodia and Afghanistan – the Philippines is this year’s biggest faller, dropping 18 places to 88th in the table, on top of a slump of nine places in the 2016 survey.