Asia-Pacific

Over the past five years, the Asia-Pacific region has been the only one to record steady gains in political rights and civil liberties as measured by Freedom House. Although it is home to China, where over half the world’s Not Free population lives, and North Korea, the least free country in the world, a number of Asia-Pacific countries have made impressive gains in the institutions of electoral democracy—elections, political parties, pluralism—and in freedom of association. Nonetheless, problems persist regarding many fundamental rights, and Freedom House supports local civil society groups throughout Southeast Asia in promoting and advocating the work of human rights defenders.

Asterisks in the country list below indicate a territory rather than a country.

Countries & Territories: 45
3.9 billion people
38% free
Press:
5% free

Percent computed by population. Population source data.

News & Updates

A Chinese court’s conviction on Sept. 23 of Ilham Tohti, an economics professor, on charges of “separatism” and its sentencing him to life imprisonment highlight the government’s efforts to subdue unrest in Xinjiang, the country’s far-western region that is also home to most Uighurs, the Muslim ethnic group to which Tohti belongs.

Issues: 
Human Rights Defense
Regions: 
Asia-Pacific
written by
Arch Puddington
Vice President for Research



In recent commentaries on the bleak state of global freedom, analysts have used a series of labels to describe the trajectory of democracy: “stagnation,” “erosion,” “recession,” and even “decline” for those who view the trends with alarm.

One label that has not been applied to current conditions is “reversal.”

written by
Gigi Alford
Senior Program Officer, Internet Freedom



Many governments, particularly authoritarian regimes, are attempting to impose political borders on the global internet, isolating users in repressive countries and impoverishing the web for all.

In light of Vietnam's crackdown against civil society, including the recent sentencing of three prominent activists to lengthy prison terms for advocating on behalf of peasants losing their land, Freedom House calls on the U.S. government and the international community to press the Government of Vietnam to release the activists and meet its human rights obligations under the ICCPR.

Issues: 
Democratic Governance, Human Rights Defense, Religious Freedom
Regions: 
Asia-Pacific

Experts

Senior Program Officer, Dignity for All: LGBTI Assistance Program


Regions: 
Senior Advocacy Officer


Annie Boyajian is Senior Advocacy Officer at Freedom House, and leads Freedom House's advocacy to the U.S. Congress and collaboration with American human rights groups.

Senior Research Analyst for East Asia

 

Regions: 
33 million people
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
6.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
22 million people
Internet:
Free
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
18 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
153 million people
Internet:
Partly Free
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
3.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
49 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
708 thousand people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
3.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
413 thousand people
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
5.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
55 million people
Internet:
Not Free
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
5.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
62 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
15 million people
Internet:
Partly Free
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
5.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
47 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
1.4 billion people
Internet:
Not Free
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
6.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
86 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
23 million people
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
844 thousand people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
5.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
1.3 billion people
Internet:
Partly Free
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
2.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
47 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
241 million people
Internet:
Partly Free
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
3.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
41 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
128 million people
Internet:
Free
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
22 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
25 million people
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
7.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
49 million people
Internet:
Partly Free
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
2.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
32 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
6.5 million people
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
6.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
29 million people
Internet:
Partly Free
Press:
Not Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
4.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
44 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
331 thousand people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
4.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
2.9 million people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
31 million people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
4.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
4.4 million people
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
180 million people
Internet:
Not Free
Press:
Not Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
4.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
67 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
7 million people
Press:
Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
3.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
96 million people
Internet:
Free
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
3.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
25 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
552 thousand people
Press:
Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
3.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
21 million people
Internet:
Partly Free
Press:
Not Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
4.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
58 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
70 million people
Internet:
Partly Free
Press:
Not Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
4.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
60 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
258 thousand people
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
2.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
89 million people
Internet:
Not Free
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
6.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
75 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
Scores Overview

Programs

Freedom House held a series of practitioners dialogues in 2013 where practitioners, experts, and human rights defenders and victims shared best practices and their lessons learned in the transitional justice processes they have taken part. The series linked practitioners and provided space to strategize about how to advance access to truth and justice. Each dialogue results in a report of the findings to present in international, regional, and national forums and programs.

Freedom House helps LGBTI rights groups in Southeast Asia to push back against the tide of intolerance.

Regions: 

The Lifeline Embattled CSO Assistance Fund provides emergency financial assistance to civil society organizations (CSOs) under threat or attack and advocacy support responding to broader threats to civil society. 

The Dignity for All: LGBTI Assistance Program provides emergency funds, advocacy support, and security assistance to human rights defenders and civil society organizations under threat or attack due to their work for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) human rights.

Freedom House administers several funds which offer emergency assistance to organizations and individuals around the world who are under threat because of their human rights work. The targeted, rapid-response aid we provide enables those at risk to protect themselves and continue their important work.

In Cambodia, Freedom House enhances indigenous expertise in conducting policy research and analysis on critical issues through targeted trainings and on-going capacity building.

Regions: 

Freedom House supports civil society groups’ efforts to actively engage ASEAN’s human rights mechanism, the ASEAN Inter-Governmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) and provides opportunities for strategic exchanges and knowledge-sharing sessions among activists.

Regions: