People in Punakha, Bhutan. Editorial credit: Kateryna Mashkevych /


Bhutan is a constitutional monarchy that has made significant strides toward becoming a consolidated democracy over the past decade. It has held credible elections and undergone transfers of power to opposition parties. Ongoing problems include discrimination against Nepali-speaking and non-Buddhist minorities, media self-censorship, and, increasingly, the use of libel and defamation cases to silence journalists.

Freedom in the World 2023

Freedom in the World — Bhutan Country Report

Bhutan is rated Partly Free in Freedom in the World 2023, Freedom House's annual study of political rights and civil liberties worldwide.