Asia-Pacific | Page 117 | Freedom House

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.You can read more about our work in the region here.


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

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

Percent computed by population. Population source data.

News & Updates

At first glance, it might seem counterintuitive that media freedom is on the decline. After all, in a world in which news is being produced by a broader range of professionals – as well as citizen journalists and bloggers – information is flowing at faster rates than ever before. And with news being transmitted through a greater variety of mediums – including newspapers, radio, television, the internet, mobile phones, flash drives, and social media – one might expect the level of media freedom worldwide to be improving, not worsening.

Freedom House urges the Chinese authorities to immediately allow Chen Kegui, the nephew of blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng, to seek medical attention for appendicitis. In November 2012, Chen Kegui was sentenced to three years and three months in prison for “intentionally inflicting injuries” after a deeply flawed trial. Many observers believe his imprisonment and abuse are in retaliation for his uncle’s daring escape to the U.S. Embassy last year and ongoing public advocacy for human rights in China from the United States, where he currently resides.

Distinguished Fellow for Democracy Studies

The most recent in China's growing list of transnational censorship efforts involves the University of Sydney, one of Australia’s most respected institutions of higher education. According to a Reuters report, the university’s Institute for Democracy and Human Rights had invited the Dalai Lama to speak at a campus forum during his planned visit to the country in June. Subsequently, university authorities demanded that the event be moved off campus, that the university logo not be displayed, that there be no press coverage, and that attendance by campaigners for a free Tibet be barred. Not surprisingly, organizers called off the event instead.

Senior Program Associate, International Religious Freedom
Senior Program Associate, Internet Freedom


According to a 2012 Win-Gallup poll of some 50,000 individuals from 57 countries, 36 percent of respondents classified their religious identity as “Atheist” or “Non-Religious.” The result indicated a shift of 12 percentage points from “Religious” to the other two categories since 2005, when the poll was last conducted. However, the interests of nonbelievers are still frequently ignored in discussions of religious freedom and persecution around the world.

Pages

Experts

Senior Research Analyst for China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan

Sarah Cook is a Senior Research Analyst for China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan at Freedom House.

Issues: 
Regions: 
Senior Vice President, Programs

Lisa Dickieson is senior vice president for programs. Before joining Freedom House, she was head of the Democracy and Governance Practice at Chemonics International.

Research Analyst, Freedom on the Net

Allie Funk serves as a Research Analyst on the Freedom on the Net team.

33 million people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
5.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
22 million people
Internet:
Free
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
21
(0 = Best, 100 = Worst) / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
153 million people
Internet:
Partly Free
Press:
Not Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
4.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
54
(0 = Best, 100 = Worst) / 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
Partly Free
Scores Overview
5.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
63
(0 = Best, 100 = Worst) / 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
52
(0 = Best, 100 = Worst) / 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
87
(0 = Best, 100 = Worst) / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
23 million people
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
844 thousand people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
3.0 / 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
41
(0 = Best, 100 = Worst) / 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
47
(0 = Best, 100 = Worst) / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
128 million people
Internet:
Free
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
23
(0 = Best, 100 = Worst) / 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
35
(0 = Best, 100 = Worst) / 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
(0 = Best, 100 = Worst) / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
331 thousand people
Press:
Not Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
5.0 / 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
3.5 / 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
71
(0 = Best, 100 = Worst) / 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
28
(0 = Best, 100 = Worst) / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
552 thousand people
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
2.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
21 million people
Internet:
Partly Free
Press:
Not Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
3.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
43
(0 = Best, 100 = Worst) / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
70 million people
Internet:
Not Free
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
5.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
67
(0 = Best, 100 = Worst) / 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
76
(0 = Best, 100 = Worst) / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
Scores Overview

Programs

In Southeast Asia, Freedom House programs enable citizens to assert their rights and supports their efforts to gain a greater say in how they are governed.

Issues: 
Regions: 

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. 

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.