The Global Expression Report summarises major developments in freedom of expression around the world.
Based on unrivalled qualitative data from 161 countries covering 2018, and a backward glance from 2019 the Global Expression Report details the factors that contribute to the health (or otherwise) of freedom of expression globally.
We look at trends over a ten-year period and identify opportunities for change, and as with last years report, we see that freedom of expression is at its lowest point for a decade.
Too many countries are encouraging a downward trend in the rights of their own people. The data translates into a bald fact, that three of every four people on the planet are experiencing a deteriorating environment for freedom of expression. We extrapolate from these figures that 5.5 billion people are living in countries where a vitally important human right is being increasingly restricted.
Statistics are often hard to digest, but they need to remind ourselves: In 2018, 99 journalists were killed – 21 more than 2017. Global impunity rates for these crimes continue to soar, at over 95%. At the end of 2018, more than 250 journalists were in prison – also up from the year before. 321 human rights defenders were also killed – up nine from 2017.
We see worldwide the two inter-linked freedoms, of expression and access to information, are subject to a range of sustained globalised forces. We see that tactics aimed at suppression are multiform, and while old strategies remain effective (such as silencing of journalists), new tactics are added to the armoury every year. The year under review was no exception.
The Global Expression Report is based on what we call the “XpA metric”, which comprises the 39 indicators from the V-Dem data set.
The XPA metric
Measuring freedom of expression
Using this multi-dimensional dataset, we can measure aspects of democracy, social justice, and human rights around the world. It is possible to not only measures the safety of journalists and the laws governing how we communicate, but it also provides a full picture of how free people are to express themselves – to discuss, speak, disagree, and inform themselves.
The five defining elements of expression can be explored below along with a brief summary of the changes we have seen since last years report. Click the drop-downs to reveal the summaries, and learn how regions, countries and themes inter-relate to produce the overall score.
Explore the Global Expression Report 2018/19
The Global Expression Report tracks global trends across major issues of freedom of expression and information, and how they are experienced in various countries.