Friday, December 9, 2011


In conjunction with Human Rights Day, 2011, the CIRI Human Rights Data Project releases its ratings of government respect for 16 internationally-recognized human rights in almost every country in the world for the year 2010. The CIRI project's data stretch back, annually, to 1981 and can be freely accessed at

The CIRI data are used by governments, scholars, international organizations, businesses, think tanks, and students the world over for a wide variety of purposes. The project is Co-Directed by Dr. David L. Cingranelli (Binghamton University) and Dr. David L. Richards (University of Connecticut) and assisted by Senior CIRI Associate K. Chad Clay (University of Georgia). Any inquiries may be addressed to

Below, we present four types of stories from this year's released data:


All 14 of CIRI's indicators of particular human rights can be summed into an overall human rights score for each country in the world. The top (best) score a country can receive is 30, while the worst score would be 0. The world average was 18 and the USA scored 26 (tied for 5th place). Below are the best and worst of 2010.

Top 13 Countries:

Denmark [30]
Iceland [30]
Austria [29]
New Zealand [29]
Norway [29]
Australia [28]
Belgium [28]
Finland [28]
Liechtenstein [28]
Luxembourg [28]
Netherlands [28]
San Marino [28]
Sweden [28]

Bottom 10 Countries:

Burma [2]
Eritrea [2]
Iran [2]
China [3]

Korea, Democratic People's Republic of [3]
Yemen [3]
Zimbabwe [3]
Saudi Arabia [4]
Congo, Democratic Republic of [5]
Nigeria [5]


On May 20, 2011, the United Nations elected 15 new members of the UN Human Rights Council. Here are their total CIRI human rights scores for 2010, out of a possible 30 points. Six out of the fifteen new members had scores below the world average of 18 for the year 2010. Below are the scores for each new member:

Austria         [29]
Benin          [16]
Botswana     [22]
Burkina Faso    [20]
Republic of Congo  [18]  
Chile             [26]
Costa Rica     [26]
Czech Republic   [24]
India               [10]
Indonesia        [13]
Italy               [24]
Kuwait          [11]
Peru              [18]
Philippines     [15]
Romania        [17]


The CIRI Index of Physical Integrity Rights measure's a government's overall level of respect for four rights: torture, extrajudicial killing, political imprisonment, disappearance. The index ranges from 0 (no respect for any of these four rights) to 8 (full respect for all four of these rights). In 2008-2009, the world saw an overall average increase in these rights of .047. However, a reversal of this improvement was seen from 2009-2010, with it's overall average decline in respect of -.031. In particular 2009-2010 saw the following dramatic changes:

Three Countries Lost 3 Points (Violations Increased)


Seven Countries Gained 2 Points (Violations Decreased)


The fact that the CIRI data stretch back in time to 1981 allows for longitudinal comparison. For example, the graph below shows how regional averages of respect for physical integrity rights have changed over the years:


An important part of this overall decline in respect for physical integrity rights comes from a continuing degradation, globally, of respect for the right not to be tortured. For example, 2009-2010 saw 17 countries engage in more torture, while only 8 engaged in less torture. Below is the list of these countries. CIRI's indicator of government respect for torture is as follows: (0) Frequent/systematic torture, (1) Moderate/occasional torture (2) No reported/confirmed episodes of

Increased Torture, 2009-2010

Congo, Republic of
Korea, Republic of
Kyrgyz Republic
Marshall Islands
Sierra Leone

Decreased Torture, 2009-2010

Czech Republic       
Micronesia, Federated States of       

This trend in the greater use of torture is not a post-9/11 phenomenon, however. The chart below shows the increased use of torture beginning in the early 1980s. The extent of the drop in respect for this right differed by region and is seen to be particularly acute in Africa.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

CIRI Included in The Media Map Project

CIRI has been included as part of the Media Map project.
The Media Map Project is a multi-faceted two-year pilot research collaboration between Internews and The World Bank Institute, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  Media Map is envisioned as a central long-term research contribution of the Internews Center for Innovation and Learning.  The Media Map Project draws together what we know and precisely defines what we do not know about the relationships between the media sector and economic development and governance.  This website makes publicly accessible extensive quantitative data on the media sector for exploration and analysis.  The research also examines donors’ roles in supporting the media sector over time and provides an evidence base for their future decision-making about media support.

Through research, public events, and the data made available on this site for public use and extended research, the project aims to engage the development sector in greater understanding and exploration of the role of media and information in development.  In the next phase, Media Map will continue to provide data on the media sector, and will also focus on understanding and measuring people’s information needs in changing environments.(Media Map Website)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Amazon Defense Coalition: U.S. State Department Concludes Ecuador Provides Impartial Tribunals, Says Expert Report Using CIRI

A new report based on U.S. government data and independent surveys demonstrates conclusively that Ecuador's court system ranks better than most of its neighbors in Latin America and provides impartial tribunals to litigants, clearly undermining Chevron's claims that an $18 billion judgment against it for environmental damage from the South American country cannot be enforced. READ STORY HERE and READ THE EXPERT REPORT USING CIRI HERE

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Annual Data Release Date Announced

CIRI will release its annual data update on December 10, 2011, International Human Rights Day. The data for calendar year 2010 will be available at that time.

For Press/Inquiries, please contact

CIRI directors David L. Cingranelli and David L. Richards wish to thank everyone who participated in the nearly-year-long process of crafting these data. Special thanks go to (in alphabetical order): Benjamin Carbonetti (UConn), K. Chad Clay (SUNY), and Corinne Tagliarina (UConn). Special funding thanks go to the Human Rights Institute at the University of Connecticut, and the World Bank's Worldwide Governance Indicators Unit.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ethical Consumer Uses CIRI for List of Oppressive Regimes

The group Ethical Consumer has used CIRI data to compile its 2011 list of "oppressive regimes".
[View Webpage Here]
[View Full-Color Report as PDF Here (Takes a minute to load)]

Ethical Consumer's primary goal is making global businesses more sustainable through consumer pressure, and they explain the importance to this mission of identifying oppressive regimes:
Ethical Consumer was propelled into being over twenty years ago by the boycott of South Africa and the pressing need for citizens around the world to take a stand against apartheid.  We have used economic support for oppressive regimes as a barometer of corporate social responsibility ever since, and companies with operations in such countries are penalised under our rating system.  The rationale behind this is straightforward: companies benefit from the very conditions which contribute to oppression, such as harsh labour conditions, lax environmental regulations and an economic environment conducive to corruption and tax avoidance.  Furthermore, trading with a regime helps to make it financially viable.  Oppressive regimes are supported by a series of economic ties without which they would not survive.  Foreign investment is a crucial element of this.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Reliability Estimate of Judicial Independence Measure

Research Associate K. Chad Clay recently conducted an inter-rater reliability analysis of the 2008 Judicial Independence data, and the Krippendorff's r-bar statistic of reliability was 0.949.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Human Rights Measurement Conference, June 6-7

The "International Network on Quantitative Methods for Human Rights & Development" will be holding its 2nd Annual Meeting at The New School in NYC on June 6th and 7th, 2011. [View Program Here]  Among the presenters are CIRI Co-Director David L. Richards and former CIRI Research Assistant Jill Haglund.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

CIRI Publication: Human Rights Quarterly

Cingranelli, David L. and David L. Richards. 2010. "The Cingranelli and Richards (CIRI) Human Rights Data Project." Human Rights Quarterly 32.2: 401-424. [LINK]

CIRI-Based Publications

We will be using the CIRI Blog to announce publications / reports that make use of the CIRI data. If you have used the CIRI data in a publication or report, please drop us a line at and we will post it on our blog!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Quotation-Mark Error Fixed

Due to a quirk in the assembly of Excel files, the names of some countries in the dataset were coming up with quotation marks around them, complicating sorts of the data. This error has now been fixed, and all quotation marks are gone from country names.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

CIRI In Full-Production Mode, Creating 2010 Data

CIRI research associate and UConn doctoral student Corinne Tagliarina (bottom left) works on Foreign Movement ratings with undergraduate research assistants Carly Calabrese and Erin Franklin (L-R).
The CIRI Human Rights Data Project is now in full swing at both its University of Connecticut and Binghamton University, SUNY, research sites. Each year, CIRI's senior staff works with teams of undergraduate and graduate research assistants to begin the process of rating government respect for human rights across the world for the previous year. The data-creation process, from beginning to end, will involve more than 30 persons, take about 8 months total, and culminate with the official release of the new data on Human Rights Day, December 10th.

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