Mission: To serve as a catalyst for greater political rights and civil liberties through a combination of analysis, advocacy, and action.
Background: Founded in 1941, Freedom House was the first American organization to champion the advancement of freedom globally by working to analyze challenges to freedom, advocate for greater political rights and civil liberties, and support frontline activists working to defend human rights and promote democratic change. Today, more than 2.5 billion people live in countries that Freedom House considers "Not Free" — that is, lacking a democratic political environment in which government is accountable to the people, where the rule of law prevails, and where the freedoms of expression, association, and belief, as well as respect for the rights of minorities and women, are guaranteed. Through a combination of analysis, advocacy, and action, Freedom House works to promote greater political rights and civil liberties globally, while advocating for U.S. leadership and collaboration with like-minded governments to vigorously oppose dictators and oppression. The organization's most recent annual report, Democracy in Retreat, documents an increase in the number of authoritarian leaders and governments that are banning opposition groups or jailing opposition leaders, dispensing with term limits, and/or cracking down on independent media — including a number of erstwhile democracies.
Outstanding Web Features: The interactive map released in conjunction with the organization's 2019 report provides an overview of the global state of freedom, with individual countries and territories designated (by color) as either "free," "partly free," or "not free." Clicking on an individual country brings up a "freedom" profile for that country, including its "aggregate freedom score," a brief overview and list of freedom-related developments in that country, and a scored ranking (on a scale of 1 to 40) of the political rights and civil liberties it affords its people. Visitors to the site can also access aggregate country scores by region, learn more about the methodology behind the report's scoring, and/or check out a list of recommendations for strengthening democracy globally.