The Commission on Human Rights, the central human rights event on the UN calendar, is due to commence its annual six-week session on 18 March.

Analysis:Every year, Freedom House, an independent think-tank, publishes a freedom index that measures political rights and civil liberties around the globe. Using criteria that examine, among other aspects, freedom of expression, freedom of the media and judiciary, and the right to assembly, countries are ranked on a scale where 1 indicates the most free and 7 the most repressive.  The number before the decimal represents its record on political rights.  The second number indicates respect for civil liberties.

With five members rated amongst the most repressive states in the world, the weight that should be given to the Commission’s eventual outcomes is called into question.

Commission Member
Freedom Index
 Commission Member
Freedom Index
Cuba7.7 Brazil3.3
Lybia7.7 Ecuador3.3
Saudi Arabia7.7 Argentina2.3
Sudan7.7 India2.3
Syria7.7 Mexico2.3
China7.6 Thailand2.3
Vietnam7.6 Chile2.2
Burundi6.6 Croatia2.2
Cameroon6.6 Republic of Korea2.2
Congo6.6 Peru1.3
Algeria6.5 Belgium1.2
Bahrain6.5 Costa Rica1.2
Kenya6.5 Czech Republic1.2
Pakistan6.5 France1.2
Swaziland6.5 Germany1.2
Uganda6.5 Italy1.2
Malaysia5.5 Japan1.2
Russian Federation5.5 Poland1.2
Togo5.5 South Africa1.2
Zambia5.4 Spain1.2
Nigeria5.4 United Kingdom1.2
Sierra Leone5.4 Austria1.1
Armenia4.4 Canada1.1
Venezuela3.5 Portugal1.1
Guatemala3.4 Sweden1.1
Indonesia3.4 Uruguay1.1
Senegal3.4

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