Freedom House

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Administration in Dupont Circle in Washington, DC

Freedom House is an international non-governmental organization based in Washington, DC whose goal is to promote liberal democracies worldwide. She is best known for her annual reports Freedom in the World and Freedom of the Press .

Freedom in the World, published since 1973, is one of the oldest indices examining freedom and democracy. These reports receive widespread attention in the media , science and politics .


The organization was established in 1941 by Wendell Willkie , Eleanor Roosevelt , George Field, Dorothy Thompson , Rex Stout , Herbert Bayard Swope and others in New York City in response to the totalitarian Nazism founded. Contrary to the isolationist foreign policy prevailing at the time , Freedom House campaigned for the United States to join the United Kingdom in the Second World War . During the 1940s, Freedom House supported the Marshall Plan and the creation of NATO . Although markedly anti-communist itself , Freedom House was an outspoken opponent of McCarthyism . It supported the civil rights movement in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s . As a result of the global collapse of civil liberties through real socialist systems, dictatorial regimes and ruling military juntas in Asia , Africa and Latin America , Freedom House developed criteria for assessing human rights and civil liberties. It was engaged in the defense of several dissidents in the Soviet Union , including Andrei Sakharov . In the 1980s it supported the Solidarność movement in Poland and the democratic opposition in the Philippines .


Freedom House is one of its largest donors to US government institutions . One of the three largest donors in 2010 was the United Nations Democracy Promotion Fund (UNDEF). There are also funds from other governments and various semi-public and private foundations, such as the Open Society Foundations of George Soros . In 2016, Freedom House was 86 percent financed by US government funds, according to its own financial report. Key supporters also included the EU human rights program and the governments of Canada, the Netherlands and Norway. Google paid more than $ 100,000 in 2017, Facebook and the British defense company BAE Systems more than $ 50,000. Because of this financing structure, the organization is often confronted with accusations of political bias.


"Freedom in the World"

Freedom House classification of countries according to their degree of political and civil freedom - 2017 report
  • free
  • partly free
  • not free
  • Proportion of free, partly free and non-free states, 1972–2013, political-civil
  • free
  • partly free
  • not free
  • highlighted countries are classified as “ electoral democracies ” - 2017 report
  • Freedom House has produced an annual report, Freedom in the World, since 1973, evaluating the level of democracy and freedom in nations and major disputed territories around the world. Political rights and civil liberties are given on a scale from 1 (most free) to 7 (least free).

    Up until 2003, states with an average value for political and civil liberties between 1.0 and 2.5 were considered “free”. States with values ​​between 3.0 and 5.5 were considered “partially free” and those with values ​​between 5.5 and 7.0 were “not free”. Since 2003, the range “partially free” extends from 3.0 to 5.0, “not free” from 5.5 to 7.0.

    See also:

    "Press Freedom Survey"

    Development of freedom of the press since 1989 (proportion of states with free, partly free and non-free press)
  • not examined
  • not free
  • partly free
  • free
  • Freedom House also prepares an annual report on press freedom (Press Freedom Survey) , governance in the countries of the former Soviet Union (Nations in Transit) and countries at the border of democracy (Countries at the Crossroads) .

    Web links

    Commons : Freedom House  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

    Individual evidence

    3. Our Supporters on the official Freedom House website, accessed July 29, 2013
    4. Annual Report 2010 (PDF; 5.1 MB), Annual Report 2010, here p. 14, accessed on July 29, 2013 (English)
    5. ^ Lars Wienand: Germany slips in the democracy index,, January 17, 2018.