According to the data, Ukraine ranks third from the bottom among all countries in terms of its human rights record. Its score of 42 out of 100 is similar to that of the Central African Republic, a country riddled with violence against civilians and political instability.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the narrative in the dominant Western media has been clear – Russia is the ‘global villain’ and Ukraine is a role model victim of an unjust war. But this war may be unjust, but Ukraine had its own problems before the conflict with Russia escalated in 2022. Expert analysis shows that Russia launched an illegal war and has been involved in most of the conflict. human rights violations did – such as targeting the citizens of Ukraine.
Ukraine has also allegedly committed war crimes against Russian soldiers during the conflict. Like Russia, the country has had a mixed record over the past two decades with regard to the treatment of its citizens.
today’s big news
We are human rights scholars who helped launch the world’s largest quantitative data set – known as CIRights – to track global human rights in December 2022. The analysis shows that although Ukraine’s pre-war human rights record is better than Russia’s, it is well below the global average. Along with the ongoing problem of government corruption, Ukraine has been cited by Western human rights groups for not prosecuting hate crimes and failing to properly address and respond to gender-based violence.
Ukraine’s human rights record
According to the data, Ukraine ranks third from the bottom among all countries in terms of its human rights record. Its score of 42 out of 100 is similar to that of the Central African Republic, a country riddled with violence against civilians and political instability. Several factors contributed to this ranking of Ukraine. The Ukrainian military, for example, has been known to indiscriminately use cluster munitions to kill civilians in heavily populated areas of Donetsk in 2014. The region, located in the eastern part of Ukraine, was occupied by a rebel government.
Ukrainian police killed several demonstrators in Kyiv during the 2014 protests, which led to EU sanctions. Other human rights and freedom advocates, such as the US-based non-profit Freedom House, have recently reported that there was ‘partial freedom’ in Ukraine on issues such as expression, access to information and the press. With a score of 59 out of 100, the country is well below the global average.
below poland and hungary
Other human rights analyzes show that since 1991 people in Ukraine have been free from state torture and forced labor and enjoy privileges such as freedom of religion and expression. This was the time when the Soviet Union broke up and Ukraine gained its independence, although even in this the country’s ranking is still below Ukraine’s western European neighbors such as Poland and Hungary.
Until Ukraine addresses its human rights shortfalls, it is doubtful that it can succeed in achieving lasting peace, no matter when or how the war ends. Research shows that human rights violations lead to social and political problems that can lead to conflict within countries and internationally.
how does it work?
While many human rights assessment projects focus on whether a government uses physical violence against its people, our project aims to measure all 30 internationally recognized human rights, including women’s rights and workers’ rights . We believe that such comprehensive data helps all people have an easy, transparent and reliable way to understand the country’s human rights record.
score for human rights
Based on publicly available research and human rights reports, each year since 1981 hundreds of undergraduate and graduate research assistants, as well as 10 faculty members from various schools, have created human rights scores for all countries in the world. Each country’s scores in the 2022 Report Card are based on the most recent year for which scores were available for all human rights scored by the CIRights Data Project.
Scorers work independently with a rigorous set of scoring guidelines to consider the 25 human rights measures and then work together to resolve differences to agree on a numerical score.
The December 2022 annual report placed Canada and Sweden at the top of the category with scores of 96 each, followed by New Zealand, Norway and Portugal with scores of 94 each. At the bottom were Iraq, with a score of 12, China with 10, North Korea and Syria both with 6, and Iran with a score of 2.
America out of report card
The US was not scored on this report card, as the US government does not report on its own human rights. Subsequent reports will include analysis of the US from other sources. Statistical evidence from all sources shows that both Russia and Ukraine have poor human rights records and are far from achieving a passing grade. This means that after the end of the war, it will be difficult for both countries to achieve internal peace. (David Cingranelli, New York University and Brendan Skip Mark, University of Rhode Island)
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