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The Freedom House Annual Survey employs a Civil Liberties checklist to help monitor the progress and decline of human rights worldwide. Each country is rated on a seven-category scale, 1 representing the most free and 7 the least free. These 7 categories are laid out below.
Are there free and independent media, literature and other cultural expressions?
(Note: In cases where the media are state-controlled but offer pluralistic points of view, the Survey gives the system credit.)
Are there free religious institutions and is there free private and public religious expression?
Is there freedom of assembly and demonstration?
Is there freedom of political or quasi-political organization?
Are there free trade unions and peasant organizations or equivalents, and is there effective collective bargaining? Are there free professional and other private organizations? (Note: This includes political parties, civic organizations, ad hoc issue groups, etc.)
Is there an independent judiciary?
Does the rule of law prevail in civil and criminal matters? Is the population treated equally under the law? Are police under direct civilian control?
Is there protection from political terror, and from unjustified imprisonment, exile or torture, whether by groups that support or oppose the system, and freedom from war and insurgency situations? (Note: Freedom from war and insurgencies enhances the liberties in a free society, but the absence of war and insurgencies does not in and of itself make a not free society free.)
Is there freedom from extreme government indifference and corruption?
Is there open public discussion and free private discussion?
Is there personal autonomy? Does the state control travel, choice of residence, or choice of employment? Is there freedom from indoctrination and excessive dependency on the state?
Are property rights secure? Do citizens have the right to establish private businesses? Is private activity unduly influenced by government officials, the security forces, or organized crime?
Are there free religious institutions and free private and public religious expressions?
Are there personal social freedoms, including gender equality, choice of marriage partners, and size of family?
Is there equality of opportunity, including freedom from exploitation by or dependency on landlords, employers, union leaders, bureaucrats or any other types of obstacles to a share of legitimate economic gains?
©2001 World Audit. All rights reserved.