Human rights: The world in numbers

Proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1948 in the aftermath of World War II, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) represents a milestone for protecting the rights of every person. It sets the baseline for human rights standards globally.

On the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we’ve used our data to give a snapshot of the current human rights landscape and the most pressing human rights risks globally. Even in the wake of this important human rights anniversary, fewer than 500 million people are lucky enough to live in countries that pose a ‘low risk’ for human rights, while almost one billion live in countries with an ‘extreme’ risk of human rights abuses.

Businesses should aim to prevent human rights violations from occurring, rather than relying on remedy afterwards. Continuous dialogue with workers is key.

Hannah Broscombe

Senior Analyst Human Rights

The UNGPs recognise the contribution of business to promoting human rights and addressing adverse impacts resulting from their operations. Through robust due diligence, businesses can be integral to the realisation of human rights for all as envisioned by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Two billion people live in countries where arbitrary arrest and extrajudicial killings pose an ‘extreme risk’. Businesses should align their policies and procedures with international standards, such as the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights for businesses in the extractive sector.

Marina El Hasni

Human Rights Research Associate