The 10 Countries That Care the Most About Human Rights, According to Perception

Earlier in 2019, the nonpartisan Freedom House chronicled the 13th consecutive year of declining political and civil rights around the world, singling out immigration as being subject to increasingly punitive approaches by the world's democracies.

[READ: U.S. Democracy Has Weakened 'Significantly', Says Freedom House]

The Netherlands cares the most about human rights, according to the 2019 Best Countries rankings, in which more than 20,000 people from four regions evaluated 80 countries across a number of specific attributes. In the survey, respondents answered how closely they related each of the countries to the phrase "cares about human rights." Respondents were provided no further detail about the phrase, so it was left to their interpretation.

Caring about human rights is one of eight attributes that were weighted equally to develop the Best Countries' Citizenship subranking. The other attributes include caring about the environment, providing gender equality, being seen as progressive, being seen as offering religious freedom, respecting property rights, being trustworthy and having well-distributed political power.

The United States failed to make the top 10, finishing at No. 19.

The United Arab Emirates finished last among the 80 countries assessed for being seen to care about human rights. The U.N. has raised concerns about the torture of prisoners and discrimination against women in the Middle Eastern nation. And despite recent reforms, the UAE continues to receive criticism from rights organizations, which accuse officials in the country for arbitrarily detaining critics of the government and for the poor treatment of the country's migrant and domestic workers.

Also finishing at the bottom and behind the UAE are Saudi Arabia, China, Qatar, Iraq and Russia.

Here are the top 10 countries seen to care the most about human rights.

COUNTRY

CARES ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS RANK

OVERALL BEST COUNTRY RANK

Netherlands

1

11

Norway

2

9

Canada

3

3

Sweden

4

6

Denmark

5

13

Switzerland

6

1

United Kingdom

7

5

Belgium

8

17

Finland

9

14

Australia

10

7

Sintia Radu covers international affairs and technology for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow her on Twitter @sintiaradu and send her suggestions and ideas at sradu@usnews.com.

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