Journalists can now sign up for embargoed human rights reports in May 2019

Do your stories need some hard numbers? If you’re reporting on any kind of social issue, or human story, sign up to be among the first to see our upcoming human rights report.

In early June 2019 the Human Rights Measurement Initiative (HRMI) will be releasing its Global Human Rights Report, tracking the human rights progress of 160+ countries over a range of human rights.

At the same time we will be launching a brand-new data portal, currently in user testing, which will let people explore all our information on whichever countries or rights they’re most interested in.

Our data set, graphics and report each year are freely available under a Creative Commons licence. You can explore the 2018 data, and even download the entire data set, at our current data site right now.

Journalists are now invited to sign up to receive an early embargoed 2019 report and early access to the new data portal. To sign up, just email HRMI communications lead, Thalia Kehoe Rowden: [email protected]

Facts and data to tell human stories

HRMI is the world’s first project to track the human rights performance of countries. We provide accurate and comprehensive data so human rights workers can push for change, and to give governments another incentive to improve.

You don’t need to be a data journalist or a human rights specialist to use our data. You can tell important stories about social issues, marginalised communities, or political questions, using our data to give context to people’s experiences. We are very happy to help you do that, one-on-one, too.

Our data will be useful for fleshing out stories on all sorts of things, including:

  • the prison system
  • LGBTQI+ people and issues
  • politics
  • healthcare
  • education
  • discrimination
  • poverty and inequality
  • food security
  • children
  • elections and voting rights
  • organised crime
  • indigenous people
  • race relations
  • censorship
  • policing and the justice system
  • gender equity and women’s rights
  • housing
  • workers’ rights
  • disappearances
  • the death penalty

Here’s what will be available in the press pack, one week before the public release:

A tailored human rights report for each country

In a new development for 2019, for each country in our data set, we will provide a narrative that unpacks the data and puts it in context. If your reporting focuses on one particular country, this will save you a great deal of leg-work.

Using our new data portal you will be able read and quote from our high-level summaries, and also drill down into each aspect of the data, seeing the raw data the scores are based on, and other useful information, all gathered in one place for each country.

Headline-grabbing human rights scores for countries

Our analysts are working on producing 2019 scores for countries on 12 human rights:

Civil and political rights are scored out of 10, based on information we collect ourselves from in-country human rights practitioners in an annual expert survey supervised by Dr K Chad Clay.

You can see the 2018 scores for our 13 pilot countries here. In 2019 we are expanding to 19 countries for this part of the data collection:

Angola, Australia, Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo, Fiji, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Mexico, Mozambique, Nepal, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela, and Vietnam.

Economic and social rights are scored out of 100%, against two different benchmarks, taking into account the wealth of each country. These scores are produced by Dr Susan Randolph following her award-winning SERF Index methodology, based on official data.

You can explore the 2018 data here. In 2019 we anticipate producing economic and social rights scores for over 160 countries.

Video clips you can use freely

Our YouTube channel has short videos we’ve made of human rights defenders from all over the world talking about what they do to make people’s lives better, and the information they need – from us – to do that more effectively. You are welcome to use these freely.

For example, here’s Amnesty East Africa’s Seif Magango, talking about the internationally covered case of Noura Hussein, who was charged with murder for accidentally killing her husband (from a forced marriage) who was trying to rape her.

New human rights graphics, free from copyright

Our new data portal will present our data in a variety of ways, including graphs by country, region and right.

Other features we anticipate being available include viewing trends over time, and comparing countries with others in the same geographical region, or at similar levels of wealth.

Story leads: people at particular risk of rights violations

In our expert survey, we ask human rights practitioners in each country to groups of people who are particularly at risk of having their rights abused.

We present this information, by right, and by country, as word clouds, showing which groups have most often been identified as being at particular risk.

The word cloud (shown in our 2018 design) showing the people most at risk in Brazil, of having their freedom of assembly and association curtailed.

An example of a word cloud (from our 2018 data, using our old design) showing the people most at risk, in Brazil, of having their freedom of assembly and association curtailed.

As well as the main groups of people at risk of rights violations, we also publish every specific group our experts identified. For example, in last year’s report on Angola (PDF), we included this list of people at particular risk of torture:

  • Street vendors (especially women) and taxi drivers
  • Members of opposition parties, such as UNITA, PRS, and CASA-SE (especially in Huambo, the Lunda provinces, Luanda, and Kuando Kubango)
  • NGO activists and human rights defenders (especially in the Lunda provinces, Benguela, Lubando, Ondjiva, Cunene, Cabinda, and Luanda)
  • Those accused of crimes, particularly those held in Viana and Kaquila prison in Luanda
  • Young pro-democracy activists, particularly in Luanda, Cabinda, the Lunda provinces, and Benguela
  • Trade unionists and striking workers, particularly in Luanda, but also in other provinces
  • Journalists, especially in Luanda
  • Members of armed groups, such as FLEC, especially in Cabinda
  • Members of the Lunda-Tchokwé movement, demanding administrative autonomy in areas of the Lunda provinces (North and South)
  • Indigenous peoples in Kuando Kubango and Huila
  • People who are homeless, particularly in Lobito
  • Immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, especially those from the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Muslims

You’ll be able to see already the range of specific stories that could be backed up by our data in Angola. There will be word clouds for every country in 2019.

There will be plenty of stories you can tell about vulnerable people in your community, bolstered by our data showing that their experiences are part of broader problems.

Our full data set, free from copyright

Especially useful to data journalists, we will also provide access to our full data set, so you can create your own graphics to fit your publication’s branding, or to draw out the data you are most interested in, such as comparing two particular countries.


As well as the formal methodology note, aimed at an academic audience, we will provide a summary of our methods suitable for a general audience, so you can help your audience understand that the stories you tell are meaningful and credible.

Booking information for interviews

Our three co-founders, Anne-Marie Brook, Susan Randolph and K Chad Clay, will all be available for pre-recorded interviews during the embargo period, and in the weeks following.

You can book an interview at any time by emailing Thalia Kehoe Rowden: [email protected]

You can meet each co-founder in this one-minute introduction to HRMI:

Background information on HRMI

We will provide quotes from key HRMI staff, and their bios and headshots.

There will also be a summary of HRMI’s history, funding and mission, ready for you to draw on for your reports.

Sign up now to receive embargoed data release

If you would like to express interest in receiving access to our data and press pack before the public release, please email HRMI communications lead, Thalia Kehoe Rowden: [email protected]

We plan to send out embargoed material one week before the public release. If you have a project proposal that needs more lead time, please get in touch. We may be able to give you raw data and other information earlier.

We want to make it as easy as possible for journalists to use and report on our data. Please get in touch if you have any requests or suggestions for how we can help you. We would be delighted to talk by video call, email or other methods, to help you tell your stories.

Other resources

You may also like to look at some of our reporting on specific human rights issues around the world, using our 2018 data:

Jamal Khashoggi and the human rights landscape of Saudi Arabia

New Zealand: HRMI word clouds reveal vulnerable groups, even in high-performing countries

Mexico: new data show serious human rights challenges

The future of human rights in Brazil

Threats to free speech in Mozambique

Journalists: sign up for embargoed human rights data release. Email

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