The State of the World
  Brief Overview of Global Issues


Peace, War & Conflict

Human Rights

Poverty & Development



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Human Rights

33% of the world's people live under authoritarian, non-democratic regimes. 35% of the world's people live in countries in which basic political rights and civil liberties are denied (such as freedom of speech, religion, press, fair trials, democratic political processes, etc).

1 billion people - 1/3rd of the world's labor force, is unemployed or underemployed. An estimated 27 million people are enslaved around the world, including an estimated 20 million people held in bonded labour (forced to work in order to pay off a debt, also known as 'debt bondage').. At least 700,000 people annually, and up to 2 million, mostly women and children, are victims of human trafficking worldwide (a modern form of slavery -- bought, sold, transported and held against their will in slave-like conditions)..

About 246 million, or 1 out of 6, children ages 5 to 17 worldwide are involved in child labor. Nearly three-fourths of these, about 180 million children, including 110 million under age 15, are exposed to the worst forms of, or hazardous, child labor. Some estimated 8.4 million children are trapped in the most abhorrent forms of child labour - slavery, trafficking, debt bondage, prostitution, pornography and other such activities.

Women account for 70 percent of the world's people who live in absolute poverty. Women work two-thirds of the world's working hours, produce half of the world's food, and yet earn only 10% of the world's income and own less than 1% of the world's property. Worldwide, a quarter of all women are raped during their lifetime. Depending on the country, 25 to 75 percent of women are regularly beaten at home. Between 10% and 50% of women report they have been physically abused by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Over 120 million women have undergone female genital mutilation. Women hold only 12% of parliamentary seats worldwide. Women account for 2/3rd's of the world's illiterate adults, and girls account for 2/3rd's of the world's children without access to education.

In 1998, extrajudicial executions were carried out in 47 countries, 'disappearances' occurred in 37 countries, torture occurred in 125 countries, prisoners of conscience were held in 78 countries, unfair trials for political prisoners occurred in 35 countries, detentions without charge or trial occurred in 66 countries, executions were carried out in 36 countries, and human rights abuses were committed by armed opposition groups in 37 countries.

There are over 45 million refugees and internally dispaced people in the world.