Assessing Human Rights-related Country Risk in Company Supply Chains: Publicly available indices and lessons learned

Anna Triponel | September 2020

We saw in another article, Assessing Human Rights Risk in Company Supply Chains: What to look for, that companies looking for human rights risks in their supply chains look for risks inherent to the operating context, to the specific business activity, to the specific business partners, and to the presence of vulnerable groups. 

We also saw that some of these risk factors lend themselves well to desktop analysis, while others require a deeper dive into the company’s specific value chain. Operating context in particular is a risk factor that lends itself well to desktop analysis, and there are a wide range of publicly available indices companies can draw upon. 

This article first provides an overview of lessons learned from companies looking to use country indices in their assessment of supply chain risk, before providing an overview of the full range of indices available. I provide this to help save companies some time in their assessment, so that they can focus their resources on tailoring their assessments to their own business and business partners, as well as on the kinds of actions they can take to mitigate the human rights risks identified.

1) Five lessons learned from companies assessing country risk

The following captures five lessons learned from companies seeking to assess supply chain human rights risks that are tied to the operating context of their operations, or those of their business partners.

1. When looking at which desktop resources to use, it is helpful to already have a sense of the company’s salient human rights issues 

Where a company has identified its salient human rights issues, i.e., those human rights that are at risk of the most severe negative impact (through the company’s activities or business relationships), this will help it in turn better understand which inputs are the most relevant for its supply chain assessment. By way of example, companies in the ICT sector are at greater risk when providing services and products to countries which restrict freedom of expression and violate their citizens’ right to privacy. Therefore, they would typically prioritise inputs related to freedom of expression and privacy, over others. As another example, companies in the apparel sector are at greater risk when sourcing from countries that place limitations on freedom of association or restrict the ability of civil society to operate. Therefore, these companies would typically prioritise inputs that provide insights into these matters. 

2. Some inputs may carry greater weight than others 

Companies may decide that a particular input should be provided greater weighting because of its importance. For instance, freedom of association is viewed as an enabling right. Without it, there is a greater likelihood that other labour rights will be violated (e.g. people are then unable to express their concerns regarding pay or harassment). Therefore, a number of companies prioritise indices that provide a sense of the country’s approach to freedom of association, collective bargaining and worker voice. The ITUC’s Global Rights Index is a particularly strong one to consider here. As another example, it is particularly challenging to respect human rights in a country with weak rule of law, and therefore this input may be prioritized and provided greater weighting. 

3. Country contexts change with time, and there needs to be a way to update the assessment easily and regularly 

Country risk changes with time, and sometimes very quickly. Most publicly available inputs are updated on an annual basis. It is helpful to consider at the outset the process for updating the company’s assessment, as the source data points are updated. It can also be helpful to consider at the outset how to convert the inputs into information that can be easily ranked and updated. Some publicly available resources provide countries a score, some provide countries a percentage rating, and others provide countries a colour. It will be helpful for the company to convert the selected inputs into a system that enables a systematic rating. 

4. It is helpful to consider the primary use of the assessment and select the indices used accordingly

Will this assessment be used primarily by sustainability/ human rights colleagues internally to evaluate risk? Will it be used to engage sourcing colleagues and buyers in the business? Will it feed into the company’s enterprise risk management system? Will it be used to engage business partners and help them understand why they may be at risk? The primary use of the assessment will have an impact on the kinds of inputs that are selected for use. For instance, one consumer-facing company decided to revise its methodology so that it only relied on one publicly available source: the World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators. The company’s primary purpose was to increase knowledge of country risk with its licensees and suppliers, and the company therefore needed to be able to convey an approach that was free, easy to use and internationally recognized. In another case, an investor used a wide range of different inputs to assess country risk connected to its investments: the primary users were already experts in the topic and were comfortable with a higher level of complexity. 

5. Although country indices are a helpful starting point, they can lead to blind spots and therefore should be complemented with other sources 

A country’s human rights situation may rapidly deteriorate. A country could not be viewed as high risk on January 1, but become high risk a few months later. An index would not be updated frequently enough to convey this change during the year, leading companies to rely on out-of-date data. Furthermore, the data relied upon takes time to be collected and analysed, and therefore may already be out of date by the time the ranking is published. We have seen this phenomenon this year, with the country indices published now based on pre-COVID-19 data. As a further complication, it can be a challenge for assessment methodologies to capture the nuances of risks, since by their very nature they seek to assign a ranking per country. By way of example, some companies that missed instances of modern slavery in their supply chains in the United Kingdom state that this is because the UK was categorized as low-risk in the country indices relied upon to evaluate supply chain risk. These limitations reinforce the importance of complementing desktop assessment with other more dynamic and forward-looking inputs, such as ongoing conversations with a trade union as part of a Global Framework Agreement, or soliciting relevant information from global and local civil society organisations.

2) Publicly available indices for assessing country risk

The following tables provide a list of publicly available indices, resources and tools that could be helpful for companies to assess country risk. They are grouped in the following categories: labour rights; human trafficking and modern slavery, child labour, governance and rule of law, corruption and money laundering, commodity mapping and traceability, gender, minorities and marginalised groups, human development and sustainable development, and the environment.

This list is not to suggest that all of these inputs will be helpful – as stated above, each company will need to decide which to rely upon in its assessment, as well as the weighting to provide to each one based on what the company does and where, its perceived salient human rights issues and the purpose of the assessment. 


Index NameDescription
ITUC Global Rights IndexOverview and kinds of information it provides: Ranking of 141 countries against 97 internationally recognised indicators to assess where workers’ rights are best protected, in law and in practice. The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) Global Rights Index depicts the world’s worst countries for workers by rating countries on a scale from 1 to 5+ on the degree of respect for workers’ rights.

Methodology: Questionnaires are sent to 331 national unions in 163 countries to report violations of workers’ rights by indicating relevant details. Regional meetings with human and trade union rights experts are held where the questionnaire is disseminated, explained and completed. The ITUC contacts unions directly by phone and email when it becomes aware of violations to confirm relevant facts. Legal researchers analyse national legislation and identify sections which are not adequately protecting internationally recognised collective labour rights.

Updates: The index is updated annually. Violations are recorded each year from April to March.  
The ILO Working Conditions Laws DatabaseOverview and kinds of information it provides: Shares legal information and context on the regulatory environment for labour in over 100 countries around the world. This includes regulations on 
working time, minimum wages and maternity protection. Users can conduct research on individual countries, compare legislation between countries and regions, and conduct a historical comparison on selected issues. 

Updates: The database was last updated from early 2011 through mid-2012 (the most recent date of update for each country is indicated in the database). The ILO also includes a disclaimer that this information is not intended to “replace consultation of the authentic legal texts.”
ILO, Ratifications of fundamental Conventions by number of ratificationsOverview and kinds of information it provides: Covers status of state ratification of eight ILO fundamental conventions, covering subjects that are considered as fundamental principles and rights at work: freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining; the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour; the effective abolition of child labour; and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.


Index NameDescription

US Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Report
Overview and kinds of information it provides: Ranks governments based on their perceived efforts to acknowledge and combat human trafficking. The US Department of State ranks each country on one of four tiers, which are based on the extent of government efforts to address the problem of human trafficking rather than on the scale of a country’s problem. It also provides detailed information on each country’s progress to end human trafficking, in areas such as enactment and enforcement of laws, criminal penalties for traffickers, victim identification procedures, victim protection and well-being measures, availability and quality of legal and social services for victims, and government funding and partnerships with NGOs, among other categories.

Methodology: The report uses information from U.S. embassies, government officials, nongovernmental and international organizations, published reports, news articles, academic studies, research trips to every region of the world, and information submitted to U.S. diplomatic posts and domestic agencies also conduct local research and in-person engagement with government officials, local and international NGO representatives, officials of international organizations, journalists, academics, and survivors.

Updates: The report is released annually. The 2020 Trafficking in Persons Report covers government efforts undertaken from April 1, 2019 through March 31, 2020. 
Responsible Sourcing Tool Overview and kind of information it provides: The Responsible Sourcing Tool is the result of the collaboration of four institutions committed to fighting human trafficking: the U.S. State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, non-profit organisations Verité and Made in a Free World, and think tank the Aspen Institute. 

The tool is designed as a resource for companies, federal contractors, federal procurement and contracting professionals, advocates, investors, consumers and others to rid supply chains of forced labour, child labour and human trafficking. 

It includes risk profiles for different sectors, including agriculture, construction, electronics, extractives, fishing, forestry, healthcare, hospitality, housekeeping/facilities, textiles and apparel, and transportation and warehousing. It also includes risk profiles for a wide range of commodities, including agricultural products (bamboo, bananas, green/yellow and soy beans, citrus, cocoa, coffee, corn, cotton, flowers, melons, nuts, palm oil, pineapple, rice, rubber, strawberries, sugar, sunflowers, tea, tobacco, tomatoes and wheat); animal products (cattle, fish, leather, shrimp, silk and wool); and mined and manufactured materials (brass, bricks, charcoal, coal, coltan, tungsten and tin, copper, diamonds, gold, granite and other stones, gravel and crushed stones, coloured gemstones, salt, silver, steel and zinc).

It includes country profiles with information about demographics, the economy, the labour force, and sociopolitical conditions. It also includes data on corruption, poverty levels, unemployment, migration rates, civil liberties and labour rights that can serve as indicators for countries with a high-risk of human trafficking and other labour abuses. 

The tool draws data from: global production and trade flows; reports on human trafficking as well as reports focused on forced labor and/or child labor associated with commodities; and information about any countries in which trafficking-related problems have been reported in association with a particular commodity. 

The risk information is updated periodically. 
Verité Commodity AtlasOverview and kinds of information it provides: In response to implementation of the new Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) by the U.S. government, which have been expanded to address child labour and prison labour, non-profit workers’ rights and traceability organisation Verité developed the Commodity Atlas as a resource for government, companies, NGOs and others to understand which supply chains and geographies pose the highest risks of human trafficking, with particular attention to federal supply chains. 

Verité undertook four different kinds of broad research in order to gather the data for this report:
  1. Research on specific countries including trade patterns, labor markets, migration and refugee flows, forced labour, the sociopolitical context, rule of law, and more; 

  2. Research on specific commodities with a heightened risk of human trafficking; 

  3. Research on key economic sectors most at risk of facilitating human trafficking; 

  4. Research on federal procurement patterns including federal spend by agency and spending on particular types of goods and services. 
Updates: The Commodity Atlas is updated on a regular basis.
“3P” Anti-trafficking Policy IndexOverview and kinds of information it provides: The 3P Anti-trafficking Policy Index was developed as part of an EU-funded research project on Indexing Trafficking in Human Beings and is annually updated by Prof. Seo-Young Cho of Karl-Franzens University of Graz, Austria. The index evaluates governmental anti-trafficking efforts in three main policy dimensions (3Ps): prosecution of perpetrators of human trafficking; prevention of human trafficking; and protection of the victims of human trafficking. The Index is available for 189 countries for the period from 2000 to 2015.

Methodology: Each of the 3P areas is evaluated on a 5-point scale and each index is aggregated to the overall 3P Anti-trafficking Index as the sum (score 3-15):

  • Prosecution Index Score: 1 (no compliance) – 5 (full compliance)

  • Prevention Index Score: 1 (no compliance) – 5 (full compliance)

  • Protection Index Score: 1 (no compliance) – 5 (full compliance)

  • 3P Anti-trafficking Policy Index Score: 3 (no compliance for any of the three areas) – 15 (full compliance for all of the three areas)
Updates: The index was last updated in 2015.
Global Slavery IndexOverview and kinds of information it provides: The Global Slavery Index, developed by non-profit advocacy organisation the Walk Free Foundation, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), provides a country-by-country ranking of the number of people in modern slavery, as well as an analysis of the actions governments are taking to respond, and the factors that make people vulnerable.

Methodology: The index is based on five different sources of data: 

  • Global estimates of modern slavery prevalence

  • Vulnerability measures, including 23 risk variables across five major dimensions: Governance Issues; Lack of Basic Needs; Inequality; Disenfranchised Groups; and Effects of Conflict

  • Assessment of government responses to modern slavery 

  • Mapping of at-risk G20 products

  • Analysis of risk factors in the fishing sector, which is a high-risk sector for modern slavery
Updates: The index is updated annually and released in a yearly report. 
U.S. Department of Labor International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB) List of Goods Produced With Child and Forced Labor

Overview and kinds of information it provides: The Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) maintains a list of goods and their respective countries of origin that it has reason to believe are produced by child labor or forced labor in violation of international standards. The list includes specific products, companies, and regions that are likely to be linked to child and forced labor. 

Methodology: The data that informs ILAB’s findings is pulled from a wide variety of publicly-available primary and secondary sources to conduct the research. Primary sources include original quantitative and qualitative research studies and other data or evidence gathered first-hand. There are five buckets of information that inform the list:
  • Population covered: In researching child labor, ILAB focuses on children under the age of 18 years. For forced labor, the research covers workers of all ages. 
  • Nature of employment: Where ILAB research indicated situations of exploitative working conditions, these situations were reviewed to determine whether they constituted “child labor” or “forced labor” under international labor standards. 
  • Sector of employment: The list comprises goods from the agricultural, manufacturing, and mining/quarrying sectors, as well as pornography.
  • Type of employment: Research covers all economic activity for adults and children in the production of goods, including formal and informal sector production and goods produced for personal and family consumption. Examples of informal sector activity include day labor hired without contract; small-scale farming and fishing; artisanal mining and quarrying; and manufacturing work performed in home-based workshops. 
  • Stage of production: Goods are placed on the list at the stage of production at which ILAB determined that there was reason to believe that child labor or forced labor was involved. For example, if there was reason to believe that child labor or forced labor was used in the extraction, harvesting, assembly or production of raw materials or component articles and these materials or articles are subsequently used as inputs in the manufacture or processing of final goods under non-violative conditions, only the raw materials or component articles are included on the list and only for those countries where they were extracted, harvested, assembled or produced. 
  • Market for goods: Most economically active children are involved in the production of goods or services for local consumption, rather than for international trade. Data is limited on the consumption patterns of goods made with forced labor. 
Updates: As required by The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA), ILAB updates and publishes the list every other year, pursuant to changes in the law.
UNICEF data on child labourOverview and kinds of information it provides: Percentage of children 5–14 years old involved in child labour at the moment of the survey, compiled by UNICEF.

Methodology: The main sources of data on child labour include the UNICEF-supported Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) and the ILO-supported Statistical Information and Monitoring Programme on Child Labour (SIMPOC) surveys, as well as country-level data produced by governments.  Data is collected on both economic activities (paid or unpaid work for someone who is not a member of the household, work for a family farm or business) and domestic work (household chores such as cooking, cleaning or caring for children), in addition to information on hazardous working conditions. 

Updates: The data is updated periodically; the last update was in October 2019. 


Index NameDescription
World Bank, Worldwide Governance Indicators, Country Data ReportsOverview and kinds of information it provides: Provides aggregate and individual governance indicators for countries for six dimensions of governance (Voice and Accountability, Political Stability and Absence of Violence, Government Effectiveness, Regulatory Quality, Rule of Law and Control of Corruption). The data is useful for making cross-country and regional comparisons and for identifying trends over time. As this data is broad, the World Bank views the index as a complement to other forms of analysis, especially when looking at individual countries. 

Methodology: These aggregate indicators combine the views of a large number of enterprises, citizen and expert survey respondents in industrial and developing countries. They are based on over 30 individual data sources produced by a variety of survey institutes, think tanks, non-governmental organizations, international organizations, and private sector firms.

Updates: The data is updated annually. 
Fund for Peace Fragile States Index

Overview and kinds of information it provides: The Fragile States Index, developed by non-profit research institution the Fund for Peace, assesses and ranks 178 countries on their “fragility,” which is indicated by various factors that might cause a state to fail: extensive corruption and criminal behavior, inability to collect taxes or otherwise draw on citizen support, large-scale involuntary dislocation of the population, sharp economic decline, group-based inequality, institutionalized persecution or discrimination, severe demographic pressures, brain drain, and environmental decay. 

According to the Fund for Peace, when looking at the rankings “[i]t is important to note that these ratings do not necessarily forecast when states may experience violence or collapse. Rather, they measure vulnerability to collapse or conflict.”

Methodology: Countries receive an aggregate score based on these factors. Each score range is affiliated with a category indicating the likelihood of state failure: Alert, Warning, Stable, or Sustainable. Data is drawn from three primary sources:  
  • Content analysis (electronic scanning);
  • Quantitative data; and
  • Qualitative input.

Updates: The index is updated annually. 

Freedom House, Freedom of the Press ReportOverview and kinds of information it provides: Freedom of the Press, an annual report on media independence around the world produced by non-profit research and advocacy organisation Freedom House, assessed the degree of print, broadcast, and digital media freedom in 199 countries and territories. It evaluated the legal environment for the media, political pressures that influenced reporting, and economic factors that affected access to news and information.

Methodology: Data was collected from field research, professional contacts, reports from local and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), reports of governments and multilateral bodies, and domestic and international news media. Countries received a numerical score from 0 (most free) to 100 (least free). Based on their score, countries received a status of Free, Partly Free or Not Free. According to Freedom House, “[t]he scores reflect not just government actions and policies, but also the behavior of the press itself in testing boundaries, as well as the influence of private owners, political or criminal groups, and other nonstate actors.”

Updates: The report was published annually between 1980 and 2017, reflecting developments of the preceding year.
Freedom House, Freedom in the World Index

Overview and kinds of information it provides: Freedom in the World is an annual report produced by non-profit research and advocacy organisation Freedom House that assesses 195 countries and 15 territories on political rights and civil liberties. There are seven main topics assessed for each country in the report:

  1. Electoral Process: executive and legislative elections, and electoral framework
  2. Political Pluralism and Participation: party system, competition, freedom to exercise political choices, and minority voting rights
  3. Functioning of Government: corruption, transparency, and ability of elected officials to govern in practice
  4. Freedom of Expression and Belief: media, religious freedom, academic freedom, and free private discussion
  5. Associational and Organizational Rights: free assembly, civic groups, and labor unions
  6. Rule of Law: independent judges and prosecutors, due process, crime and disorder, and legal equality
  7. Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights: freedom of movement, property rights, personal and family rights, and freedom from economic exploitation

Methodology: Data comes from a combination of on-the-ground research, consultations with local contacts, and information from news articles, nongovernmental organizations, governments, and a variety of other sources. Freedom in the World uses a two-tiered system consisting of scores (0 to 4 points for each of 10 political rights indicators and 15 civil liberties indicators) and status (Free, Partly Free, or Not Free).

Updates: The report is published annually, reflecting developments from the January to December of the preceding year. 
Status of ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural RightOverview and kinds of information it provides: Covers status of state ratification of the two fundamental human rights treaties, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. 

Updates: The index is updated as countries ratify the covenants. 
Institute for Economics & Peace, Global Peace IndexOverview and kinds of information it provides: The Global Peace Index, produced by think tank the Institute for Economics and Peace, ranks 163 countries according to 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators of peace across three categories: the level of Societal Safety and Security; the extent of Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict; and the degree of Militarisation.

Methodology: The GPI comprises 23 indicators of the absence of violence or fear of violence. The indicators were originally selected with the assistance of an expert panel in 2007 and have been reviewed by expert panels on an annual basis. All scores for each indicator are normalised on a scale of 1-5, whereby qualitative indicators are banded into five groupings and quantitative ones are scored from 1 to 5, to the third decimal point.

Updates: The index is updated annually and shared in a yearly report. 
Reporters Sans Frontières World Press Freedom IndexOverview and kinds of information it provides: The World Press Freedom Index, produced by non-profit press freedom organisation Reporters Sans Frontières, ranks 180 countries and regions according to the level of freedom available to journalists. It evaluates multiple indicators: pluralism, media independence, media environment and self-censorship, legislative framework, transparency, and the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of news and information. Along with the Index, RSF calculates a global indicator and regional indicators that evaluate the overall performance of countries and regions (in the world and in each region) as regards media freedom. It is an absolute measure that complements the Index’s comparative rankings. 

Methodology: The rankings are determined using the qualitative responses of experts to a questionnaire designed and distributed by RSF. This is complemented by quantitative data on abuses and acts of violence against journalists during the period evaluated. 

Updates: The index is produced annually. 
World Justice Project Rule of Law IndexOverview: The Rule of Law Index, produced by non-profit rule of law organisation World Justice Project, evaluates the strength of the rule of law in 128 countries and jurisdictions by providing scores and rankings based on eight factors: Constraints on Government Powers, Absence of Corruption, Open Government, Fundamental Rights, Order and Security, Regulatory Enforcement, Civil Justice, and Criminal Justice. 

Methodology: The scores and rankings in the WJP Rule of Law Index 2020 are derived from over 130,000 household surveys and 4,000 legal practitioner and expert surveys worldwide. The scores and rankings of the eight factors and 44 sub-factors of the Index draw from two sources of data collected by the WJP: (1) A General Population Poll (GPP) conducted by local polling companies, using a representative sample of 1,0001 respondents in each country and jurisdiction; and (2) Qualified Respondents’ Questionnaires (QRQs) consisting of closed-ended questions completed by in-country legal practitioners, experts, and academics with expertise in civil and commercial law; constitutional law, civil liberties, and criminal law; labor law; and public health.

Updates: The index is updated annually and the report is published on a yearly basis. 


Index NameDescription
Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI)Overview and kinds of information it provides: The Corruption Perceptions Index, published by anti-corruption advocacy organisation Transparency International, measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories. 

Drawing on 13 surveys of business people and expert assessments, the index scores on a scale of zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). 13 data sources were used to construct the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2019: 1. African Development Bank Country Policy and Institutional Assessment 2018, 2. Bertelsmann Stiftung Sustainable Governance Indicators 2018, 3. Bertelsmann Stiftung Transformation Index 2020, 4. Economist Intelligence Unit Country Risk Service 2019, 5. Freedom House Nations in Transit 2018 ,6. Global Insight Country Risk Ratings 2018, 7. IMD World Competitiveness Center World Competitiveness Yearbook Executive Opinion Survey 2019, 8. Political and Economic Risk Consultancy Asian Intelligence 2019, 9. The PRS Group International Country Risk Guide 2019, 10. World Bank Country Policy and Institutional Assessment 2018, 11. World Economic Forum Executive Opinion Survey 2019, 12. World Justice Project Rule of Law Index Expert Survey 2019, and 13. Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) 2019

The index is updated annually and published in a yearly report. 
Transparency International Global Corruption BarometerOverview and kinds of information it provides: The Global Corruption Barometer, published by anti-corruption advocacy organisation Transparency International, asks for people’s views on corruption in their country generally, how the level of corruption has changed and in which institutions the problem of corruption is most severe.It also provides a measure of people’s experience of bribery in the past year across six different services. The barometer is a public opinion survey that offer views of the general public on corruption and its impact on their lives, including personal experience with bribes. The private sector can use the Global Corruption Barometer to better understand the political climate in a country and the strength of national institutions. (Note: By contrast, the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) relies on the views of experts and reflects the perception of informed observers on corruption in the public sector and politics.)

The survey asks people how well or badly they think their government has done at stopping corruption. The results are based on the responses of 162,136 people in 119 countries and territories.

The most recent report was published covering 2016/2017. 
Basel Institute on Governance Money Laundering IndexOverview and kinds of information it provides: The Money Laundering Index, produced by anti-corruption organisation the Basel Institute on Governance, is an annual ranking that assesses the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/TF) around the world. It also shares analyses of the data. For example, it highlights countries sliding backward and those improving in fighting money laundering year-over-year, as well as the lowest performing and best performing countries overall in a given year. 

The Public Edition of the Basel AML Index 2020 covers 141 countries with sufficient data to calculate a reliable ML/TF risk score.The Basel AML Index provides risk scores based on data from 16 publicly available sources such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Transparency International, the World Bank and the World Economic Forum. The risk scores cover five domains:
  1. Quality of AML/CFT Framework
  2. Bribery and Corruption
  3. Financial Transparency and Standards
  4. Public Transparency and Accountability
  5. Legal and Political Risks
Updates: Data collection for the 2020 Public Edition of the Basel AML Index was finished in June 2020 and does not reflect developments after that date (a paid expert edition is available by subscription and is updated at regular intervals throughout the year).


Index NameDescription
UN Gender Inequality IndexOverview and kinds of information it provides: The UN Gender Equality Index (GII) provides insights into gender disparities in 162 countries. The GII is an inequality index, meaning that it shows the loss in potential human development due to disparity between female and male achievements in three dimensions: reproductive health, empowerment and the labour market. Overall, the GII reflects how women are disadvantaged in these dimensions. The GII ranges between 0 and 1. Higher GII values indicate higher inequalities between women and men and thus higher loss to human development. 

Methodology: The GII relies on data from major publicly available international databases, including the maternal mortality ratio from United Nations Maternal Mortality Estimation Inter-Agency Group, which includes WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and the World Bank; adolescent birth rates from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affair’s World Population Prospects; educational attainment statistics from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics educational attainment tables and the Barro-Lee data sets; parliamentary representation from the International Parliamentary Union (IPU); and labour market participation from the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Updates: The GII is updated annually. 
World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap IndexOverview and kinds of information it provides: The Global Gender Gap Index, produced by the World Economic Forum, benchmarks 153 countries on their progress towards gender parity in four dimensions: Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival and Political Empowerment.The index benchmarks national gender gaps on economic, education, health and political criteria, and provides country rankings that allow for effective comparisons across regions and income groups. The rankings are designed to create global awareness of the challenges posed by gender gaps and the opportunities created by reducing them.

Methodology: There are three basic concepts underlying the Global Gender Gap Index, forming the basis of how indicators were chosen, how the data is treated and how the scale can be used. First, the index focuses on measuring gaps rather than levels. Second, it captures gaps in outcome variables rather than gaps in input variables. Third, it ranks countries according to gender equality rather than women’s empowerment. The index is developed using quantitative data from sources including the ILO, Inter-Parliamentary Union, OECD, UN, and World Health Organization.

Updates: The index is updated annually and published in a yearly report.
World Bank Women, Business and the LawOverview and kinds of information it provides: Women, Business and the Law, produced by the World Bank, measures legal differences between men’s and women’s access to economic opportunities in 190 economies. Eight indicators—structured around women’s interactions with the law as they begin, progress through, and end their careers—align with the economic decisions women make at various stages of their lives. The indicators are Mobility, Workplace, Pay, Marriage, Parenthood, Entrepreneurship, Assets, and Pension. The indicators are used to build evidence of the relationship between legal gender equality and women’s entrepreneurship and employment. 

Methodology: Thirty-five aspects of the law are scored across eight indicators of four or five binary questions. Each indicator represents a different phase of a woman’s career. The methodology was designed as an easily replicable measure of the legal environment for women as entrepreneurs and employees. The data is updated based on feedback from respondents with expertise in family, labor and criminal law. Indicator-level scores are obtained by calculating the unweighted average of the questions within that indicator and scaling the result to 100. Overall scores are then calculated by taking the average of each indicator, with 100 representing the highest possible score.

Updates: The data is updated periodically; the 2020 report reflects data from 2019. Over the last 10 years, the Women, Business and the Law team has updated its data set on a biennial cycle. However, as the pace of reform increases and to give any economies improving their laws more real-time recognition, the project plans to update the data and report annually. 


Index NameDescription
Minority Rights Group International People Under Threat RankingOverview and kinds of information it provides: The Peoples under Threat index, produced by non-profit human rights organisation Minority Rights Group International, identifies those countries around the world where minority communities face the greatest risk of genocide, mass killing or systematic violent repression. This year’s publication focuses on how the current COVID-19 pandemic is worsening conflicts and threatening minorities. Peoples under Threat is specifically designed to identify the risk of genocide, mass killing or other systematic violent repression, unlike most other early warning tools, which focus on violent conflict as such. Its primary application is civilian protection

Methodology: Scores are calculated using quantitative data for ten different indicators. These include: indicators of democracy or good governance from the World Bank; conflict data from the Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research and the Center for Systemic Peace; data on the flight of refugees, internally displaced persons and other populations of concern from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); indicators of group division or elite factionalization from the Fund for Peace and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; the US State Failure Task Force data on prior genocides and politicides; and the country credit risk classification published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (as a proxy for trade openness).
Updates: The ranking is updated annually and published in a yearly report.


Index NameDescription
UN Human Development IndexOverview and kinds of information it provides: The UN Human Development Index (HDI) is a summary measure of achievements in three key dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living.The Human Development Index (HDI) was created to emphasize that expanding human choices should be the ultimate criteria for assessing development results. Economic growth is a means to that process but is not an end in itself. The HDI can also be used to question national policy choices, asking how two countries with the same level of Gross National Income (GNI) per capita can end up with different human development outcomes. 

Methodology: The data is pulled from a variety of sources, including the UN Population Division in the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA); UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) educational attainment data, and GNI per capita by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. For several countries, mean years of schooling and expected years of schooling are estimated from nationally representative household surveys, and for some countries GNI was obtained from the UN Statistical Division’s database – National Accounts Main Aggregates Database.

Updates: The HDI is updated annually.
UN Sustainable Development Goals IndexOverview and kinds of information it provides: The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Index and Dashboards Report have been produced annually since 2016 by the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). The SDG Index and Dashboards Report benchmarks the performance of countries on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in September 2015 by the global community. The report aims to achieve four main objectives: 1. Establish SDGs as a useful, operational tool for policy action. 2. Support national debates on prioritization and formulation of SDG implementation strategies. 3. Complement efforts to develop a robust SDG monitoring framework by the UN Statistical Commission. 4. Identify SDG data gaps, need for investments in statistical capacity and research, and new forms of data.

Methodology: In the 2018 edition, country profiles are generated for all 193 member states but total country scores and ranks are available for 156 countries. 37 countries did not meet the thresholds in terms of data availability to be considered for inclusion in the total rankings and scores. The overall score measures a country’s total progress towards achieving all 17 SDGs. The score can be interpreted as the percentage of SDG achievement. A score of 100 indicates that all SDGs have been achieved. Where possible, the 2018 SDG Index and Dashboards reports official SDG indicators endorsed by the UN Statistical Commission. 

Updates: The index is updated annually and published in a yearly report.
UN Universal Human Rights IndexOverview and kinds of information it provides: The Universal Human Rights Index (UHRI), produced by the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, is designed to facilitate access to human rights recommendations issued by three key pillars of the United Nations human rights protection system: the Treaty Bodies established under the international human rights treaties as well as the Special Procedures and the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Human Rights Council. The UHRI aims at assisting States in the implementation of these recommendations and at facilitating the work of national stakeholders such as National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), non-governmental organisations, civil society and academics as well as the United Nations. The UHRI enables users to produce overviews of recommendations by country (summary by country), by Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), or by Human Rights Voluntary Goals (HRVGs), as well as to perform basic and advanced searches by using filters.

Updates: The index is updated periodically. 


Index NameDescription
Yale University Environmental Performance IndexOverview and kinds of information it provides: The Environmental Performance Index (EPI), published by the Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy in partnership with the Earth Institute at Columbia University, provides a summary of country environmental performance across the globe. Using 32 performance indicators across 11 issue categories, the EPI ranks 180 countries on environmental health and ecosystem vitality. These indicators provide a gauge at a national scale of how close countries are to established environmental policy targets.Overall EPI rankings indicate which countries are best addressing the environmental challenges that every nation faces. Performance can be broken down by issue category, policy objective, peer group, and country.

Methodology: Data for the EPI come from international organizations, research institutions, academia, and independent government agencies, although it seeks not to accept data directly from governments themselves. 

Updates: The EPI is released biennially in even-numbered years. The most recent report was released in 2020; the next report will be released in 2022. 

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