• Sun
  • Dec 28, 2014
  • Updated: 12:20pm
NewsHong Kong
HUMAN RIGHTS

Hong Kong beats UK, US on 'human freedom' index

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 January, 2013, 8:33am

Hong Kong ranks third-best globally for "human freedom", topping such well-established democracies as the United States and United Kingdom, according to the research from the Fraser Institute, a Canadian think tank. The mainland stood at 100th.

The city was the star performer for economic freedom - scoring 9.02 out of 10. But in terms of personal freedom, or civil liberties, it measured 7.8, worse than at least 49 countries.

This gave it an overall score on the "human freedom index" of 8.39, below New Zealand and the Netherlands. The US was ranked 7th and the UK 18th.

"No nation that has adopted economic freedom has ever failed to evolve towards civil and political freedoms, with only two possible exceptions: Singapore and Hong Kong," the report noted. "The great question for the future is whether ... market reforms ultimately lead to other freedoms in [mainland] China."

The mainland was given 5.1 and 6.44 points for personal and economic freedom respectively.

The personal freedom indicator included freedom of speech and religion, legal discrimination against homosexuals and women's freedom. The economic one focused on property protection and individuals' engagement in voluntary transactions.

Civic Party lawmaker Dr Kenneth Chan Ka-lok, an international studies scholar at Baptist University, said the low personal freedom ranking "sounds a timely alarm over signs of compromising civil liberties and an increasingly authoritarian government" in Hong Kong.

Dr Benedict Chan Shing-bun, at the Hang Seng Management College, agreed with the index's methodology. "I believe [mainland officials] are aware of the importance of keeping Hong Kong's economic edge."

The index table, involving 123 countries and regions, was drawn from 2008 and was contained in a new book, Towards a Worldwide Index of Human Freedom, co-researched by Germany's Liberales Institut.

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This article is now closed to comments

prashant.az
On a seperate note you can add journalistic rigour being at the bottom of the list of the SCMP editorial board. Doesn't the SCMP mention or realize anything about the Fraser Institute? Publishing an article like this only legitimizes its content, please keep in mind that the Fraser Institute also came up with abolishing minimum wage, is ideologically right leaning, gets its funding chiefly from industry sources, in 1999 came up with an article that basically said there was NO scientific evidence linking cancer with second hand smoke, advocated that governments keep out from tobacco regulation, etc etc
caractacus
Everyone commenting strongly disagrees with the Fraser Institute nonsense. Who are they anyway and what criteria do they use?
The only real economic freedom belongs to the unscrupulous gang of tycoons, property developers and government officials whose filthy collusion manipulates the whole domestic economy while the vast majority of ordinary people get the shaft.
CatInAFlap
This Bull$#@! about Hong Kong people working long hours has to stop. They may spend a long time at work, in the office etc just to make it look like they are working hard (and to - misguidedly - impress the boss) but in reality they don't work harder than people anywhere else.
sunnymedina
So long as we have HK property mafia tycoons running the show here bleeding us dry, all of us HKers will be sucking off the hind ****. Hong Kong and 'Economic Freedom' what a joke!
likingming
The HK govt has the mindset of making money and accumulating huge reserves from her own people. Apart from the Govt Associates (tycoons, civil servants, welfare dependants, licensed monopolies), all other non-associate ordinary people are most likely to be exploited.
HK is a rich financial centre for the rich and the vested interest. The majority poor have to suffer with long working hours (or two jobs) and live in poverty. Vote with your feet and leave HK
SpeakFreely
Economy freedom? Where? Silicon Valley last year has over USD 12b invested in startups almost the same amount as HKSE raised last year. I don't have a number on VC investing in HK, excluding China, but my guess is close to zero or totally immaterially small. What's the implication. The implication is HK is a monopoly run economic place that are controlled by developers (top 10 wealthiest person in HK are developers?) that there is no startup opportunities here. Where is the economy freedom? VC are street smart and not as nonsense as these agency...
SpeakFreely
Even the so called economy freedom is Ov rated in HK. hK properties are manipulated by government and developers that driving up rent NAND prices now is affecting virtually anyone unless you have more than one properties collecting rent. That's not free economy, wake up! That's the biggest joke! If you make 1.5M a year here and u are renting, you just barely.
Hk is never a free economy. Our stock trading cost is the highest and we have the shortest trading hours amongst the major financial centre. Shopping is so expensive here comparing to US. Our min wage is $28 now 30, vs US min wages around 50 to 60 Usd but our building cost is 3000 to 4000 a sq ft vs in US is around 800 to 1200 per sq ft....economy freedom or economy monopoly in HK? Come on!
SpeakFreely
Personally I see these 200,000 people living in coffin , cage home and subdivided rooms are like salve. Where is the freedom!
Sunny
‘The city (HK) was the star performer for economic freedom…’? Has this got any connection with Hong Kong also being one of the the biggest money-laundering cities of the world?
mcheung
Exactly! In Hong Kong, no one will ask where the money come from. It has to be the biggest money laundering city in the world, and this is "economic freedom"! SAD!

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