For 35-years Freedom House has been keeping an eye on, well on freedom or the state of freedom around the world.
Lately the results of their studies haven't been good as made clear in Freedom House's report on the state of the Rule of Law in today's world:
"A global decline in the rule of law, particularly in Africa and Asia, was a major political development in 2006, data released today by Freedom House indicated.
"According to the subcategory findings from Freedom in the World 2007, the most notable change in freedom in 2006 was global deterioration in judicial independence, due process rights, protection from torture, and freedom from war and insurgencies. These declines occurred in geographically and culturally diverse countries such as Chad, South Africa, Somalia and Ethiopia, as well as Afghanistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
"These subcategory developments point to broader worrying trends noted by Freedom in the World 2007 that threaten the stability of new democracies and provide obstacles to political reform in societies under authoritarian rule. According to the survey, the percentage of countries designated as Free has failed to increase for nearly a decade, suggesting an ongoing “freedom stagnation.”
The entire report can be found at: http://www.freedomhouse.org/.