Afghanistan
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Afghanistan has suffered from chronic instability and conflict in its modern history from the Cold War to the civil wars between the Mujahedeen and the Taliban. The Taliban was removed from power in 2001 (but still exists) and Afghanistan has had a democratically elected government since 2004. 2016 was marked […]

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Albania
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Albania is a constitutionally secular country, while the religious demographic of the country has a Muslim majority there is also a strong Albanian Orthodox and Roman Catholic population. The constitution and legal system along with a secular education system protects universal human rights. However there are agreements with religious groups […]

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Algeria
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

As declared in the constitution, Algeria is a Sunni Islamic State. The Constitution bans non-Muslims from holding high-level government positions. Non-religious groups meet in secret to avoid state persecution and social approbation. Those who “renounce” Islam may be imprisoned, fined, or co-erced to re-convert. Algeria is a member of the […]

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Andorra
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Andorra is a co-Principality with a democratic parliamentary system. The President of France and the Bishop of Urgell are co-princes of Andorra. Constitution and government The constitution and other laws and policies protect freedom of thought, conscience and religion, as well as freedom of opinion and expression. However, the constitution […]

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Angola
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Angola was a Portuguese colony before 1975, gaining independence only after a protracted liberation war, which was followed by a bloody civil war. The socialist-inspired national flag features a gear, a star, and a machete, the latter representing both agricultural production and armed struggle. Long time President Jose Eduardo dos […]

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Antigua and Barbuda
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Antigua and Barbuda is a multiparty, parliamentary democracy, a former British colony. The government is constitutionally secular; however current government organization and practice illustrates preferential treatment in favour of the Antigua Christian Council. Note: Barbuda, one of the nation’s two main islands and home to around 1,600 people, was devastated […]

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Argentina
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Argentina is country on the southern cone of South America. The country obtained its independence from Spain in 1816. Argentina is a federal republic with an established constitution, an elected two chamber Congress and an elected president acting as head of state. ContentsConstitution and governmentBelief DemographicsEducation and children’s rights2015: the […]

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Armenia
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Republic of Armenia is a democratic sovereign state in western Asia with a population of approximately 3 million people. The Armenian Apostolic Church is widely recognised as the world’s oldest church, and is the country’s primary religious establishment with 93% of the population as adherents. ContentsConstitution and governmentReligious privilegesEducation […]

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Australia
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

A continent in itself, Australia is a federal, parliamentary democracy. With a population in excess of 23.6 million, and a total area of 7,692,024 km2, it is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. ContentsConstitution and governmentFavouring ChristianityEducation and children’s rightsFunding inequality between public and private schoolsFamily, […]

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Austria
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Austria is a democratic Republic with an elected Federal President and a Democratic parliament. In December 2016 presidential elections, a credible challenge by a candidate from the far-right, anti-EU Freedom Party was seen off, with economist Alexander Van der Bellen (independent but supported by The Greens) elected to the presidency. ContentsConstitution […]

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Azerbaijan
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Republic of Azerbaijan is a contiguous transcontinental presidential republic in the Caucasus region, situated at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. Azerbaijan is a member state of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist valuesFreedom of AssemblyHighlighted […]

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Bahamas
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Commonwealth of The Bahamas is an island country consisting of more than 700 islands, cays, and islets in the Atlantic Ocean. The Bahamas became an independent Commonwealth realm in 1973. One of the richest countries in the Americas (after the US and Canada), the economy is based primarily on […]

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Bahrain
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Bahrain has a population of 1.3 million, of which only half are citizens. Citizens belong mostly to Islam (99%), the remaining 1% are Christians, Hindus, Baha’is and Jews. There are no statistics regarding Shia and Sunni representation, however, it can be assumed that Shiites represent a majority. The other half […]

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Bangladesh
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Though in theory a secular democracy, the government has frequently given into pressure from Islamist parties, and continues to threaten atheists and others on charges of “hurting religious sentiments”. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and societyReligious involvement in state family lawReligious tensionFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist valuesAtheist […]

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Barbados
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

A sovereign island country in the Lesser Antilles, Barbados is a parliamentary democracy of around 280,000 population, predominantly Christian. ContentsConstitution and governmentFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist valuesBlasphemy law Constitution and government The constitution and other laws and policies protect freedom of thought, conscience and religion, as well as freedom […]

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Belarus
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Belarus, a former soviet republic, attained independence in 1991. Belarus’ ties with Russia influence both economic and political direction. President Lukashenko is often dubbed “Europe’s last dictator”. He’s been in power since 1994. ContentsConstitution and governmentDemographyReligious discriminationEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and societyFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values Constitution […]

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Belgium
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Belgium, a nation of 11.3 million, has a federal constitution with three levels of power. The Communities (French, Flemish, German), the Regions (Walloon, Flanders, Brussels) and the Federal State each have their own responsibilities, mandates and scope. Over 40% of Belgium’s population are identified as non-believers/agnostics (no religious affiliation) or […]

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Belize
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Belize is a former colony and a parliamentary democracy with a Governor General representing the British monarchy. A preamble to the constitution states: “The nation of Belize shall be founded upon principles which acknowledge the supremacy of God”. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and society Constitution and government […]

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Benin
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Benin, formerly known as Dahomey, has the reputation of being a stable democracy. It boasts a proliferation of political parties and a strong civil society, particularly the press. On the economic side, however, the picture is less bright; Benin is severely underdeveloped, and corruption is rife. Benin is a member […]

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Bhutan
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

ContentsConstitution and governmentReligious privilegeEducation and children’s rightsFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values Constitution and government The constitution and other laws and policies guarantee the right to freedom of religion or belief. But the Kingdom of Bhutan officially recognizes only Buddhism and Hinduism, and proclaims Buddhism is the “spiritual heritage” […]

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Bolivia
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Plurinational State of Bolivia, is a landlocked country and a democratic republic. It secularised in 2009, losing Catholicism as the state religion, however, the Catholic Church has deep tendrils into the state infrastructure. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and societyCatholic influenceFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values […]

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Bosnia and Herzegovina
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Bosnia and Herzegovina pronounced independence in 1992, the Bosnian War followed lasting well into 1995. There is a three member Presidency, and a bicameral legislature in place. The country is a member of the Council of Europe and a founding member of the Mediterranean Union. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s […]

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Botswana
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, the country became Botswana after independence in 1966 and remains a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. It has a reputation as a stable representative democracy, following consecutive uninterrupted democratic elections. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFamily, Community, SocietyFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist […]

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Brazil
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Federative Republic of Brazil is a secular and democratic sovereign state in South America with a population of around 202 million. Often described as an emerging world power, it is the fifth largest country in the world by both population and area, and one of just 17 countries worldwide […]

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Bulgaria
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Republic of Bulgaria is a democratic sovereign state in southeastern Europe with a population of 7.5 million and bordered by Romania, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece, Turkey and the Black Sea. The constitution guarantees “the life, dignity and rights of the individual and shall create conditions conducive to the free development […]

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Burkina Faso
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Re-named in 1984 to Burkina Faso (“land of the upright/honest people”), the country gained independence from France in 1960. It is completely landlocked, surrounded by Mali and Niger to the North and Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire to the south. President Blaise Compaoré ruled the country from 1987 and was ousted […]

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Burundi
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Since 2015 major political turmoil has given rise to a crackdown on opposition, serious human rights violations, and a refugee crisis. ContentsConstitution and governmentNkurunziza: the “Eternal supreme guide” of the nationA turbulent relationship between the state and the Catholic ChurchEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and society“Moralizing” societyFreedom of expression, advocacy […]

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Cambodia
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Cambodia remains under the rule of Prime Minister Hun Sen (in power since 1985), following a military coup orchestrated by Hun Sen in 1997. Hun Sen’s government is regularly accused of neglecting human rights and repressing political opposition. Cambodia is one of the poorest and most corrupt countries in the […]

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Cameroon
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Republic of Cameroon is, constitutionally, a democratic sovereign state in the west central Africa region, with a population of 23.1million. Densely populated cities in the south contrast strongly with sparsely populated rural areas in the north, touched recently by the insurgency of Boko Haram and refugees from the Central […]

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Canada
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Canada is a federal parliamentary democracy, extending north into the Arctic Ocean, and sharing the world’s longest land border with the United States. Despite what should be strong constitutional protections for freedom of thought and expression, significant religious privileges are in force, both nationally and in several of its ten […]

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Cape Verde
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The former Portuguese colony of Cape Verde (or Cabo Verde) is comprised of 9 main islands off the west coast of Africa. Poor in natural resources, the Cape Verde islands have nevertheless won a reputation for achieving political and economic stability. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and societyFreedom […]

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Chad
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

A landlocked country sharing borders with Libya, Sudan, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Nigeria, and Niger, Chad’s geography, geopolitics and oil resources have contributed to cycles of violence and rampant corruption. Constitution and government The constitution and other laws and policies protect freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Although the constitution […]

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Chile
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Chile consists of several religious populations. Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion that coexists with Protestants, Evangelicals, other religious groups as well as a significant and growing proportion of the non-religious or religiously unaffiliated, which occasionally face discrimination. The Chilean Constitution assures freedom of religion and separation of church and […]

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China
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

China, the world’s most populous country with about 1.3 billion inhabitants, has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. It has remained under Communist one-party rule since 1949, but has embraced capitalism in recent decades. Although now less extreme than in the Maoist years, the ruling party maintains […]

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Colombia
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Republic of Colombia is predominantly Christian and majority Catholic. It has suffered a low intensity conflict over decades, which has now significantly diminished. The relatively recent constitution of 1991 established a presidential representative democratic republic. ContentsConstitution and governmentCatholic privilegeEducation and children’s rightsBigotry in schoolsFamily, community and societyIlliberal religious influence […]

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Comoros
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The archipelago island nation of Comoros lies off the east coast of Africa has a population of around 800,000, making it one of the lowest populated but most densely populated countries. Around 99% of the population are identified as Sunni Muslims. Following a referendum in 2009, the government introduced a law […]

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Congo, Democratic Republic of
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Populous and extremely rich in natural resources, with about 95% of the population identifying as Christian, about half of which being Catholic, the DRC has been wracked by civil conflict and massive human rights abuses for decades. The Catholic Church predominates as an institution, comparable to the state itself. ContentsConstitution […]

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Congo, Republic of the
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

A former part of the French colony of Equatorial Africa, independent since 1960, the Republic of Congo, or Congo-Brazzaville, borders its larger namesake the Democratic Republic of Congo to the east. It was formerly known as the People’s Republic of the Congo, a Marxist–Leninist single-party state, from 1970 to 1991. […]

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Costa Rica
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Roman Catholicism is the state religion of Costa Rica and its institutions permeate the national infrastructure. ContentsConstitution and governmentReligious biasEducation and children’s rightsFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values Constitution and government The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, but establishes Roman Catholicism as the official state religion and affords […]

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Côte d’Ivoire
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

A presidential representative democratic republic, Ivory Coast or Côte d’Ivoire experienced a coup d’état in 1999, followed by two religiously-grounded civil wars (2002 to 2007, then 2010 to 2011) with the north of the country largely controlled by Muslim rebels, and the recognised government presiding over the predominantly Christian south. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and […]

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Croatia
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Croatia is a unitary republic with a parliamentary system of governance. Croatia declared independence in 1991, contributing to the break-up of Yugoslavia. Croatia is a member of the EU, the UN and NATO. ContentsConstitution and governmentDemographyEducation and children’s rightsCatholic Catcheism classesHatred in the classroomFamily, community and societyFreedom of expression, advocacy […]

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Cuba
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The largest island country in the Caribbean, Cuba has a population of approximately 11 million. The Republic of Cuba is one of the world’s last remaining Communist states. There is no official state religion, however a majority of the population are Christian (59.2%), with a high proportion of people claiming […]

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Cyprus
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Republic of Cyprus is a sovereign island state in southeastern Europe. Situated in the Mediterranean Sea, it is located close to Turkey (north), Syria and Lebanon (east), Israel (south east), Egypt (south) and Greece (west). ContentsConstitution and governmentPrivileged groupsEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and societyFreedom of expression, advocacy of […]

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Czech Republic
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Czech Republic, or Czechia, is one of the least religious countries in the world where – depending on the metrics – at least 60% of the population can be identified as irreligious and 37% as atheists. It is a constitutionally secular state. Beneath the secular surface, however, there are […]

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Denmark
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Denmark is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government. The Kingdom of Denmark encompasses Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic Ocean. ContentsConstitution and governmentState church privilegesThe Faroe IslandsEducation and children’s rightsEducation in the Faroe IslandsFamily, community and societyFaroese societyFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist […]

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Djibouti
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

A semi-presidential republic, Djibouti is a small but strategically-located country on the horn of Africa. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and societyFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values Constitution and government Although the constitution and other laws and policies protect freedom of religion or belief, and freedom of […]

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Dominica
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Dominica, a Caribbean island with few natural resources, has a resident population of 70,000, a dependence on its banana industry, is vulnerable to hurricanes and has a limited infrastructure. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and society Constitution and government The constitution declares that “a person shall not be […]

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Dominican Republic
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Once ruled by Spain, the Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, a former French colony. The Dominican Republic is closely tied to the United States, its largest trading partner by far and home to a major diaspora. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and societyFreedom of […]

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Ecuador
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Ecuador is a presidential democracy with a constitution that declares Ecuador to be secular. The people are a patchwork of indigenous communities, including people of colonial Spanish origins. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist valuesFree speech limitations Constitution and government Ecuador is among the countries […]

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Egypt
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

During the Arab Spring protests in 2011, long-time President Hosni Mubarak resigned and was later replaced in an election by the Muslim Brotherhood-supported Mohammed Morsi. Morsi was himself overthrown in 2013 leaving the country to be ruled by the military under President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Egypt is a member of […]

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El Salvador
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

El Salvador, officially the Republic of El Salvador, is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. ContentsConstitution and governmentReligious privileges and exemptionsEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and societyFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values Constitution and government The constitution and other laws and policies guarantee freedom […]

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Equatorial Guinea
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Formerly a colony of Spanish Guinea, the name Equatorial Guinea name evokes its location near both the equator and the Gulf of Guinea. It is the only African country where Spanish is an official language. A large oil produce, the country is deeply marked by human rights issues, including corruption, […]

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Eritrea
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

One of the world’s poorest countries, with among the lowest life expectancies, religion is predominant in the cultural life of Eritrea. The population is predominantly split between Christian and Muslim adherents, and religious intolerance remains rife. There are severe restrictions imposed by government on those unaffiliated with the four “recognised” […]

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Estonia
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Since gaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Estonia has developed a stable, functioning democracy and performs well across international measures of fundamental freedoms. Eurobarometer polls consistently place Estonia as one of Europe’s least religious countries. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and societyDiscrimination against ethnic minoritiesDiscrimination against […]

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Ethiopia
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Ethiopia is about two-thirds Christian, one-third Muslim, with the vast majority of Muslims being Sufi. Freedom of religion is granted by the constitution, however, the threat of Al-Shabaab Somali terrorists remains high, and the government has specifically interfered with and restrained the affairs and practices of the Muslim population in […]

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Fiji
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Fiji’s major religion is Christianity, followed by Hinduism, and a small percentage of Muslims and other religious minorities. The Christian-Hindu divide is a great cause of religious tensions. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and societyEthnic conflictFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values Constitution and government In 2009, Fiji’s […]

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Finland
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Republic of Finland is a Nordic country with a population of just less than 5.5 million people.  Finland was once part of Sweden and then the Russian Empire until it declared independence in 1917 in the aftermath of the Bolshevik Revolution. The country is a constitutional republic with a […]

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France
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

In France, the dominant religion is Catholicism but the state is strongly secular. Freedom of religion is supported but its importance is secondary to the freedom and rights of all citizens and public order and morality. France suffered two horrendous terrorist attacks in 2015, first against the offices of satirical […]

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Gabon
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Gabonese Republic is a presidential republic, with a population of around 1.5 million people. It gained independence from France in 1960, and has had only three presidents in the intervening years. However, a multi-party system under a democratic constitution are now place. Petroleum-rich with a low population density have […]

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Gambia
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Surrounded by Senegal, apart from a short strip of Atlantic coastline at its western end, Gambia is the smallest country on mainland Africa. This country is found to be in flux, following the democratic transfer of power in December 2016/January 2017. Some of the ratings applied at present reflect the regime […]

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Georgia
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

A former Soviet republic which declared its independence in 1991, Georgia is today a  representative democratic semi-presidential republic, lying at the intersection of Europe and Asia. The northern regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia have declared independence from Georgia, though there is little international recognition for their independence, and Georgia […]

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Germany
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Germany, a federal parliamentary republic and a nation of 80.6 million, has a federal constitution and consists of 16 constituent states. ContentsConstitution and governmentGeneral systemic issuesEstablishment of religionChurch taxEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and societyDemographyPublic servicesOther religious privilegesFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values“Blasphemy”Lack of representationPublic HolidaysHighlighted cases Constitution and […]

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Ghana
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The government of Ghana constitutionally guarantees freedom of expression and generally respects it in practice, but press restriction continues. However there are strong concerns that religiosity is effectively enforced in some schools and numerous cases of social discrimination based on religion or belief. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community […]

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Greece
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Greece is a unitary parliamentary republic on the edge of the Balkan Peninsula, often regarded as the birthplace of democracy in Europe and a catalyst to western civilisation. The country has seen steady economic, social and legal changes in recent years with leftist government attempts towards towards secularisation of the […]

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Grenada
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Grenada is an island country consisting of the island of Grenada and six smaller islands at the southern end of the Grenadines in the southeastern Caribbean Sea. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist valuesBlasphemous language Constitution and government The constitution and other laws and policies […]

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Guatemala
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Guatemala, with Mexico on its Northern boundary, is in a pivotal position in Central America. It was the scene of a 36-year guerrilla war until 1996, a peace agreement was signed by the government that finally put an end to the internal conflict. The main religion in Guatemala is Christianity, […]

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Guinea
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Guinea is a former French colony in Western Africa, today it is a multi-party presidential republic following years of one-party control and military coups. Religious freedom issues persist in the country for the majority Muslim population as well as for other religious and nonreligious groups. Guinea is a member state […]

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Guinea-Bissau
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Guinea-Bissau is a former Portuguese colony in West Africa which maintains a multi-party presidential republic after undergoing a recent military coup. Religious rights are mostly respected throughout the country, although some issues persist. Guinea-Bissau is a member state of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Constitution and government Religious freedom […]

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Guyana
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Co-operative Republic of Guyana is a sovereign state on the Caribbean coast of South America. ContentsConstitution and governmentBlasphemous libelEducation and children’s rightsFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values Constitution and government The constitution and other laws and policies protect freedom of thought, conscience and religion, as well as freedom […]

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Haiti
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

A multi-party, semi-presidential republic, the island of Haiti gained independence in 1804, making it the first modern independent nation of Latin America and the Caribbean. ContentsConstitution and governmentReligious privilegesEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and societyLGBT rightsFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values Constitution and government The Haitian constitution and other […]

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Honduras
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Republic of Honduras, historical home to Mesoamerican cultures including the Maya, was conquered by Spain in the sixteenth century who imported Roman Catholicism which has been predominant culturally ever since. Honduras’ multi-party system has been turbulent and wracked with controversy. ContentsConstitution and governmentReligious privilegeFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist […]

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Hungary
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Hungary is often said to be pulled culturally, socially and politically between “East” and “West”. The modern constitutional parliamentary democracy was introduced as lately 1989, following a long history of varying authoritarian regimes including 40 years of communist dictatorship. In the first 20 years, democratic institutions were set up and […]

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Iceland
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Located in the North Atlantic, Iceland is the most sparsely populated country in Europe. It has a multi-party parliamentary system and was one of the worst affected countries during the 2008 Global Financial Crisis with the collapse of its banking system. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and societyFreedom […]

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India
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

India is the world’s most populous democracy, religiously pluralistic, and for many years proud, in the main, of its secular constitution. This country is found to be declining. Concerns about freedom of religion or belief and freedom of expression have been rising under the BJP government. ContentsConstitution and governmentBeef bansEducation […]

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Indonesia
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Indonesia, the world’s third-largest democracy, has in the past had a relatively good reputation for plural religious identity united under a monotheistic state ideology, however, this reputation was largely in decline during the term (2004-2014) of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (“SBY”). Under president Joko Widodo (“Jokowi”), elected 2014, there was […]

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Iran
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Iran, the second largest nation in the Middle East, has a population of more than 80 million, of which (on paper at least) 99% are identified as Muslim. The Muslim majority includes a Shia majority (90%) and 9% Sunni Muslims (Turkmen, Arabs, Baluchis and Kurds). The remaining 1% of non-Muslim […]

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Iraq
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Iraq is surrounded by Saudi-Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Iran and Kuwait, and has been at the centre and conflux of events not just in the region but worldwide for decades. Iraq is a member of the League of Arab States (LAS), as well as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). […]

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Ireland
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Ireland is a Republic of about 4.8 million people. It covers about five-sixths of the geographical island of Ireland. In 1922 it achieved de facto independence from the UK, and became the mostly-Catholic Irish Free State. The rest of the island remained within the UK, and became the mostly-Protestant Northern […]

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Israel
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Israel has a population of just over 8.2 million people. Those identifying as Jews represent an estimated 75% of the population, with 17% identifying as Muslim. Smaller religious minorities are Druze (1.6%), Christian (2%) and Baha’is Samaritans Karaites and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Controversially established as a homeland for the Jewish people, […]

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Italy
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

A limb of southern Europe stretching out into the Mediterranean, Italy’s Roman past penetrates deeply into European cultural history, the “umanista” of the Italian Renaissance prefigured the modern humanist movement, and the Catholic Church remains a predominant force in the country today. ContentsConstitution and governmentA web of accord and concordats, […]

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Jamaica
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Jamaica is a small island nation in the Caribbean of around 2.8 million people. The country obtained its independence from the UK in 1962. It remains a Commonwealth realm with the Queen of England acting as head of state and a Governor General. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community […]

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Japan
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Japan is an island nation of 126 million inhabitants, located in the Pacific Ocean, east of China. It is a constitutional parliamentary monarchy and a major economic power. Constitution and government Japan’s secular constitution provides strong protections of freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, as well as a clear separation […]

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Jordan
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a sovereign state with a constitutional monarchy in western Asia with a population of approximately 7.9 million. More than 90% of citizens are Sunni Muslims and there are small communities of Christians, Shiites, Baha’i and Druzes. Jordan significantly restricts freedom of religion, belief, and […]

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Kazakhstan
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Kazakhstan is a member state of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). ContentsConstitution and governmentFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist valuesDon’t hurt religious feelingsHighlighted casesTestimonials Constitution and government The constitution and other laws and policies protect freedom of thought, conscience and religion, as well as freedom of opinion and expression. […]

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Kenya
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Republic of Kenya is situated between Somalia and Uganda. The population is largely Christian (82%), with a large Muslim minority (11%), as well as a growing non-religious number (2.4%), with other religious minorities making up the rest of the population. In recent years, there has been growing terrorist violence […]

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Kiribati
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Kiribati (officially pronounced Kiribas) is a presidential republic, which gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1979 and joined the United Nations as a full member in 1999. The majority of the population live on the largest island, Tarawa, but overpopulation is causing problems. Many on outer islands live at […]

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Korea, Republic of
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Republic of Korea (“South Korea”) generally protects and, in practice, respects freedom of religion, but there remain some privileges over the non-religious. In addition, conscientious objectors continue to be incarcerated by the government and “non-ethnic” Koreans face discrimination. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and societyLGBT rightsAbortion banEthnic […]

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Kosovo
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Kosovo is a multi-party democratic republic bordered by the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro and Serbia. Kosovo became a UN protectorate following the Kosovo War of 1999 with prolonged tensions and violence between its Albanian and Serb populations. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, Serbia continues to […]

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Kuwait
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Kuwait is a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliamentary system. When taken in comparison with other countries in its region, Kuwait generally ranks well in terms of civil liberties, press freedom and judicial independence. Nevertheless, the past few years have seen a notable crack-down on freedom of expression in the […]

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Kyrgyzstan
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

For 75 years under the Soviet system, the Kyrgyz Republic was officially an atheist state. Experiencing ethnic tensions, political and economic woes since independence, Krygyzstan is now a parliamentary republic, though still retains many hallmarks of Soviet Russification. The population of Kyrgyzstan was estimated of 5.72 million (2013). Over 80 per cent […]

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Laos
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Lao People’s Democratic Republic is a landlocked country in which a third of the country’s 6.5 million people live below the international poverty line. Freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and especially freedom of opinion and expression, are significantly restricted in the single-party Marxist republic of Laos. Constitution and government […]

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Latvia
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Latvia is an independent republic, and a recent member of the European Union.  It has a substantial Russian-speaking population. It has a population of 2.2 million and close links with Estonia and Lithuania. ContentsConstitution and governmentReligious privilegesEducation and children’s rightsFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values Constitution and government Latvia […]

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Lebanon
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Lebanese Republic has a population of around 5.9 million people, of which almost 1.4 million are mostly Syrian (and some Palestinian) refugees. The country’s history has been marked by sectarian tensions between its numerous and diverse ethnic and religious groups which came to a head in the Lebanese civil […]

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Lesotho
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Predominantly Christian (around 90%), with a Muslim minority in the north-east, the Kingdom of Lesotho is a small democracy (population around 2million) with a symbolic monarch. It has been particularly hard hit by the AIDS epidemic. Completely enclosed within South Africa, there have been movements to solicit annexation by the […]

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Liberia
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Located on the West African coast, most of the country is covered by dense tropical forests. Liberia was the only colony founded by the United States of America, and the Liberian flag is influenced by this inheritance. A military coup in 1980 led the country into a long phase of […]

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Libya
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Libya is a North African country of 6.2 million inhabitants, of which 97% are Sunni Muslims. The Amazigh ethnic minority counts some Ibadi Muslims and there are small Christian communities among sub-Saharan African and Egyptian migrants. Libya is the fourth largest African country by area and holds the world’s tenth-largest […]

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Liechtenstein
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Liechtenstein in a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. Doubly landlocked between Switzerland and Austria, it has an estimated population of 35,000. ContentsConstitution and governmentReligious fundingEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and societyAbortionLGBTI+ rightsEthnic and religious discriminationFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values Constitution and government The constitution and other laws […]

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Lithuania
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Lithuania is a parliamentary representative democratic republic with a multi-party system. The country is a member of the EU, and NATO, ranks very highly on the UN Human Development Index 2014 and has one of the fastest growing economies in the EU. ContentsConstitution and government“Traditional” privilegeEducation and children’s rightsFreedom of […]

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Luxembourg
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Luxembourg has no state religion, although the dominant religion is Roman Catholicism. The Constitution allows freedom of religious belief and practice in general, but grants privileges to certain religious groups. ContentsConstitution and governmentDemographyEducation and children’s rightsFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values Constitution and government The Constitution provides for freedom […]

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Macedonia
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Lying in the center of the Balkan Peninsula, Macedonia is a parliamentary democracy, and an independent state since 1991 (previously being part of Yugoslavia). The country has a multi-party democratic system, and is officially is a secular state. The Republic of Macedonia has been a candidate for European Union membership […]

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Madagascar
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Madagascar, a country with a population of about 22 million, is a religiously pluralistic country, with Christians making up about half of the population, as well as Muslims and a small number of Hindus and Jews and adherents of indigenous religions. The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, expression and […]

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Malawi
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Malawi is a landlocked state in southern central Africa, a former British colony, with an estimated population of  17.4 million people, from several ethnic groupings. Constitutionally it is a multi-party democracy. One of Africa’s poorest countries, agriculture forms the backbone of the economy. The spread of HIV/Aids remains a particular […]

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Malaysia
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Malaysia is a federal, multi-territory constitutional monarchy, split across two land masses: Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia. There is a degree of freedom of religion or belief among the significant non-Muslim religious minorities including Christians, Buddhists and Hindus. However, rising attention on the small number (~1%) prepared to identify as […]

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Maldives
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Though most famous internationally as a popular tourist destination, Maldives has been described as undergoing a battle between liberal and literal interpretations of Islam, with serious human rights violations linked to fundamentalists, and attacks on perceived atheists and homosexuals in recent years. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and […]

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Mali
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Republic of Mali is a landlocked sovereign state in western Africa with a constitutional democracy and a population of approximately 14.5 million. The country has faced numerous problems with regards to health, poverty and sanitation. The average life expectancy is estimated at 53 years, and it has one of […]

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Malta
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Malta is a small, densely-populated island nation of 450,000 inhabitants, located in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily. It is a parliamentary republic and member state of the European Union. Despite opposition from the Catholic Church, which remains hugely influential, Malta has seen significant progressive reforms in recent years including […]

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Marshall Islands
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Marshall Islands have a mixed parliamentary-presidential system of governance. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and societyFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values Constitution and government The constitution and other laws and policies protect freedom of religion or belief, as well as freedom of opinion and expression. These […]

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Mauritania
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Mauritania bridges the Arab Maghreb and western sub-Saharan Africa; its Arab-Berber population tend to live in the north and black Africans in the south. It is one of the world’s poorest countries, with about one fifth of the population living on less than $1.25 per day. Slavery has been described […]

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Mauritius
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The volcanic, island nation of Mauritius is a former British Colony, obtaining independence in 1968. In 1991, when the country became a Republic, a President designated by the National Assembly replaced the Governor General, who had previously represented the Queen of the United Kingdom, the former Head of State. Mauritius is […]

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Mexico
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Mexico, with a population of 118 million inhabitants, is the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world. Its secular constitution guarantees religious freedom. However, societal discrimination against certain religious minorities occurs, and journalists who criticise officials are frequently harassed and even attacked. ContentsConstitution and governmentRegistering religionsEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and […]

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Micronesia
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Federated States of Micronesia is a nation made up of hundreds of islands which are ruled by a parliamentary republic without established political parties. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and societyFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values Constitution and government The constitution and government of Micronesia protect […]

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Moldova
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

With a population somewhat over 3.5 million, Moldova is a parliamentary republic nestled between Romania and Ukraine. ContentsConstitution and governmentA populist presidentEducation and children’s rightsFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values Constitution and government The constitution and other laws and policies protect freedom of thought, conscience and religion, as well […]

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Monaco
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

With a constitution that protects free speech and expression, Monaco also provides constitutionally protected freedom of and from religion although it does have Roman Catholicism as its official state religion. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values Constitution and government Article 2 of the constitution […]

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Mongolia
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

In 1990 Mongolia abandoned its 70-year-old Soviet-style one-party state and embraced constitutional, political and economic reforms; while the Soviet withdrawal initially provoked poverty and unemployment, Mongolia intends to develop with the aid of significant mineral wealth. ContentsConstitution and governmentDemographyEducation and children’s rightsFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values Constitution and […]

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Montenegro
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Montenegro is in terms of both its size and population is one of the smallest European states. After the collapse of the Yugoslav federation in 1989 Montenegro remained a part of a smaller Federal Republic of Yugoslavia but voted in a referendum of 1992 in favour with the federation with […]

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Morocco
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Morocco, officially the Kingdom of Morocco, is a country with over 33 million inhabitants, of which 99% are identified as Sunni Muslims, with a small number of Christians, Jews, Shiites, and Baha’is. Judaism is privileged over other religious minorities. Morocco is separated by only 14 km from its northern neighbour, […]

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Mozambique
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

With a workforce approximately 80% involved in agriculture, and a predominantly Christian population with a sizable Muslim minority, about half of Mozambican people speak Portuguese, the country’s only official language. Mozambique has been negotiating the emergence of democracy following the protracted civil war (1977-1992). ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFamily, […]

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Myanmar (Burma)
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Controversially renamed Myanmar by the military regime, the country otherwise known as Burma is emerging from decades of repressive military rule under emergency powers. Aung San Suu Kyi’s Natinoal League for Democracy won a larger-than-expected, landslide majorioty in the 2015 elections, widely regarded as a representative (though not without electoral […]

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Namibia
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Namibia is a democratic and secular sovereign state with a population of approximately 2.1 million. Approximately 80% are reportedly Christian, with the remaining 10-20% holding traditional indigenous beliefs while a small minority of around 1-3% are said to be Muslim. ContentsConstitution and governmentFamily, community and societyFreedom of expression, advocacy of […]

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Nauru
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Nauru is an island republic with a unicameral parliament and no political parties, with politicians usually standing on independent platforms. With a population of around 10,000, the island is the smallest republic in the world. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and societyFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values […]

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Nepal
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Prior to a civil war between Maoist rebels and the government in 2006, the country was officially a Hindu state. In 2008, Nepal became a secular democratic republic. The new constitution as of 2015 retains “secularism” but places restrictions on freedom of religion or belief. ContentsConstitution and governmentBan on religious […]

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Netherlands
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Netherlands is a democratic, constitutional monarchy in Western Europe, generally recognised as a liberal country that formally has an evenhanded policy towards religious and non-religious views. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and societyFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist valuesEx-Muslims from home and abroadBlasphemy abolished Constitution and government […]

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New Zealand
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

New Zealand consists of two main islands and other outlying smaller islands. It has a population of approximately 4.9 million (as of the 2018 Census) and has a democratic, parliamentary government. ContentsConstitution and governmentReligious privilegeExclusory religious symbolismEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and societyFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist valuesBlasphemy Law […]

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Nicaragua
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America by area, but its population density is relatively low. Nicaragua was first settled by the Spanish in 1522; it gained independence in 1838. It is majority Catholic and other Christian denominations. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and society Constitution and […]

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Niger
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Niger, found on the edge of the Saharan Desert, is one of the poorest countries in the world today. It provides minimal government services, and is often debilitated by droughts. Over 98% of the population is Muslim, with 95% of those Sunni and 5% Shia. Niger is a member state […]

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Nigeria
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

In Nigeria, approximately half of the population are Muslims, about 40 percent are Christians, and roughly 10 percent are of traditional indigenous religions or no religion. While the constitution guarantees religious freedom, the state endorses numerous anti-secular and theocratic policies. The government and non-state militia such as Boko Haram constantly […]

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North Korea
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The so-called “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea” or “DPRK” is often recognised as the world’s most isolated state; a fascistic, total suppressor of basic human rights and freedoms, subverting all social, civic and political life to the maintenance of pervasive (but ultimately fragile) illusions of grandeur. ContentsConstitution and governmentNational fantasyEducation […]

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Norway
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Norway is a constitutional parliamentary monarchy of about five million inhabitants, bordering its Nordic neighbours Sweden and Finland, as well as Russia. Norway is rated as having the highest Human Development Index (HDI) in the world, according to the most recent data published in 2018. Recent reforms which extend and […]

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Oman
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Sultanate of Oman is an absolute monarchy with a population of 3.2 million people, of which only 55% are citizens. 75% of the citizens are Ibadi Muslims, a branch distinct from both Shia and Sunni Islam. There is a 5% Shia minority and the remaining citizens are mostly Sunni […]

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Pakistan
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Pakistan is approximately 97% Muslim and the remaining 3% are Christian, Hindu, Buddhists or others. The country has suffered chronic sectarian violence against religious and non-religious minorities, with Shia Muslims subjected to the majority of the violence, and many extremely serious incidents against the Christian minority. For individual non-religious persons to […]

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Palau
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Palau, part of a former United Nations Trust territory, became independent in 1994. A population of 20,600 people inhabit an archipelago of volcanic and coral islands. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and societyFreedom of expression advocacy of humanist values Constitution and government The constitution preamble states that the […]

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Palestine
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Palestine has a tumultuous history and disputed territorial boundaries. The region holds a population of approximately 4 million, of which the vast majority are Sunni Muslim. There are small communities of Christians and Jews. In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict religion and ethnicity are often closely linked. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s […]

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Panama
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, revenue from canal tolls continues to represent a significant portion of Panama’s GDP. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values Constitution and government The constitution and other laws and policies protect freedom of religion or belief, […]

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Papua New Guinea
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Papua New Guinea is located on the eastern half of the island of New Guinea, which is the second largest island in the world. The country was divided between Germany and UK in 1885. In 1976, Papua New Guinea became an independent country. Some significant social tensions and social dysfunction […]

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Paraguay
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Paraguay is a religiously pluralistic society with a population of about 7 million. It has been estimated that about half the population is Catholic and about 20-25 percent of the population is evangelical Protestant, and there is a mixture of various other religious populations as well as people with no […]

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Peru
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Peru’s democratic political institutions have been severely tested by the trauma of the government’s 20-year war with leftist guerrillas up to 1980, the exploitation of natural resources on indigenous lands, corruption and involvement in the growth of coca, used for cocaine. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and societyDemographyCatholic […]

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Philippines
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Philippines is an archipelago of which 7 islands host the majority of the 100 million population, the second largest population of countries in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations). Spanish and US influences remain strong, especially in terms of religion (mainly Roman Catholic) and government. Nominally Roman Catholics […]

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Poland
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Roman Catholic Church is the largest religious organization in Poland and maintains considerable influence in social and political life. In 1993, it was granted special recognition by the Polish state as per a Concordat with the Holy See. Recent developments have seen an attempted near blanket-ban on abortion, backed […]

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Portugal
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Portugal is a constitutional republic, with a president and prime minister in executive roles, and multi-party elections. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community, society, religious courts and tribunalsFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist valuesBlasphemy lawDefamation Constitution and government The constitution and other laws and policies protect freedom of thought, […]

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Qatar
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Qatar has about 2 million residents, only 10% of them are citizens and 1.5 million of them are expatriates. Islam is the majority religion, with 90% Sunni Muslims and a small Shia community. The non-citizens belong to Islam, Hinduism (35%), Christianity (20%) or Buddhism (7%). With the exploitation of large […]

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Romania
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Romania is a semi-presidential republic with a multi-party system, a member of the EU and NATO. ContentsConstitution and governmentReligious privilegeChallenging church-state relationsEducation and children’s rightsIntolerance in schoolsPresumed consent for religious instructionFamily, community and society“Traditional family” as a challenge to individual liberties ‘Homophobic’ referendumFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values Constitution and government […]

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Russia
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Russian Federation is the world’s largest country by land area. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, beset by corruption and cronyism, Russia has struggled in efforts to build a new democratic political system and market economy. This country is found to be declining under the renewed […]

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Rwanda
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Republic of Rwanda is a small country in Central East Africa bordering Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It’s mainly rural population is over 12 million giving the country the highest population density on mainland Africa. Rwanda’s recent history is dominated by Hutu/Tutsi ethnic tensions […]

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Saint Kitts and Nevis
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Saint Kitts and Nevis, also known as The Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, is a two-island nation in the Caribbean which maintains a multi-party parliamentary democracy political system under a constitutional monarchy. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and societyFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values Constitution and […]

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Saint Lucia
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Saint Lucia is an island nation in the eastern Caribbean Sea which maintains a multi-party parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy. The country maintains no official religion, however concerns about religious privileging do exist. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist valuesBlasphemy Constitution and government The […]

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Samoa
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Samoa is a very small Oceanian country of about 200 thousand inhabitants, which maintains a single-party parliamentary democracy. Religious freedom issues persist regarding education and other matters, even though the constitution guarantees religious freedom. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and society Constitution and government The constitution and other […]

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San Marino
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

San Marino is a microstate encircled by Italy, and in proportion to its population is the world’s most Catholic country. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values‘Blasphemy’ law Constitution and government San Marino has no state religion and enshrines and broadly respects non-discrimination principles. However, […]

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Saudi Arabia
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an Islamic state governed by an absolute monarchy in tandem with a powerful religious elite. From 2014 to 2017 Saudi anti-terror law defined “the promotion of atheist thought” as an act of terrorism, and the 2017 anti-terror law still continues to suppress many forms […]

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Senegal
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

A constitutionally secular state, Senegal gained independence from France in 1960. French remains the official language. The population of around 13 million is predominantly Sufi Muslim. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and societyFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values Constitution and government The constitution and other laws and […]

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Serbia
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Serbia generally respects human rights and the freedom of religion following the implementation of its new constitution in 2006.  The vast majority of the population, 85%, is Christian Orthodox, and 94% of people belong to one of the seven ‘traditional’ religions recognised by the government.  It is estimated only 1.1% […]

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Seychelles
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Republic of Seychelles, an archipelago off the east coast of Africa, has the smallest population of any African nation. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist valuesReligious broadcasting Constitution and government The constitution and other laws protect freedom of religion or belief and this right […]

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Sierra Leone
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Predominantly Muslim, with an influential Christian minority, Sierra Leone’s religious practices tend to be syncretic and mixed with traditional belief. The state is secular, and regarded as one of the most religiously tolerant in the world. Muslims and Christians collaborate and interact with each other peacefully. However, there are significant […]

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Singapore
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Singapore is a wealthy city-state of 5.5 million inhabitants, linked to mainland Malaysia. It gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1963. Today, Singapore is a parliamentary constitutional republic, known for the conservatism of its leaders and its strict social controls. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and societyBelief […]

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Slovakia
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Slovakia is a democratic republic with a multi-party parliamentary system. After the 1989 collapse of Communism, the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993 meant that Slovakia became an independent state. It is now a member of the EU and NATO. The population of around 5.4 million people is predominantly Catholic. ContentsConstitution and governmentReligious […]

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Slovenia
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Slovenia is a parliamentary democracy located on the Adriatic Sea, a member of the European Union and Nato. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and societyExpression, advocacy of humanist values Constitution and government The constitution and accompanying laws and policies protect freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression, […]

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Solomon Islands
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Solomon Islands is a constitutional monarchy as a member of the Commonwealth with a parliamentary system of government. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsGovernment SubsidyCurriculumFamily, community and societyViolence against womenChurch attack Constitution and government The constitution and other laws and policies protect freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression, and […]

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Somalia
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Somalia has lacked an effective central government for decades. The resulting anarchy enabled extremist Islamist groups to impose harsh forms of Sharia that included death for apostasy, blasphemy and other expressions of the freedom of belief and expression. ContentsConstitution and governmentIslamic lawAl-ShabaabEducation and children’s rightsFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist […]

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South Africa
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Officially known as the Republic of South Africa (RSA), this multiethnic country is situated at the southernmost tip of Africa. South Africa is a secular democracy which encompasses a wide variety of cultures, languages and religions, the majority-religion being Christianity. Race remains a huge source of social tension in post-Apartheid […]

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South Sudan
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

South Sudan remains in a state of transition since achieving independence from Sudan in 2011. It has no state religion, and humanist advocates appear to have some presence in the country. However, despite vocal commitments to religious tolerance by political leaders, escalating inter-ethnic and inter-religious violence between Muslims and Christians […]

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Spain
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Spain is a constitutional monarchy with a bicameral parliament. The population of around 46 million people enjoy constitutional guarantees of secularism, though in practice there are extant religious privileges, in particular for the Catholic Church. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and societyExpression, advocacy of humanist valuesDe facto “blasphemy” […]

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Sri Lanka
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country of just over 20 million people occupying an island in the northern Indian Ocean.  Formerly part of the British Empire, “Ceylon” attained independence in 1948, and became a republic in 1972.  There are many ethnic groups on the island and […]

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Sudan
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Sudan, an Arab republic in which the predominant religion is Islam, has long suffered from severe ethnic strife and has been plagued by internal conflict. The country has a poor human rights record, with particular issues over ethnic cleansing and slavery. Sudan is member of the League of Arab States […]

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Suriname
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Republic of Suriname seceded from Netherlands in 1975. Just under half the population identify as religious, with significant religious minorities including Hindus and Muslims. According to the 2012 census, 7.5 percent are atheist or agnostic. ContentsConstitution and government“Blasphemy”Education and children’s rightsFamily, community and societyReproductive rightsFreedom of expression, advocacy of […]

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Swaziland
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Kingdom of Swaziland is surrounded – with the exception of Mozambique to its east – by South Africa. Around 83% Christian with a significant 15% said to practice traditional African religions. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values Constitution and government The constitution and […]

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Sweden
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Sweden is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy. Sweden is a member of the EU and the UN but has declined NATO membership. The country has a social welfare system providing education and health care to all its citizens and ranks very highly on the UN Human Development Report. […]

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Switzerland
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The constitution of Switzerland and other laws and policies both protect and respect religious freedom in practice. However, some discrimination based on religious identity, belief, or practice have been reported. ContentsConstitution and governmentChurch taxesEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and societySocial discrimination and hatredFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist valuesHighlighted cases […]

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Syria
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Syrian Arab Republic is a mutli-ethnic nation (predominantly Arabs, Kurds, Circassians, Chechens, and Turkomans), which was around 75% Sunni, 10%, and the remainder mainly a mix of other Muslim and other religious groups. Many of these groups have been disrupted and displaced in conflict in recent years. The country […]

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Taiwan
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The independence and sovereign limits of Taiwan are disputed. The People’s Republic of China insists that there is one unified China, including Taiwan, however Taiwan claims independence as a separate state. This tension means that Taiwan is only considered a separate state by 25 countries internationally. Owing to the refusal […]

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Tajikistan
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Tajikistan plunged into civil war, which ended in 1997. In spite of some developments and laws passed on domestic violence and agreeing on an International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which eliminated the death penalty, the current government which, now in its […]

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Tanzania
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Tanzania is a united republic formed from mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar, in 1977. The constitution defines Tanzania as a “democratic and… secular” state. (Zanzibar has its own constitution, courts and legislature within the united republic’s constitution.) ContentsConstitution and governmentFamily, community and societyReligious courtsBirth control discouragedHighlighted cases Constitution and government In […]

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Thailand
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

After the Constitutional Court ruled the 2014 general elections invalid, and the carteaker Prime Minister and others to leave office, the army seized power in a military coup. In August 2014 the leader of the coup General Prayuth Chan-ocha was sworn in as Prime Minister. Martial law technically ended on […]

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Timor-Leste (East Timor)
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

East Timor is a democratic sovereign state in southeast Asia with a population of approximately 1.1 million, of which it is estimated that 96% are Catholic. ContentsConstitution and governmentCatholic privilege and religious discriminationEducation and children’s rightsFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values Constitution and government The constitution and other laws […]

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Togo
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

In the area historically known as “the Slave Coast”, Togo gained independence from France in 1960. Eyadéma Gnassingbé came to power in 1967 in a bloodless coup and died 5 February 2005 after 38 years in power, the longest dictatorship in African history. A military-backed succession by his son, Faure […]

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Tonga
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Tonga is a constitutional monarchy, an archipelago, spanning 800 kilometres and made up of 176 islands in the Pacific Ocean. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values Constitution and government The constitution and other laws and policies protect freedom of thought, conscience and religion, as […]

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Trinidad and Tobago
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is one of the wealthiest in the Caribbean, due to its large reserves of oil and gas and unusually industrialised petrochemical industry. The islands are majority Christian but with a range of beliefs, including syncretic African religions. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFreedom of […]

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Tunisia
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Tunisia has a population of 10.9 Million, of which approximately 99% are Sunni Muslims. Beside there are small Christian, Jewish, Shiite and Baha’i communities. Jewish and Christian faith (belonging to the ahl al-kitab) is in general more readily accepted by the Majority of Muslims. The Jewish community in Tunisia has […]

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Turkey
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

With its historical metropolis, Istanbul, the only city in the world said to be straddling Asia and Europe, Turkey has long been pulled ideologically in divergent directions. In recent years, the famous secularism of Atatürk has been under tremendous pressure from the Islamist-leaning government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and […]

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Turkmenistan
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Since 2006, under new President Berdimuhamedow, there have been a few tentative steps toward liberalisation, however Turkmenistan remains harshly repressive, insular, and authoritarian. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFreedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values Constitution and government While the former Soviet republic of Turkmenistan has lost most of its […]

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Tuvalu
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Tuvalu is a parliamentary democracy located midway between Hawaii and Australia in the Pacific Ocean. Constitution and government The constitution and other laws and policies protect freedom of thought, conscience and religion, as well as freedom of expression, assembly and association. Most of these rights are protected in practice, although […]

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Uganda
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Uganda, lying around the north and north-western shores of Lake Victoria, is a predominantly Christian country, with a significant Muslim minority, and a president, Yoweri Museveni, of some 28 years standing. Uganda is member state of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and […]

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Ukraine
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Ukraine became a fully independent sovereign state in 1991 following the collapse of the Soviet Union. By area i tis the largest country entirely within Europe, and has a population of around 45 million, mostly defining as Christian, and the majority of these as Eastern Orthodox Christians. <pewforum.org/files/2011/12/Christianity-fullreport-web.pdf> In November 2013, Euromaidan, […]

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United Kingdom
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The United Kingdom (UK) is a constitutional monarchy comprising Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and Northern Ireland, with a total population of about 64 million people. England with the largest population, 53 million, is home to a bi-cameral UK parliament which has devolved a range of powers to the […]

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Uruguay
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The Uruguayan constitution and other laws and policies generally protect and respect freedom of religion or belief. With a long tradition of secularism, Uruguay is the most socially secular nation in Latin America. ContentsConstitution and governmentEducation and children’s rightsFamily, community and societySecularization and progressive valuesSome deviations from LaicidadFreedom of expression, […]

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Uzbekistan
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

In 1991, Uzbekistan emerged as a sovereign country after more than a century of Russian rule. A former Communist emerged as President; he has exercised a ruthlessly authoritarian approach to all forms of opposition, using the danger of Islamic militancy to justify the absence of civil rights. Uzbekistan is a […]

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Vanuatu
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

Vanuatu is small island nation spread 85 small islands in the south Pacific.  It has a population of around 267,000 people.  Formerly known as the New Hebrides, it was under joint British and French administration until it attained independence in the 1980s.  The small country is home to as many […]

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Venezuela
Const/Govt Edu/Child Society/Comm Expression

The majority of Venezuelans are Catholic, who coexist with Protestant, Muslim, Jewish, and indigenous populations. There has been much tension between the government and Catholic officials and the Jewish community. Freedom of expression, assembly and association have been restricted. In 2017, Venezuela is undergoing a severe social and political crisis. After […]

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