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The state of the world’s human rights

FACTS AND FIGURES Report 2006: The state of the world’s human rights

NB: Figures as of 23 May 2006, unless otherwise indicated.


Remarkable progress on the abolition of the death penalty showed the potential for public pressure to bring about change.


• By 2005, 122 countries had abolished the death penalty in law or in practice

• In 1977, the year when the USA resumed the use of the death penalty and AI convened a groundbreaking International Conference on the Death Penalty, only 16 countries were abolitionist.

• 1…. Country known to AI that still executed juvenile offenders in 2005.


In 2005, the US Administration acknowledged the use of “renditions”. Rendition is the practice of transporting persons forcibly and without due process from one country to another where they risk being interrogated under torture or ill-treatment. Renditions are illegal under international treaties to which all European governments are party.

• 2005... year in which evidence was made public of involvement of European governments in US-led renditions.

• 1000... approximate number of secret flights directly linked to the CIA that used European airspace between 2001 and 2005, some of which may have carried prisoners.

• 100s... estimated number of persons who may have been subject to renditions around the world.

• 6... number of European countries implicated in the rendition of 14 individuals to countries where they were tortured.

• 1... number of European countries that has issued arrest warrants for CIA agents suspected of kidnapping prisoners for rendition.


Governments championed human rights on the one hand, and undermined them on the other.


• 141… countries party to the UN Convention against torture and other ill-treatment.

• 104… countries out of the 150 countries in AI’s 2006 report that have tortured or ill-treated people.


The conflict in Darfur has been described as staggering in scale and harrowing in nature. Urgent action is needed by the United Nations and the African Union to protect civilians in Darfur.


• 2.2 million… number of refugees and people displaced by the conflict.

• 285,000… estimated number of deaths from starvation, disease and killings in Darfur since 2003.

• 7,000… number of African Union monitors deployed in Darfur.

• 13… number of UN Security Council resolutions adopted on Darfur.

• Zero… number of United Nations peacekeepers deployed in Darfur.


At the Millennium Summit in 2000, the world’s leaders set clear targets to solve some of the most vexing global social problems. But, they failed to turn their promises into performance.
Governments promised to achieve universal primary education by 2015.

• 100 million+… number of children who remain out of school.

• 300,000… estimated number of child soldiers.

• 46%… number of girls in the world’s poorest countries with no access to primary education.


Thousands of people have been detained without charge or trial, tortured and ill-treated in the name of counter-terrorism.

• 1592… number of days since the USA opened the Guantánamo Bay prison camp for ‘war on terror’ suspects on 11 January 2002.

• 759… total number of people who have been detained at Guantánamo Bay.

• 13… age of Mohammed Ismail Agha when taken into US custody in Afghanistan in late 2002 before later being transferred to Guantanamo.

• 0… the number of detainees at Guantánamo Bay who have been convicted of a criminal offence.


From birth to death, in times of peace as well as war, women face discrimination and violence at the hands of the state, the community and the family.

• 2 million girls… at risk of female genital mutilation each year. Only 9 countries have specific legislation outlawing female genital mutilation.

• 25 % … of women experience sexual abuse by an intimate partner in their lifetime. 79 countries have no legislation against domestic violence.

• 5.3 % … of rapes reported in England and Wales in 2003 resulted in a conviction.

• Unknown: the total number of women raped in conflict. Rape is commonly used as a weapon of war. Establishing exact figures is difficult due to insecurity, logistics, fear of stigmatisation and risk of reprisal against women who report rape.


The proliferation of small arms is fuelling conflict, poverty and human rights abuses worldwide.

• 2… bullets for every person on the planet and one gun for every ten.

• 1000… average number of people killed every day by small arms.

• 1 to 10… for every $1 spent on development assistance $10 is spent on military budgets.

• 88%… reported conventional arms exports are from the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council: China, France, Russia, UK and USA.

Note for Editors:

All sources of data are from Amnesty International, except as noted below.
Parties to the Convention against Torture:
Refugees and conflict-related deaths:
African Union Monitors:
United Nations Security Council Resolutions:
Children and education:
Violence against women: and ‘A gap or a chasm: attrition in reported rape cases’ at'a%20gap%20or%20a%20chasm

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