Last official update: December 23, 2020

Human Rights


Quality of Life rights (or ‘economic and social rights’) include the rights to food, health, education, housing, and work. India scores 61.4% on Quality of Life when scored against the ‘Income adjusted’ benchmark. This score takes into account India’s resources and how well it is using them to make sure its people’s Quality of Life rights are fulfilled.

This score tells us that India is only doing 61.4% of what should be possible right now with the resources it has. Since anything less than 100% indicates that a country is not meeting its current duty under international human rights law, our assessment is that India has a very long way to go to meet its immediate economic and social rights duty.

Source: 2017 – Human Rights Measurement Initiative



5No guarantee of rights

Ranking countries on the degree of respect for workers’ rights.

Source: 2019 – International Trade Union Confederation



53 /167 – Country Rank

The Prevalence Index Rank ranks countries on the relative prevalance of modern slavery. A higher rank indicates a higher prevalence.

Source: 2018 – Global Slavery Index

The Vulnerability to Modern Slavery (lower is better)

Source: 2018 – Global Slavery Index

Conflict & Security


The Conflict Barometer ranks intra-, inter-, trans- and substate conflicts worldwide based on intesity, including violent as well as non-violent conflicts. The violent conflicts are differentiated between violent crises, limited wars or wars.

Source: 2019 – Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research

Conflict & Security


Low state of peace
139 /163 – Country Rank

The Global Peace Index (GPI) measures more than just the presence or absence of war. It captures the absence of violence or the fear of violence across three domains: Safety and Security, Ongoing Conflict, and Militarisation.

Source: 2020 – The Institute for Economics & Peace

Human Rights

Freedom House

71 /100
Free – Status

Freedom House rates people’s access to political rights and civil liberties.

Source: 2020 – Freedom House

Human Rights


75.3 /120 – Score
68 /178 – Country Rank

The Human Rights and Rule of Law Indicator by the FSI considers the relationship between the state and its population insofar as fundamental human rights are protected and freedoms are observed and respected.

Source: 2020 – Fragile State Index



Control of corruption captures perceptions of the extent to which public power is exercised for private gain, including both petty and grand forms of corruption, as well as “capture” of the state by elites and private interests.

Source: 2019 – The WorldBank's Worldwide Governance Indicator

Regulatory quality captures perceptions of the ability of the government to formulate and implement sound policies and regulations that permit and promote private sector development.

Source: 2019 – The WorldBank's Worldwide Governance Indicator

Rule of law captures perceptions of the extent to which agents have confidence in and abide by the rules of society, and in particular the quality of contract enforcement, property rights, the police, and the courts, as well as the likelihood of crime and violence.

Source: – The WorldBank's Worldwide Governance Indicator


Transparency International

41 /100 – Score
80 /198 – Country Rank

The Corruption Perceptions Index scores and ranks countries/territories based on how corrupt a country’s public sector is perceived to be by experts and business executives. It is a composite index, a combination of 13 surveys and assessments of corruption, collected by a variety of reputable institutions. The CPI is the most widely used indicator of corruption worldwide.

Source: 2019 – Transparency International

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India Sector Reports

India timber sector analysis (2020)

Go to sector analysis.

Areas of Interest

There are frequent report of widespread corruption at all levels of government. India has a CPI score of 41 (0=highly corrupt, 100=very clean) which means the risk of corruption is high. Extortion of undue payment by civil servants happens frequently, both from companies and citizens. The awarding of contracts is notoriously corrupted, particularly at the state-level and companies in India regularly pay bribes.

India ratified two key ILO conventions on child labour in 2019. However, children are allowed to work in family enterprises. There are strong indications that India has the highest number of children working globally. According to a study by Fair Wear Foundation in 2019, there are 14 million children working.

A 2018 study by the US Department of Labor reports 8 million people who are forced to work in India. Forced labour is the biggest trafficking problem in India. Timber is not included in the list of goods produced using child labour nor on the list of goods produced using forced labour

India is classified as a Tier 2 country in the 2020 trafficking in persons report, which means that the country’s government does not fully meet the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, but that they are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with these standards.

The National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines is hardly known and used in India. It is the only out-of-court complaint mechanism, but it is not effective: it is not accessible to people in rural areas or illiterate people, and if violations of rights are found, the state barely supports the enforcement of claims.

Press freedom is limited in India: the country is ranked 142 out of 180 and scores 45,33 on a scale from 0 (best possible score) to 100 (worst possible score). Restrictions of freedom of expression and the press include (threats of) violence, unjustified arrests or prosecutions against journalists, use of criminal libel laws to prosecute social media speech, censorship and site blocking.

Indigenous people (Adivasi), the casteless (Dalits), women and children, and religious minorities are the most frequent victims of human rights violations and discrimination, especially in rural India. Human rights defenders are restricted in their work by the authorities and are also victims of violence.

Severe religious freedom violations are reported in India with violence, intimidation and harassment against non-Hindu and lower-caste Hindu minorities considered common. Also, the Muslim community has been frequently attacked in India, allegedly by extreme Hindus aiming to protect holy cows from being traded or slaughtered for beef.

ITUC considers India as one of 10 worst countries in the world for workers. It scores 5 on the ITUC Global Rights Index (scale 1-5) for freedom of association and workers’ rights, meaning rights are not guaranteed. Whereas laws and regulations may include certain rights, in practice workers effectively have no access to these rights and are instead exposed to autocratic regimes and unfair labour practices. In 2019, there were brutal suppression of strikes against workers asking for due payment of wages and better working conditions, mass layoffs and laws were adopted that undermine workers’ rights.

94% of the workforce in India is employed in the informal economy. For the large group of workers in the informal sector (mainly poor/illiterate migrants from the countryside or small cities), only a few of the social security measures are implemented. In addition, there is a large group of casual labourers that are hired for a day, a week or a season and live below the social minimum. For many exporting sectors (including clothing, natural stone, tea sector) common practices are labour without a contract, wages below the legal minimum and poor labour conditions.

About 25% of the Indian population lives below the poverty line, with minority groups, women and the casteless among the poorest inhabitants. Illiteracy is another major problem.

For a rural Indian family of 5, of which 1.546 workers a monthly income of 149 USD is calculated as a living wage (December 2019). For the same family in an urban setting, this would need to be increased to 221 USD per month (August 2019).

The majority of companies in India have a CSR policy. With the introduction of the Companies Act in 2013, almost all main companies located in India are required to reserve 2% of their profits for CSR activities. There is a Global Compact Network in India. Gender equality and anti-corruption have received attention in recent years.

India is considered a high risk country for terrorist attacks: the Aon Terrorism Risk Map classifies it as level 4 on a 1-5 scale of increasing risk.

The US Department of State reports in 2019 among significant human rights issues in India extrajudicial killings perpetrated by police, arbitrary arrest and detention by government authorities and a lack of accountability for official misconduct at all levels of government which contributes to widespread impunity.