Factfile - Human rights

December 21, 2000

  • Women and girls make up more than two-thirds of the world's illiterate population. - UNFPA, The State of the World Population 1999
  • Some 350 million women in developing countries have incomplete or sporadic access to safe family-planning services and for a further 120 million women such services simply do not exist or religious and cultural barriers prevent their use. - UNFPA, The State of the World Population 1999
  • In at least 18 countries, prisoners held in pre-trial detention make up most of the prison population. - Human Rights Watch
  • New Zealand, in 1893, and Australia, in 1902, were the first to grant electoral rights to women. Today, only Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates continue to bar women from full political participation. - Inter-Parliamentary Union
  • Number of people conservatively estimated to be in slavery in 1999: million. - Kevin Bales, University of Surrey
  • Estimate of number of persons illegally trafficked across borders and enslaved in 1990s per year: 2 million. - United Nations
  • Main global language groups - Chinese, Mandarin: 885 million, 15 per cent world population; English: 322 million, 5.4per cent; Spanish: 266 million, 4.5 per cent: Bengali: 189 million, 3.2 per cent: Hindi: 182 million, 3 per cent. - Ethnologue , 1996
  • The world's languages are dying. Ninety per cent of them are expected to disappear in the next 100 years. - Vanishing Voices by Daniel Nettle and Suzanne Romaine
  • The top ten religions in the world are estimated to be: Christianity (2 billion people), Islam (1.3 billion), Hinduism (900 million), secular (900 million), Buddhism (350 million), Chinese traditional religion (225 million), primal-indigenous (190 million), Yoruba religion (20 million), Juche (19 million), Sikhism (18 million). - Adherents.com

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