Ethicaltraveler.org had listed Lithuania among The Worlds’ 10 Best Ethical Destinations in 2013. In 2014 we are pleased to see Lithuania has remained in the top 10. The best ethical destination list is emphasizing such points as many examples of environmental pro-activity and strong culture of historical preservation and preservation of natural resources among others and also noting countless, diverse tourism opportunities.
Every year, Ethical Traveler reviews the policies and practices of scores of nations in the developing world. We then select the ten that are doing the most impressive job of promoting human rights, preserving their environments, and supporting social welfare – all while creating a lively, community-based tourism industry. By visiting these countries, we use our economic leverage as travelers to support best practices.
Ethical Traveler is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization, and a project of the Earth Island Institute. No money or donations of any kind are solicited or accepted from any nations, governments, travel bureaus or individuals in the creation of our annual list.
Ethical Traveler congratulates the countries on our 2014 list of The World’s 10 Best Ethical Destinations. The winners, in alphabetical order (not in order of merit), are:
- The Bahamas
- Barbados *
- Cape Verde*
- Latvia *
- Lithuania *
- Mauritius *
- Palau *
- Uruguay *
( * = also appeared on the 2013 list)
Latvia and Lithuania scored highest in environmental protection among the Ethical Destinations. Latvia in particular should be lauded for its status as one of only ten countries in the world highlighted for being top performers in 22 indicators spanning ten policy categories reflecting areas of both environmental public health and ecosystem vitality. Lithuania and Chile showed improving environmental performance indicators and we hope to see that continue.
To evaluate countries’ human rights record, respected sources like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders, and Freedom House were consulted to understand the challenges each nation has to address. Every country has human rights issues, but it was important for us to see efforts made towards improving those situations and preserving basic rights for all.
The Bahamas, Barbados, Chile, Dominica, Cape Verde, Lithuania, Palau and Uruguay received the highest possible scores from Freedom House in the categories of Political Rights and Civil Liberties as well as high Press Freedom ratings — even ranking better than those of some developed countries. Mauritius only just fell short of achieving the highest possible marks, which is rare among African nations.
Though many metrics and reports are studied to arrive at the list, this is the first year Animal Welfare is considered. It was a mixed prospect. While some of the winners (notably Dominica, Palau and Lithuania) scored high marks on this scale, two others, Mauritius and the Bahamas, have challenges.
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