The World’s Top 10 Most Ethical Places 2014 report described Mauritius as the best run country in sub-Saharan Africa and the island economy continues to be among the most competitive, stable and successful economies in Africa.

The report by California nonprofit organization Ethical Traveler evaluates countries on four aspects: environmental protection, social welfare, human rights and animal welfare.

The complete list for 2014 (in alphabetical order) includes the Bahamas, Barbados, Cape Verde, Chile, Dominica, Latvia, Lithuania, Mauritius, Palau and Uruguay. Ethical Traveler does not rank the countries within the top 10.

The report outlined that there were considerable progress in Mauritius with respect to attainment of Millennium Development Goals such as education, gender equality in education, adult literacy and improved sanitation.

With a stable democracy, the island received its highest score to date this year, placing it far above the regional average and under the category of ‘high human development.’

Mauritius is ranked highest in the sub-Saharan African region by the Heritage Foundation’s Economic Freedom Index 2013 due to improvement in property rights and labor freedom.

Additionally, the Ibrahim Index of African Governance which measures countries against 57 criteria using 84 indicators attributed the island the highest ranking.

Concerning environmental protection, Mauritius showed efforts to expand tourism while protecting its communities and environment and is cited by the World Bank in October 2013 as a success story.

Moreover, Mauritius announced impressive renewable energy goals, aiming for 100% and 35% renewable use respectively over the next two decades.

However, Mauritius failed to achieve the highest possible marks on the human rights front because of security force abuse of suspects and detainees, arbitrary arrests, and prison overcrowding.

Other reported human rights problems include official corruption, violence and discrimination against women, abuse and sexual exploitation of children, discrimination based on sexual orientation, persons living with HIV/AIDS, restrictions on labor rights and child labor.

As Mauritius is the second largest supplier of wild-caught and captive bred monkeys in the world for laboratory purposes, the report observed that Mauritius has challenges in regards to animal welfare, which marks the first time for this category on the list.

Finally, the report commented on general trend and noticed that all countries, even those that feature as this year’s winners, face serious challenges that must be addressed if they want to take significant steps forward.

No Asian country qualified for the list because human rights and environmental records of these nations continued to be found wanting.

The report also noted that no continental African country improved their human rights situation on the 2014 list. Indeed, Ghana found itself removed from the list because of its declining human rights record this year.

Image (Oleg Znamenskiy/Shutterstock): Concerning environmental protection, Mauritius showed efforts to expand tourism while protecting its communities and environment and is cited by the World Bank in October 2013 as a success story.

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