Top Ten Countries For Ethical Travelers

Travelers have the ability to boycott places and events in order to force them to make ethical and moral changes. Or, alternatively, travelers can choose to visit those countries that have put in place good ethical practices, in order to encourage other destinations to follow suit.
Top Ten Countries For Ethical Travelers Getty

We all like to put our money where our mouth is and support good causes - so why would it be any different when it comes to travel? Why would we travel to a beautiful beach in a country where 99 percent of the money is held by a handful of people - and the rest live in squalor? Why would we indirectly support a brutal regime by staying at a luxury hotel owned by the grandson of the regime's leader - or visit a country that has no recycling in place or a horrific track record on human abuses?

In this day and age, questions like these are coming into play when people decide where to vacation and spend their money. And now, there's a handy index to help us out.

The Latin American Travel Company has created a Travel Morality Index which ranks countries on their morals and ethics, as a guide for ethical travelers who want to spend their money and time in countries whose governments and social systems support their people.

The list highlights countries that have laws in place to save the environment, protect human rights, protect animal welfare, support gender equality, and workers rights. The index also takes into account how well the countries score in something called "positive well being" and the Global peace index. These rankings are done in order to encourage other destinations to follow suit.

According to the company, "We thoroughly researched surveys, blog posts, social media, polls, and more in order to come up with a list of important factors that need to be considered when assessing the morality of a destination. These included elements such as the human rights protection score of a country, the amount of animal rights legislation that was in place as of 1st March 2017, the gender equality rates – pretty much everything that should be considered when considering how ethically good a place is. We then ranked countries around the world who offered the best of the best for these categories."

The number one destination for morality was Germany, with Austria and Iceland following in second and third place. Chile placed in the top 20, largely due to its high level of gender equality, and its animal welfare laws which include measures towards anti-cruelty, protection and welfare of animals.

Below are the top ten countries that deserve our applause, support, and vacations.

For the full list - and to see where the U.S. ranks (hint - it's below Chile but above the United Kingdom) - click here.

9. The lights of Prague Castle illuminate the Vltava River. The Czech Republic has long lured visitors because of Prague - but now it's its human rights record that attracts. Getty