Ethical Traveler announced that Mongolia has been selected for its 2017 World’s Ten Best Ethical Destinations list, for the second year in a row.

Based on environmental protection, social welfare, human rights, and animal welfare criteria, Ethical Traveler evaluates all developing countries in the world and releases a list of the top 10 developing nations that they consider the most ethical places for traveler to visit.

Joining Mongolia in 2017, are Belize, Cabo Verde, Chile, Costa Rica, Domini-
ca, Palau, Tonga, Uruguay, and Vanuatu. Mongolia received a high score thanks to its investment in education projects for 457 schools, benefitting half a million students and teachers. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Sports created 200 new physics labs in secondary schools across the nation to increase interests in science. Mongolia also made progress in wildlife protection.

Mongolia earned the highest possible score in human rights, based on its ranking in a Freedom House annual report. Mongolia moved up the Freedom House rankings for improving human rights and political freedom during the 2016 parliamentary elections.

Ethical Traveler lowered Mongolia’s score in animal welfare due to indications that the stray dog population is moderated by professional exterminators. Ethical Traveler says it will closely follow Mongolia’s efforts to advance domestic animal welfare for next year’s list, as they have found evidence that some private veterinary clinics are working to reduce the population of stray animals in the capital through sterilization.

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