Frequently asked questions about Oppression Offset

Find answers to frequently asked questions about our tool Oppression Offset here. If you have more questions, email us at

How are you using the donations?

With the Oppression Offset, you contribute to our work supporting the fight for democracy and human rights worldwide and supporting human rights defenders in some of the world’s most repressive regions. Some examples of our work are Natalia Project, a community-based alarm and security management system, and the Emergency Fund, which provides rapid support to human rights defenders in danger. Another example is our work to ensure that perpetrators of serious human rights violations are brought to justice and that victims of such crimes receive redress.

How do I know my donation is safe?

We have a Swedish 90-account and are working according to the Swedish Fundraising Control’s guidelines. We are a member of the Swedish Fundraising Association which advocates ethical and professional fundraising. This guarantees that your donation is being handled correctly, and used for its intended purpose.

How did you calculate the Oppression Offset?

The formula is as follows: Length of trip * Average daily cost * VAT (or similar) * Degree of autocracy * Number of people. The formula is based on the length of the trip, Swedes’ average cost per day during trips abroad, VAT rates, and how autocratic the country is. The average daily cost is based on the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth average from Facts about Swedish Tourism 2021, the VAT rate is taken from PwC and Deloitte and the country’s degree of autocracy is based on V-dem’s democracy index. Higher costs, higher VAT rates, longer stays, and a higher degree of autocracy in the country leads to higher compensation.

However. The calculation should not be seen as perfect. We have not weighed all the factors that benefit a dictatorship. and, of course, the average daily cost varies.

We have not considered all the possible factors that can affect how much money actually benefits the dictatorship. In some countries, there are failed tax systems. In other countries, the population and businesses avoid paying taxes. The average daily cost can of course differ from traveller to traveller.

The calculation is way too simple

In order to obtain exact values and results, investigations and research need to be done for each individual country. In this calculation, we have settled for an indication. Our goal is to raise awareness about how many of our popular travel destinations are dictatorships where the local population’s human rights are violated.

Why are not all countries included?

We have based the calculation on Varietes of Democracy’s Liberal Democracy Index, which measures the level of democracy in different countries around the world. In this index, each country is classified as either a democracy or a dictatorship. We have only included countries that are classified as dictatorships, as trips to these countries are the ones in need of an Oppression Offset. You will find a total of 90 countries to choose from in our tool.

If I offset my oppression footprint when travelling to country X, will my donation support democracy work in that specific country?

No, your donation will not directly support that country. We support human rights defenders fighting for democracy and human rights in over fifty countries. Your donation supports our work. All of our raised funds are put to work where they are most needed at the moment. You can rest assured that your Oppression Offset will defend democracy and human rights worldwide.

Do you think that people should not be allowed to travel to dictatorships? After all, tourism brings money to the local population and contributes to work opportunities.

We are not saying that you should stop travelling altogether or stop travelling to authoritarian countries in general. Tourism is an important source of income for many countries and can contribute to both work opportunities and positive developments. But we also need to think about what our money contributes to when we travel to countries with authoritarian regimes – part of your travel budget will go to the dictatorship. That’s why we offer you the tool Oppression Offset.

I can’t afford this much. Can I support you in any other way?

There are several ways to support us on our website. Also, you do not have to donate the entire amount in the calculation. You can choose any amount from SEK 10 and up for your Oppression Offset. Every cent is important!

Is this not a political standpoint?

We do not take a stand for or against a particular party, neither in Sweden nor in other countries. However, Civil Rights Defenders always take a stand for human rights. We work to improve people’s access to freedom and justice through increased respect for their civil and political rights. We hold those in power accountable when legislations, or its application, is in conflict with civil and political rights.