Governance & Transparency »
November 18, 2013

Introduction: Why fight corruption?

poverty, birth mortality, children, environment
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Poverty. Inequality. Broken public services. Self-serving politicians who loot state coffers with impunity.  Company directors who abuse their power. From New Delhi to Athens, from Occupy Wall Street to the Arab Spring – all over the world people are taking to the streets to protest against these injustices. Their grievances are particular to each country, but there is a common thread linking them - corruption.  

Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. It hurts everyone whose life, livelihood or happiness depends on the integrity of people in a position of authority. Corruption holds back economic development, prevents a free market operating for businesses and consumers, and further exploits already marginalised groups.

It is striking that the spotlight on corruption is often shone overseas. However, in 2011 Transparency International UK  ’s report ‘Corruption in the UK’ found that the growing threat of UK corruption is often met with complacency, and that key institutions are refusing or slow to confront the problem. Mounting evidence leaves no room for denying the UK has its own corruption problems.  These may not be as widespread as in some other countries where the problem is entrenched, but any level of corruption in our public institutions is too much. Furthermore, there is a big problem with public mistrust of government and politics in the UK; as displayed by Jeremy Paxman’s interview with Russell Brand going viral on YouTube. In fact, Transparency International’s 2013 Global Corruption Barometer found that 90% of respondents believe that the UK Government is run by a few big entities acting in their own interest.

Over and above corruption within the UK itself, this country plays a part in the global human tragedy of corruption. Corruption is ‘exported’ every time a British company pays a bribe overseas – further embedding the corruption in that country and reinforcing the power of corrupt elites. And chinks in the defences against money laundering in the City of London and the UK’s Overseas Territories allow corrupt dictators to find a safe haven for their illicit wealth.

The statistics about corruption make sober reading. For example, in developing countries, corruption raises the cost of connecting a rural household to a water network by as much as 30%, inflating the cost of achieving the Millennium Development Goal on water and sanitation by more than US $48 billion. The cost of bribes paid by low-income Mexican homes was estimated at 24 per cent of household earnings. Closer to home, the Council of Europe estimates that corruption costs the European Union around 120 billion euros a year.

At Transparency International (TI), we believe there should be zero tolerance for corruption wherever it is found. But despite the progress we have made since TI was founded 20 years ago, including the UK’s recent commitment to tackling money laundering by implementing a public register of company owners, it is not easy to fight corruption.
 

Many of our 100-odd chapters throughout the world are often the subject of threats, intimidation and violence. TI Russia has been operating in an environment which has become increasingly dangerous for those who are vocal in their criticism of the authorities. The safety of Transparency Maldives has also come to the attention of the movement as several staff members received telephone threats and a volunteer was attacked. These incidents are of particular concern as in July of this year, the first murder of a member of the movement suspected to be related to their work occurred at TI Rwanda. Gustave Sharangabo Makonene 33, was working as a coordinator of an Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre, and his job was to help people who complained about corruption in their lives.  

This is why we need countries like the UK to put their own houses in order so as to be more effective in contributing to global efforts to combat corruption.

 

Comments


Mary McGuigan

12/9/2013 11:44:04 AM

We have a responsibility to free the world of corruption

magumba patrick

11/18/2013 5:37:51 AM

for sure we have to come together and fight against poverty and corruption within we people. me I do not deal with corruptible people and those dealing with corruption. I want corruption to stop in my country uganda because its like a daily meal within our government officials. please lets hate corruption.

Maria Moreno

11/13/2013 5:17:59 PM

Truly the worlds biggest problem

Supravat Pati

10/4/2013 11:31:54 PM

CORRUPTION IS A GLOBAL FACTOR AND DUE TO CORRUPTION THE INCREASING OF POVERTY AROUND WORLD FROM CHILD SLAVERY TO FARMER DIED FOR HUNGRY. TO FREE FROM CORRUPTION EVERY INDIVIDUAL OF WHOLE WORLD SHOULD BE VERY HONEST AND EFFICIENT TO HIS JOB /PROFESSION. LET ME EXPLAIN THAT PROFESSION WITH A INTENTION OF CORRUPTION MAKE A POVERTY WORLD. WHERE THE CHILD TO WOMEN TO FARMER ALL ARE SUFFERING FOOD FOR LIVING.MY APPEAL TO ALL THE PROFESSIONAL TO WORK WITH HONESTY AND THIS HONESTY MAKES EFFICIENT ONE FOR THE GROWTH OF THE COUNTRY TO WHOLE WORLD. FOR LIVING A LIFE WE ALL ARE IN OUR PROFESSION AND WE ALL SHOULD MAKE OUR JOB/ PROFESSION CLEAN AND IT SHOULD FOR THE GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT OF COUNTRY TO WORLDWIDE.

Supravat Pati

10/4/2013 11:30:59 PM

CORRUPTION IS A GLOBAL FACTOR AND DUE TO CORRUPTION THE INCREASING OF POVERTY AROUND WORLD FROM CHILD SLAVERY TO FARMER DIED FOR HUNGRY. TO FREE FROM CORRUPTION EVERY INDIVIDUAL OF WHOLE WORLD SHOULD BE VERY HONEST AND EFFICIENT TO HIS JOB /PROFESSION. LET ME EXPLAIN THAT PROFESSION WITH A INTENTION OF CORRUPTION MAKE A POVERTY WORLD. WHERE THE CHILD TO WOMEN TO FARMER ALL ARE SUFFERING FOOD FOR LIVING.MY APPEAL TO ALL THE PROFESSIONAL TO WORK WITH HONESTY AND THIS HONESTY MAKES EFFICIENT ONE FOR THE GROWTH OF THE COUNTRY TO WHOLE WORLD. FOR LIVING A LIFE WE ALL ARE IN OUR PROFESSION AND WE ALL SHOULD MAKE OUR JOB/ PROFESSION CLEAN AND IT SHOULD FOR THE GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT OF COUNTRY TO WORLDWIDE.

Supravat Pati

10/4/2013 11:30:57 PM

CORRUPTION IS A GLOBAL FACTOR AND DUE TO CORRUPTION THE INCREASING OF POVERTY AROUND WORLD FROM CHILD SLAVERY TO FARMER DIED FOR HUNGRY. TO FREE FROM CORRUPTION EVERY INDIVIDUAL OF WHOLE WORLD SHOULD BE VERY HONEST AND EFFICIENT TO HIS JOB /PROFESSION. LET ME EXPLAIN THAT PROFESSION WITH A INTENTION OF CORRUPTION MAKE A POVERTY WORLD. WHERE THE CHILD TO WOMEN TO FARMER ALL ARE SUFFERING FOOD FOR LIVING.MY APPEAL TO ALL THE PROFESSIONAL TO WORK WITH HONESTY AND THIS HONESTY MAKES EFFICIENT ONE FOR THE GROWTH OF THE COUNTRY TO WHOLE WORLD. FOR LIVING A LIFE WE ALL ARE IN OUR PROFESSION AND WE ALL SHOULD MAKE OUR JOB/ PROFESSION CLEAN AND IT SHOULD FOR THE GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT OF COUNTRY TO WORLDWIDE.

Michael Sandell

7/22/2013 1:48:42 AM

Spoke to a priest today and he said I was not Michael from Daniel. Well I am not sure what I am but I am trying to bring peace to this world in a very different way. I hope you all can see this with the messages below. We can end corruption in this world, just give me a chance to do it. We can remove poverty as well if people only give back to the world, I hope I give them the courage to do this.

Michael Sandell

7/21/2013 12:55:03 AM

Please nobody remove these or comment here, let these stay here forever to make an example of the rich when they meet God right in their face. Give up I come from God, we are going to be all equal. Belong to your dreams of being equal to ever human.

Michael Sandell

7/21/2013 12:36:00 AM

Accept that you are forgiven for your sins now and carry on together as one. Please don't kill again it will really haunt you about what the next side will bring you when there really is a Michael and he looks like he is from God. Don't kill anyone again, be forgiven.

Michael Sandell

7/21/2013 12:20:34 AM

Many of you will not understand this, but it is me telling you I am taking over the world for God as a Michael as it was said in the bible Daniel 12:1. Now trust in God.

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