Civilisation has operated in two ways - To make one part of society more affluent and the other more wretched than would have been the lot of either in a natural state
There are Natural Rights and Civil Rights. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
Where Our Power to Execute Our Natural Rights is Perfect, Government has No Legitimate Jurisdiction
When the Forces for War are Greater than the Forces for Peace   Then the World is in Danger
Politics is not a Dirty Word. It is a Way of Life. How is Your Way of Life Today ?


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The coronavirus pandemic has got us all concerned about the health of those around and far from us.

In times like these, people expect their governments to work towards preventing devastating results. Political decisions should always be made with the public interest at their heart, especially when it comes to health.

This week, we have been alarmed over another major public health issue as new, disturbing reports suggest undue influence by powerful private interests.

Smoking claims lives of over 8 million people around the world annually, and the illicit trade in cigarettes is a major part of the problem. Availability of contraband cigarettes contributes to higher addiction rates, especially among lower-income populations, fuelling a human-made tobacco epidemic.

New investigations from the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project show that the tobacco industry has been undermining the global efforts to curb the illicit trade in cigarettes through bribery, secret lobbying and regulatory capture.

Reports detailing how the tobacco industry turned an EU process intended to track and trace illicit cigarettes to their own advantage are especially troubling, as governments elsewhere are reportedly planning to replicate the flawed EU system.

The tobacco black market deprives governments of an estimated US$40 billion in tax revenue each year. These are billions that should be flowing into healthcare funds to prevent fatalities caused by cigarette addiction.

We hope you are staying healthy and following the precautions advised by the World Health Organization and other health authorities. If we are diligent and show solidarity with one another, we can slow down the virus.

Fortunately, solutions to prevent undue influence over policy decisions that affect our lives are also known, mandatory lobbying registers are one of them – and a powerful one.

What do you think? Let us know @anticorruption.

Anti-Corruption Award 2020


Last call: Nominations for Anti-Corruption Award 2020 close Monday

Do you know someone who is making a real difference in your community? Propose them for our Anti-Corruption Award today – deadline is Monday, 16 March 2020. 


Watch: Anti-Corruption Award 2018 winner Daphne Caruana Galizia (posthumous)

Daphne Caruana Galizia was a brave and effective investigative journalist who exposed major corruption scandals involving powerful politicians and other individuals in Malta and abroad. She was murdered in October 2017.

News from Transparency International


Clearing the smokescreen: The deadly consequences of undue influence

One may think that back-room deals and secretive campaigns involving the tobacco industry are a thing of the past, consigned to the era of Mad Men, or at least before widespread health warnings on cigarette packages. New investigations show that this is not the case.


Reports of undue influence by tobacco industry strengthen case for mandatory EU lobby register

New reports that detail how the tobacco industry undermined the creation of a robust EU infrastructure to curb the illicit trade in cigarettes. The European Commission needs to strengthen mechanisms for preventing covert lobbying and regulatory capture. 

New on Voices for Transparency


Sextortion: Sexual offence or corruption offence?

Nancy Hendry from the International Association of Women Judges raises an important challenge: “When an immigration official demands cash in exchange for a work permit, we call it bribery and label the official as corrupt. But what if he demands sex instead?”


Ensuring the right to information in Vietnam – one step of many

While there is still a long way towards effective implementation, Vietnam finally has a law affirming citizens’ right to information. Transparency International’s national chapter actively contributed to the legislative process, helping ensure a stronger legal framework.

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