It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that 2020 has been a year of great reckoning, catalysed by a pandemic that few saw coming. It has also been a year of political change and massive protests for social justice around the world. After a year of great tumult, there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel, but how can we ensure a just and fair recovery from the crisis?
In a year like 2020, anti-corruption activism has been limited by social distancing measures, the threat of contamination and – in many countries – police brutality.
The pandemic fuelled corruption and dramatically highlighted its impact on individuals and communities. In response, we have seen organisations, governments and the civil society renewing their commitment to working together to end the devastating impact of corruption on people’s lives.
On this day, Transparency International chapters reminded their governments of the most pressing anti-corruption priorities in their countries.
For example, Transparency International Ireland released the third edition of their biennial Speak Up report. This year’s report highlights that whistleblowers in the health sector face the highest level of retaliation. This is concerning given that a robust recovery from the pandemic relies on transparent and corruption-free health care mechanisms, which whistleblowers help protect.
In South Africa, Corruption Watch released Our Future is not for Sale, a report that highlights the acute vulnerability of the country’s youth to corruption and their exclusion from economic opportunities, as well as the obstacles it poses for a recovery from COVID-19.
December 9 sent a strong message to remain #UnitedAgainstCorruption, but beyond a hashtag it is the opportunity to take historic steps in fighting cross-border corruption, which is devastating lives and livelihoods of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities.
That is exactly what our new campaign with leading economists, trade unions and diverse civil society groups aims to achieve. We are also inviting businesses, civil society, academia and other stakeholders to sign the appeal until 5 January 2020.
Next, we will be bringing this appeal on behalf of the signatories to the first-ever United Nations General Assembly Special Session against Corruption (UNGASS) scheduled for June 2021. This high-level gathering is an opportunity that cannot be missed, and we’re urging governments to make history. Can we count you in?
The first-ever United Nations General Assembly Special Session against Corruption, UNGASS 2021, offers us a key opportunity to tackle the global crisis of corruption. We highlight the three key reforms that the upcoming UNGASS 2021 should agree on to recover from the current crises with integrity.
When people in a small village in Sri Lanka did not receive the government-announced relief funds, they decided to challenge corruption with the help of their local Advocacy and Legal Aid Centre (ALAC). They ended up uncovering embezzlement of relief funds by local consuls and political actors. This reflects a broader trend in Sri Lankan society, uncovered by the 2020 Global Corruption Barometer Asia – 52 percent of Sri Lankans think corruption is increasing in their country.
Recovering with integrity carries significant meaning for the Pacific region as they faced not just the COVID-19 crisis but also Cyclone Harold wreaking havoc. The urgent relief measures to rebuild the lives of people and the economy of the region came with the challenge of limited transparency and accountability in government responses. We highlight five measures that leaders in the Pacific can prioritise for a strong, corruption-free recovery.
New research from Transparency International Defence & Security has found that more than half of the 15 countries assessed in the region face a high risk of corruption in their defence and security sectors. The report also details good practice guidelines and policy implications that are designed to reduce the opportunities for corruption and improve the quality of defence governance in Central and Eastern Europe.
On International Anti-Corruption Day 2020, we – along with leading economists, trade unions and other civil society organisations – appealed to country representatives preparing for the first-ever United Nations General Assembly Special Session against Corruption (UNGASS 2021). We called on the forum to commit to making central, public beneficial ownership registers a global standard.
This week, we announced the establishment of Transparency Afghanistan, our new National Contact in Afghanistan. The new organisation will work closely with Transparency International and will prioritise government procurement, business integrity, access to information, and anti-corruption commitments and institutions.