Last week was Fraud Week, and there is another important date coming up quickly: International Anti-Corruption Day (IACD), December 9, 2016. CRI Group strongly supports this campaign, which is a joint effort between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
To mark the 2016 International Anti-Corruption Day, UNODC has developed a wide-ranging campaign focused on different Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and on how tackling corruption is vital to achieving them.
According to the International Anti-Corruption Day Fact Sheet:
Corruption is the single greatest obstacle to economic and social development around the world. Every year $1 trillion is paid in bribes, while an estimated $2.6 trillion are stolen
annually through corruption – a sum equivalent to more than 5 percent of the global GDP. In developing countries, according to the United Nations Development Programme, funds
lost to corruption are estimated at 10 times the amount of official development assistance (ODA).
But corruption does not just steal money from where it is needed the most; it leads
to weak governance, which in turn can fuel organized criminal networks and promote crimes such as human trafficking, arms and migrant smuggling, counterfeiting and the trade in
As a result, corruption affects everyone and can lead to:
- Less prosperity: Corruption stifles economic growth, undermines the rule of law, and squanders talent and precious resources. Where corruption is rife, companies are reluctant to invest as the costs of doing business are significantly higher. In corrupt countries which are rich in natural resources, the population often does not benefit from this wealth. Corruption also weakens safety and security structures such as the police services. Ultimately, corruption prevents people, countries and businesses from fulfilling their potential.
- Less respect for rights: Corruption undermines democracy, governance and human rights by weakening State institutions that are the basis for fair and equitable societies. Vote-buying at election times harms the democratic process and justice is challenged when criminals are able to bribe their way out of trouble. Indigenous peoples and women are particularly vulnerable to corruption. Given their geographic and social exclusion, and lack of access to legal protection available to other members of society, their economic, social and cultural rights are threatened by corruption.
- Less provision of services: Corruption diverts funds intended to provide essential services such as health care, education, clean water, sanitation and housing. When officials are corrupt, this represents a major hindrance to a Government’s ability to meet the basic needs of its citizens. In countries where international aid is meant to improve the quality of life, corruption denies this and can put future funding in jeopardy.
- Less employment: When jobs are given not on merit but through nepotism, opportunities are denied. Often for the poor, women and minorities, corruption means even less access to jobs. Additionally, as corruption discourages foreign investment, this leads to fewer employment opportunities. Rooting out corruption has become critical to the achievement of targets such as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, while fighting this scourge is a major policy priority for development agencies and a rapidly increasing number of countries.
We invite organizations all over the world to join CRI Group in supporting the UNDP and the UNODC in this important initiative against corruption and fraud. It is only through awareness, training and education that business leaders and their employees can be better prepared to prevent and detect corruption at all levels.