Governments urged to target lobbying and political funding to increase transparencyFebruary 2013
Corruption remains a serious threat facing humanity, Transparency International (TI) declares in a new report.
In its 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index, TI speaks of poor families being extorted for bribes to see doctors or access clean water, essential infrastructure building being obstructed and national leaders skimming off funds.
And, claiming many societies need to give the fight against corruption a higher priority, TI voiced disappointment over the period covered by the index: “After a year with a global focus on corruption, we expected more governments to take a tougher stance against the abuse of power.”
TI calls for governments to integrate anti-corruption actions into all aspects of decision-making. Political leaders, it says, can do this by prioritising better lobbying and political financing rules, increasing the transparency of public spending and contracting, and making public bodies more accountable.
The index scores 176 countries on a zero to 100 scale, on which 100 is ‘very clean’. TI regrets that two-thirds of countries score below 50, ‘indicating a serious corruption problem’.
Denmark, Finland and New Zealand top the table with 90 points apiece. The UK lies joint 17th with Japan, while the US comes 19th.
The bottom three, with eight points each, are Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia.
Meanwhile, the Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) has issued a briefing on responsible conduct and human rights in business. It examines the pressures and drivers for respecting human rights and how business is responding.
The IBE says human rights policies are not yet the norm but gives the example of one group of multinationals, including Adidas, Gap and Nike, which have pledged support to the new Guatemalan government if it respects human rights and requests help in providing fair and safe working environments.
Corporates Against Corruption, p8
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