Speaking up against corruption
Corruption costs, it ruins lives, it can even kill. It’s vital that those facing it have a way to speak out.
Transparency International offers guidance and support to corruption victims in more than 60 countries worldwide.
Whether it’s advice, training, legal representation, campaigning or strategic litigation, we offer the support people need to demand justice.
Our work has had a profound effect on many people’s lives and brought about numerous changes in public discourse, policy and legislation.
And the movement is growing. In 2014 alone, we worked on more than 20,000 corruption cases.
Over the last 10 years, more than 200,000 people have contacted us requesting information and support.
Here’s a brief intro to our work around the world.
1. There’s no typical day at the office
While lack of transparency, inefficiency and bribery are the most frequently reported, the cases we’ve dealt with are wide ranging, including:
- An inflated public contract running into billions of dollars
- A football federation with nearly US$2 million in unaudited annual funds
- A suspected rapist buying impunity from the police
- Corruption in crisis relief, such as during the 2014 conflict in Gaza
- Communities standing up against corruption in the forestry sector
2. We help employees speak out on corruption in the workplace
In Cambodia, a medical doctor and her colleagues witnessed corruption carried out by the head of a medical centre and other management team members.
After they came to speak with us, we ensured evidence was properly reviewed. Documents revealed a culture of nepotism, where relatives and friends were appointed to jobs at the centre despite lacking the necessary qualifications, and documents were falsified to claim travel costs.
Today, the case is under investigation.
3. We expose systemic corruption – and secure arrests for the corrupt
In Honduras, our partner ASJ received information that some employees of the Property Institute were issuing false property titles and depriving rightful owners of their property. In addition, files were lost, documents falsified and signatures forged.
We provided important oversight in how the Attorney General’s Office investigated and handled the case. As a result, the Attorney General’s Office issued arrest warrants for 17 institute employees and their alleged accomplices.
Since then, we’ve seen systemic improvements at the institute, where work is now carried out more transparently and accountably than before. Read more
4. We support those who suffer reprisals and retaliation
In Ireland, police officers Maurice McCabe and John Wilson uncovered irregularities involving thousands of traffic police records. The annual cost to the taxpayer from cancelled fines was estimated to be about €1.5 million.
After they reported the abuse, the two men suffered retaliation – from reprisals at work to intimidation at home. In 2012, they came to us for help.
We stood alongside them and called for their claims to be properly investigated. As official reports proved their information was correct, the government apologised for the way they were treated and the Irish public voted them “People of the Year”.
Their case had lasting impact. Not only in the police force – where pledged reforms will change how complaints are reported and senior police officers held to account – but also in society as a whole. It’s cases like these that helped us advocate successfully for Ireland’s new whistleblower protection law. Read more
5. We work to ensure everyone can take action against corruption
“Together we can fight corruption!” We agree with this group of Palestinian fishermen in Gaza, who decided after attending one our workshops to set up a coalition to monitor the reconstruction process in Gaza.
Like them, we believe that corruption is neither inevitable nor acceptable. We want to challenge apathy and secrecy, and empower people to build a world that is fairer and more just – a world free of corruption.
Corruption Fighters – Find out more
This is just a snapshot of the thousands of people we’ve helped speak out on corruption. To read more:
- Browse corruption-busting stories from around the world on our stories page and in Real Lives, True Stories
- Meet corruption fighters from Africa in our documentary series African Voices against Corruption, and from Europe in Agents of Change
- Find out more about our work in Palestine, in our documentary On the Frontline