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Anti-corruption for days

The week in corruption, 11 December 2020

Corruption Watch activists on 9 December 2020

Photo: Saint Nic Media

Transparency Int'l

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?

This was the question asked all around the world on December 9, when we marked International Anti-Corruption Day.

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.

Together with artist Mars Graffiti, Corruption Watch activists spray-painted streets of Johannesburg on 9 December 2020

Photo: Saint Nic Media

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.

With the U.S. finally set to put an end to anonymous companies with landmark legislation agreed to this week, there is true momentum for beneficial ownership registers to become a global standard.

That is exactly what our new campaign with leading economists, trade unions and diverse civil society groups aims to achieve.

We invite businesses, civil society, academia & other stakeholders to sign the appeal until 5 January 2020.

Join the cause

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?

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