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Our impact

No country can ignore its reputation for corruption. That means no country can ignore Transparency International.

When we started out more than 25 years ago, people said nothing could be done about corruption.

Few imagined international anti-corruption laws, corrupt dictators being brought to justice, companies held to account, or individual citizens making a difference.

We’ve proved all of this possible.

26

Years of fighting corruption

112

National Chapters

2000

Employees

Since 1995, our annual Corruptions Perception Index has set the standard for national governments, intergovernmental organisations, companies, decision-makers and journalists worldwide as the leading indicator of public sector corruption levels.

Transparency International rankings continue to be a leading data source for companies looking to shore up compliance controls.
The Wall Street Journal

But our movement is much more. Our anti-corruption movement started with a focus on the culture of corruption.

Working with like-minded individuals and organisations, we sought to create a worldwide consciousness of corruption that would be transformed into changed laws and traditions. In order to reach the most people, our first calls to action went to the highest political bodies like the United Nations, the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), to name a few.

Ten years after we began, we helped establish the first and only legally binding global agreement against anti-corruption, the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), adopted and signed by 140 countries.

Not only was this Convention this first signal of a worldwide recognition of corruption, but it has since been a blueprint for national governments, multilateral institutions and other actors to combat corruption.

What is UNCAC?

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In 2004, Kofi Annan, General Secretary of the United Nations at the time, added a tenth anti-corruption principle to the United Nations Global Compact.

8,000 companies worldwide committed to stop corruption in the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative to date.

In 1999, our advocacy helped achieve a watershed moment on international corruption, when the OECD Foreign Bribery Convention came into effect. The culmination of a TI campaign that started three years earlier to pursuade governments and business leaders to act on ending foreign bribery.

The Convention enables prosecutors to punish foreign bribery under national criminal laws.

Their efforts resulted in 560 individuals and 184 entities receiving criminal sanctions for foreign bribery between 1999 and 2007.

Fifteen years after the Convention came into force, businesses have paid the price for corruption. In the U.S. alone, businesses paid US$1.56 billion in foreign bribery penalties.

In 2015, over 150 world leaders listened to our call and included corruption in Sustainable Development Goal 16. Anti-corruption was recognised as vital to “peace, justice and strong institutions”.

In 2018, our researchers released a landmark report how the the United Nation’s leading shipping agency, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) was susceptible to private industry influence and unlikely to meet its carbon emission reduction goals—unless it quickly changed its accountability policies.

After our report, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) altered its governance structure and set higher emissions targets to match the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Paris Agreement.

At our core, we are a global coalition striving to empower individuals to make a difference in their countries.

That was our goal when establishing national chapters, and each-and-every day they remain at the forefront of national anti-corruption efforts, often in environments hostile to civil society organisatons.

Our chapters have decades of anti-corruption ‘wins’ behind them, some of our their more recent successes include …

In 2008, Transparency International France in partnership with Sherpa, a French civil society organisation, initiated a case against Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, the vice-president of Equatorial Guinea and son of the president.

After nearly a decade of arguments, a change to French law and a crowdfunding campaign to ensure the witnesses could travel to Paris to testify, Obiang was convicted in 2017 of embezzling more than €150 million(US$174 million) of public money.

He was also handed down a suspended three-year prison sentence and suspended fine of €30 million (US$35 million).

In January 2017, the Transparency International Pakistan chapter was alerted about a failing government hospital.

The citizens of Usta Muhammed, in Jaffarabad, Balochistan province told Transparency International Pakistan’s Advovacy and Legal Centre that their hospital not only lacked even the most basic facilities but also that the doctors were running their own private clinics.

The hospital didn’t even have a single ambulance available for the entire population of more than one hundred thousand people.

Transparency International Pakistan contacted government officials. Within four months, the people of Usta Muhammad reported that conditions in the government hospital were much better: doctors were no longer absent and were visiting patients regularly; more medicine was available to patients.

After sustained advocacy from our chapter in Palestine, the Palestinian government adopted the country’s first whistleblower protection system.

In 2017, Transparency International United Kingdom (TI-UK) identified £4.4 billion (US$5.5 billion) worth of property bought with suspicious wealth in the UK.

One year after this groundbreaking report, the UK Parliament voted in favour of requiring any British Overseas Territory to introduce public registers that reveal the individuals behind every company based there by the end of 2020.

A major victory in the fight against cross-border corruption.

In spring 2019, our Secretariat’s and EU offices’ research and advocacy helped form the European Commission Whistleblowing Directive, the highest international standard for whistleblower protection that was approved by the European Parliament in April 2019.

It provides a high level of protection for whistleblowers who report breaches of EU law and establishes safe ways whistleblowers can internally and externally publish.

Through our Global Anti-Corruption Consortium project, cooperation between TI Madagascar, the Environmental Investigation Agency and investigative journalists from the OCCRP resulted in stopping the sale of stocks of illegally logged endangered species of rosewood.

In 2019, Transparency International Australia’sadvocacy for stronger whistleblower protection in Australia led to new legislation that gives corporate whistleblowers greater protection, and could have a culture-changing impact on the way companies in Australia operate.

We have a vision of a world where government, politics, business, civil society and the daily lives of people are free from corruption.

Here are some stories of how we’ve changed people’s everyday lives.

In 2009, South African Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, investigated claims of corruption at the highest levels of the South African government. Her office handled over 35,000 complaints and advocated for the most marginalized and vulnerable communities in South Africa.

In 2014, Transparency International recognised Thuli’s courageous achievements with the Integrity Award, our highest honour designed to elevate the voice of anti-corruption advocates and share her story.

After joining the International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) in 2016 as a young Journalist for Transparency (J4T), Sally Hayden broke ground and informed thousands on some of the most pressing issues of today. Her series of reports, including “Asylum for Sale”, which uncovered corruption in refugee resettlement in East Africa, rocked the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

In 2018, Sally was awarded 'foreign correspondent of the year' partially for her reporting for the Journalists 4 Transparency East Goes West at the Irish Journalism Awards.

We recognised the courageous Spanish whistleblower, Ana Garrido Ramos for uncovering the Gürtel case and winner of our 2018 Anti-Corruption Award.

What began as an investigation into corruption in a local town hall expanded into a larger investigation, later dubbed the “Gürtel case”.

By exposing a scheme involving kickbacks for government contracts that was headed by a Spanish businessman who provided donations and bribes to the then-ruling People’s Party, Ana Garrido Ramos’ whistleblowing contributed to the downfall of the Mariano Rajoy government in June 2018.

Ana Garrido Ramos: Anti-Corruption Award Winner 2018

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Through her reporting, Daphne Caruana Galizia exposed corruption scandals involving influential politicians and others in Malta and abroad. Since her murder on October 16th, 2017, Maltese authorities have initiated criminal proceedings against her alleged killers, and an inquiry into whether anyone else should be charged.

For hear fearless pursuit of the truth, we also awarded Daphne Caruana Galizia with the 2018 Anti-Corruption award.

This award reminds us not only that hope remains ours to keep but that a large part of the world is hoping with us.
Matthew Caruana Galizia Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation