Skip to main content

Fighting grand corruption to protect human rights worldwide

Photo: Vincenzo Lullo/Shutterstock

What's at stake?

Grand corruption is the abuse of high-level power that benefits the few at the expense of the many. It involves high-level officials, is carried out on a large scale, and causes serious and widespread suffering in societies.

It is a blight with many names and forms, from political corruption to state capture to kleptocracy. It flourishes where there are weak checks on the exercise of state executive power and on private undue influence on the branches of government. This makes it possible for the powerful to disable regulatory oversight and enforcement institutions, producing impunity for grand corruption offences. To protect their illicit income streams, the perpetrators also often attempt to silence public inquiry and criticism, sometimes by violent means.

While recognition of grand corruption's devastating impact on human rights has gained traction, corrupt acts typically go unpunished. With grand corruption schemes on the rise, it is essential that the human rights movement and anti-corruption movement work together to make tangible advances in fighting grand corruption and prevent any related human rights abuses.

What we're doing about it

Transparency International, Transparency International France, and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) have come together to support civil society in holding States, individuals, and companies responsible for acts of grand corruption.

In addition to Transparency International France, this initiative brings together human rights and anti-corruption organisations from the Transparency International and FIDH network in 11 countries with the purpose of breaking down the silos that have often characterised human rights and anti-corruption work, and facilitate dialogue, collaboration, and exchange of expertise.

Our approach

A cornerstone of the initiative’s strategy is the development of a human rights-based methodology guide to reduce grand corruption and its impacts on human rights. Civil society leaders will be able to use the guide in their countries and advocate nationally and internationally.

Some of the other key actions will include litigation to prosecute acts of grand corruption, advocacy to strengthen global governance on corruption and human rights, and bringing more issues related to corruption to international human rights bodies.