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Corruption Perceptions Index 2017

Based on expert opinion from around the world, the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption worldwide. The CPI uses a scale of zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). Of the 180 countries assessed in the 2017 index, more than two-thirds score below 50. This means over six billion people live in countries that are corrupt. No country scores perfectly, however. Many less corrupt countries still suffer from opaque decision-making, harbour illicit nance or have weak law enforcement. Governments around the world must do more to serve their citizens, engage civil society, support free press, protect activists and journalists and ensure transparency and accountability in public and private sectors. These are vital steps in the global fight against corruption.

In particular, the relationship between corruption and freedom of expression is noteworthy. Freedom of expression is vital for exposing corruption and the injustices that it causes. Top performers in the CPI – those with lower levels of corruption – do far better in protecting the rights of journalists and activists. Conversely, bottom performers – those countries with higher levels of corruption – are more likely to stifle the voices of their citizens and media. In corrupt societies, ordinary people suffer these denials the most, as they are unable to stand up for their rights and demonstrate concern when their basic needs are not met. Similarly, journalists who investigate the abuse of power and activists who demand change are denied the chance to provide a critical check. When freedom of expression is limited, corruption is more likely to run unabated. Even today, most countries do not do enough to protect media or engage civil society in open dialogue, as critical components of efforts to stop corruption.