Freedom of information is not only a human right, but also an essential tool to engage and empower citizens to demand accountability from governments and fight corruption.
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When it comes to corruption, Pacific countries and territories have remained among the most under-studied in the world. This gap has not deterred those fighting for greater transparency and accountability, but it has made their work significantly more difficult.
The Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) – Pacific 2021, published by Transparency International, presents the most extensive set of public opinion data on perceptions and experiences of corruption in the region. In many of these countries and territories, the survey constitutes the very first attempt to gather this type of data.
The GCB surveyed more than 6,000 people in 10 Pacific countries: the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.
Many citizens experience corruption directly, with our survey revealing high levels of bribery, sexual extortion and vote-buying.
A majority of respondents feel corruption is a big problem in both the business sector and government, particularly among parliamentarians and officials in heads of government’s offices. It also appears that authorities are failing to properly control resource extraction companies.
But change is possible. Most Pacific Islanders we spoke to support their government’s anti-corruption measures and believe that ordinary people can help stop corruption.