Corruption in Asia Pacific: what 20,000+ people told us

Corruption in Asia Pacific: what 20,000+ people told us

As part of a regional series for the Global Corruption Barometer, Transparency International spoke to nearly 22,000 people about their recent experiences with corruption in 16 countries and territories in the Asia Pacific region.

This report comes at a key moment when many governments in the region are preparing their agendas to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs set out development priorities for 2030 which include, among others, reducing corruption and bribery in all their forms.

We found that that just over one in four people surveyed have paid a bribe to access public services. Based on the bribery rates for each country/territory and its adult population size, this is equivalent to over 900 million people across the 16 places surveyed.

 

Who's seeking bribes, and who's paying them?

Police top the list of public services most often demanding a bribe. Just under a third of people who had come into contact with a police officer in the last 12 months said they paid a bribe.

Overall, 38 per cent of the poorest people surveyed said they paid a bribe, which is the highest proportion of any income group.

Age and gender graphic, GCB Asia Pacific 2017

Only one in five people surveyed thought the level of corruption had decreased recently, while two in five said that it had increased and a third had seen no change in the level of corruption.

In China, nearly three-quarters of the people surveyed said corruption has increased over the last three years, suggesting people do not see the major offensive on corruption is working.

 

In 2017, inclusive development is high on the agenda for governments around the world, as people voice their concerns about growing inequality, persistent poverty and the exclusion of the most vulnerable. As a diverse and rapidly developing region, it is essential that the countries in the Asia Pacific region achieve sustainable and equitable development. Corruption undermines this, as it distorts democratic processes and promotes private over public interests.

Governments must do more to deliver on their anti-corruption commitments. It’s time to stop talking and act. Millions of people are forced to pay bribes for public services and it is the poor who are most vulnerable.”

– José Ugaz, chair of Transparency International

“Without proper law enforcement corruption thrives. Bribery is not a small crime, it takes food off the table, it prevents education, it impedes proper healthcare and ultimately it can kill,” Ugaz said.

The results show lawmakers across the region need to do much more to support whistleblowers and that governments must keep promises to combat corruption, including their commitments to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.

Transparency international makes four key recommendations to reduce bribery and help people speak up without fear of retaliation. Across the Asia Pacific region:

Access the full report here.

Image: Copyright, istockphoto

For any press enquiries please contact press@transparency.org

Latest

Support Transparency International

15 ways young people can fight corruption

On International Youth Day, we celebrate youth around the globe and their power to help shape a fairer and more just world. For those who want to join us but don’t know where to start, here are 15 great ideas from our anti-corruption tool kit.

Azerbaijan: closing down civil society

Transparency Azerbaijan has announced that it had to close its two regional legal advice centres due to a restrictive government law blocking foreign donors from giving to civil society.

Six ways business can help deliver the Sustainable Development Goals

Our former chair outlines six ways in which businesses can help reach the SDGs.

No sustainable development without tackling corruption: the importance of tracking SDG 16

12 Transparency International Chapters are at the UN in New York City to share their findings measuring national progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 16, “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions”.

On trial for corruption: French prosecutors demand jail term and €30 million fine for Obiang

The corruption trial of Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, the son of the president of Equatorial Guinea, ended in Paris on 6 July with the prosecution calling for a three-year jail term, a €30 million fine and the confiscation of assets. The Tribunal will return a verdict on 27 October.

On trial for corruption: Teodoro Obiang, son of the president of Equatorial Guinea

In the first case brought by civil society in France, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, the son of the president of Equatorial Guinea, is on trial for corruption.

Corruption Reporting Award: Honouring investigative journalism

For the third year Transparency International has sponsored the Corruption Reporting Award as part of the One World Media Awards. Check out this year's winner, Stealing Paradise, a shocking investigation into corruption, intimidation and the sale of idyllic islands in the Maldives.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media

Would you like to know more?

Sign up to stay informed about corruption news and our work around the world