Integrity in Asia Pacific: What do young people think?

Integrity in Asia Pacific: What do young people think?

Cover of Asia Pacific Youth report

Integrity is in crisis around the Asia Pacific region, according to the Transparency International Youth Integrity Survey.

The findings – compiled in a new report, Asia Pacific youth: integrity in crisis – show that young people face challenges in upholding their own integrity standards. They admit they are willing to behave corruptly if it yields personal benefit. At the same time, they often feel that corruption is the only way to get ahead in life.

However, the survey also reveals that over 80 per cent of young people believe that youths want to take action against corruption.

Young people can play a big role [in fighting corruption]. They can come together and form groups where they can go out to communities to explain to people what corruption is and how it affects them and how they can identify corruption.”

– Tevita, youth volunteer, Fiji

In Indonesia, a group of students began to suspect that their school administrators were stealing funds intended to improve the facilities. Records showed the school’s new multimedia centre was built, yet it was nowhere to be seen. Rather than stay silent, the students started a campaign that soon uncovered other financial mismanagement at their school. Despite threats, the group kept pushing, eventually gaining the support of the local mayor. Ultimately, they succeeded in having the siphoned funds repaid to the school, and the corrupt officials removed or demoted. Read the full story here

As the story from Indonesia demonstrates, young people suffer from corruption. According to our research conducted in four Asia Pacific countries, more than 30 per cent of young people have recently confronted corruption, especially when dealing with the police or the administrative services.

The same research reveals that almost three-quarters of young people would behave corruptly to gain personal advantage – for example, using a relative’s influence to secure a job or a place in a school outside the standard selection process.

Young people know that corruption is wrong. They are willing to report on and expose corruption, and aspire to live in societies that are fair, transparent and rooted in integrity. The dilemma is that modern society makes it increasingly difficult for youth to live up to their own standards of integrity.

Ideals vs reality graphic

Uncovering young people’s views on corruption, integrity

These are some of the findings of a unique survey examining how young people and adults understand and experience corruption, and whether their behaviour conforms to standards of integrity.

Youth survey in action photo
Young people conducting the survey in Fiji

Transparency International chapters trained youth volunteers to conduct a survey on youth integrity in four countries in the Asia Pacific region: Fiji, Indonesia, South Korea and Sri Lanka.

In each of the countries approximately 1,000 youths between the ages of 15 and 30 were interviewed. Young people were engaged in order to, on the one hand, maximise the involvement of young people in addressing the issue of corruption in their countries and, on the other, enable peer-to-peer interviews that encouraged young respondents to speak frankly about their experiences and aspirations. A control group in each country of about 1,000 adults over 30 years old were asked the same questions in order to explore the similarities and differences.

Young people represent the future of the societies they live in. They have a vital stake in ensuring that the just rules they want to play by are actually being implemented. By demanding integrity from the authorities and by promoting it among their peers and their elders they can help create a better environment for themselves. Governments, education institutions, parents and other role models share the responsibility to actually make this change happen, so that the youth can develop in a just environment.

Taking action graphic

Resources

For any press enquiries please contact press@transparency.org

Latest

Support Transparency International

The theme for the 18th edition of the International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) is announced

Building on the priorities set out in the Panama Declaration, the 18th IACC in Denmark from 22 to 24 October 2018 will move the pledge of acting together now to concrete action.

A new home for our corruption research

Transparency International is excited to announce the launch of the Knowledge Hub, a dedicated online space for our research.

Pardon me? Presidential clemency and impunity for grand corruption

Recent events in Brazil and Peru have shone a spotlight on the issue of presidential pardons in cases of grand corruption. Read more to find out the best practices that legislators can use to ensure that pardons are not abused for political purposes.

Stopping Dirty Money: the Global Effective-O-Meter

As of December 2017, global effectiveness at stopping money laundering stands at 32% effectiveness.

Corruption in the USA: The difference a year makes

A new survey by Transparency International shows that the US government has a long way to go to win back citizens’ trust.

Anti-Corruption Day 2017: Empowering citizens’ fight against corruption

The 9 December, is Anti-corruption Day. A key part of Transparency International’s work is to help people hold their governments to account. Have a look at what we've been doing around the world!

Digital Award for Transparency: Honouring digital initiatives to fight corruption

The Digital Award for Transparency awards individuals and civil society organisations who have developed digital technology tools used to fight corruption. The award aims at strengthening and promoting existing initiatives that promote good governance through three categories: Open Data, Citizen Engagement and Anti-Corruption Tools.

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