Our year fighting corruption

Our year fighting corruption

When there is someone there to help, things can change. When there is someone there to fight, the corrupt can be held to account even if they are rich and powerful.

Transparency International helps everyone combat corruption around the world.

We help ordinary people.

We have Advocacy and Legal Advice Centres (ALACs) which have helped 250,000 people in 60 countries around the world. Here are some of our ALAC workers:

 

We help people understand that corruption hurts the poorest.

Fifty-year old Carmela was sleeping at home in Venezuela when she was woken by banging and shouting from the apartment above, where her 27-year-old son Samuel lives. Rushing upstairs, she found police officers beating up Samuel. They dragged him to the local police station and demanded a bribe for his release.

Carmela is a housekeeper living on a small income. She has four children: one suffers from cancer; another committed suicide leaving her with five grandchildren to care for, the youngest aged only three. She has no money to pay bribes.

With the help of local community leader, Carmela went to Transparency International Venezuela. Our chapter contacted the government authorities demanding action. When Carmela returned to the local police headquarters to pay the bribe in exchange for Samuel’s release, the state authorities were watching. As soon as the money changed hands, they arrested the officers involved. Samuel was released without payment.

 

We encourage people who speak up against corruption.

While working for the accounting firm PwC, Antoine Deltour blew the whistle on secret deals between multinational companies and the Luxembourg authorities to lower their tax bills. The disclosure, despite being in the public interest, landed Deltour, a fellow worker Raphaël Halet and the journalist who broke the story, Edouard Perrin, in court.

On 29 June 2016, Deltour received a 12 month suspended sentence and was fined €1,500. His appeal is ongoing. We stand by Deltour, Halet and Perrin as we believe whistleblowers should be protected, not prosecuted.

Gasim Abdul Kareem released information that showed politicians in the Maldives had transferred money that should have gone into the public treasury into personal accounts. For that he was arrested, imprisoned and convicted. But his disclosures were in the public interest. We supported his case and he was given the minimum sentence and released on 17 November 2016. He was on the shortlist for our 2016 Anti-corruption Award. We will now work to get him pardoned.

 

And we fight to hold the corrupt to account.

We’ve developed a new term for corruption by heads of state and powerful people. Grand Corruption is “the abuse of high-level power that benefits the few at the expense of the many and causes serious and widespread harm to individuals and society. It often goes unpunished.”

We want to make sure those who commit Grand Corruption are brought to justice. We want to make Grand Corruption an internationally recognised crime with serious punishments.

When the former President of Panama Riccardo Martinelli fled the country because of corruption charges, we pressured the current Panamanian government to investigate alleged corruption during his administration. We also advocated for his extradition from the US so that Panamanian courts can try him.

When the former president of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych fled his country accused of stealing more than US$7.5 billion from the Ukrainian people, we called for his arrest, advocated action by the current president, supported sanctions against those who are hiding him and most importantly pushed for the return of the money. That money could build many hospitals and schools. It could help save lives.

Map of CPI 2015 results

But our mission – a world free from corruption – won’t be achieved overnight. This map shows that corruption is a scourge the world over. The darker the red, the higher the perceived levels of public sector corruption.

Help us paint this map bright yellow. Join with us in our fight. Together against corruption we can win.

For any press enquiries please contact press@transparency.org

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