Recover with Integrity
On International Anti-Corruption Day, all of us – governments, businesses, civil society, and all stakeholders – must resolve to work together to promote accountability and end corruption and bribery for a more just and equal world.António Guterres, UN Secretary General
The word “Corruption” originates from a Latin word: corruptus. The word is the past participle of corrumpere, meaning “mar, bribe, destroy”. Corruption is as old as human history. The First Dynasty (3100–2700 BC) of ancient Egypt noted corruption in its judiciary. It is estimated that the amount involved in bribery exceeds 2% of global GDP and ten times more than total global aid funds.
Corruption can be defined as dishonesty and illegal behaviour by people in positions of authority or power. It is a complex political and economic challenge which inhibits economic development and disrupts democracy. Corruption has probably been prevalent since the time laws were established. Corruption is of different types and takes place at various levels. It has an influence on the economy and society at large.
UN has adopted a UN convention against corruption, the convention came into force in 2005 and “International Anticorruption Day” is being observed on December 9 since then. It aims at raising awareness against corruption and the role of the convention. This decision aimed to raise people’s understanding of corruption and of the part of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) in combating and preventing it. UNCAC is the first legally binding, international anti-corruption instrument that provides a chance to mount a global response to corruption.
The Covid-19 pandemic has magnified all the challenges that exist in a society, and corruption in the healthcare sector has become an immediate concern. Appropriately the theme of this year’s observation is “Recover with integrity”. It urges everyone to stand united against corruption in the current global crisis. It is the utmost responsibility of our health care system to maintain transparency during the rapid response, medication and recovery of the individuals and society. The governments should also function towards the protection of health care workers with PPE kits, medications and stand as the backbone in the process of overcoming the current crisis.
Corruption has a significant impact on various sectors of society. The corruption perception index placed India in 80th position out of 180 countries. Corruption in judicial and police system can lead to violation of human rights. Corruption in infrastructure sector and health care system will have a devastating effect. Corruption in the public sector and politics are always interlinked and have an impact on a large scale. It has an influence on the cost of goods and services, misallocation of funds, disparities in real estate, and weakens policy making and implementation. In a long-term corruption leads to distrust in governments, judiciary and organisations conducting to protests and civil unrest in the country.
Corruption invariably evokes negative emotion. In developing societies, corruption by law-enforcing authorities is rampant. In a country like India, common man faces hurdles in getting small things, be it driver licence, income certificate or caste certificate or even getting a ration card. With digital initiatives, a lot of improvement is being realised. But still, a long way to go. Corruption is always associated with the exchange of money. Nevertheless, to have a just society, other forms of corruption like nepotism, throttling the dissent needs to be eradicated.
Each of us has a role to play, while it is the greed of the taker in authority is the prime reason, the giver is also equally guilty. Governments to make efforts to make ways the common man’s requirements are kept out of the heckles of corruption. The world can pay attention to corruption in high places.
Corruption is a barrier to achieving the Millennium Development Goals and needs to be taken into account in defining and implementing a robust post-2015 development agendaBan Ki-moon, former UN Secretary General