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The human rights case against corruption - G+ Hangout

 Credit: EPA/ORLANDO BARRIA

Ahead of a Human Rights Council panel discussion on anti-corruption, 13 March 2013, join the United Nations, civil society and many worldwide to speak up for the human rights case against corruption. Netizens are making good use of social media to fight corruption. Be part of it. Use #RightsNotBribes to share your views and questions with the panel and the participants of a Google+ Hangout on 7 March 2013.

Corruption violates human rights

Corruption kills. It undermines human rights in every possible way and hits the poor first and hardest. The money stolen through corruption every year is enough to feed the world's hungry 80 times over. Nearly 870 million people go to bed hungry every night, many of them children; corruption denies them their right to food, and, in some cases, their right to life.

Money lost to corruption could have been spent to fulfil development needs, to lift people out of poverty; to provide children with education; to bring families with essential medicine; and to stop the hundreds of preventable deaths and injuries during pregnancy and childbirth that occur every day.

Corruption in the administration of justice fuels impunity and creates a vicious cycle of crime. It exacerbates inequality, weakens governance and institutions, erodes public trust, fuels impunity and undermines the rule of law — in particular the right to a fair trial, the right to due process, and the victim's right to effective redress.

There is no doubt that corruption is an enormous obstacle to the realization of all human rights — civil, political, economic, social and cultural, as well as the right to development.

Fight corruption by upholding human rights

Corruption violates the core human rights principles of transparency, accountability, non-discrimination and meaningful participation. Conversely, these principles, when upheld and implemented, become the most powerful tools against corruption. A human rights-based approach to combating corruption is not only strategically effective and sustainable. Above all, it puts people at the centre of anti-corruption efforts and responds to people's resounding call for a social, political and economic order that delivers on the promises of "freedom from fear and want".

There is growing awareness of the intrinsic links between human rights and the struggle to combat corruption. Efforts to protect human rights and to combat corruption must go hand in hand. There is an urgent need to increase synergy and strengthen policy coherence between efforts to implement the United Nations Convention against Corruption and international human rights conventions.

No country is free of corruption. It plagues not only public offices but also businesses, sports and financial systems and more. The amount that left developing countries in 2000-2009 through illicit financial flows was 10 times the total foreign aid they received. Corruption is a global scourge that undermines human dignity and affects us all. Its impact on human rights and development multifaceted; so too must be our response.


Source: Office for the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR)

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