Today is the UN International Anti-Corruption Day, an annual event that has been happening since 2003 in an attempt to shed light on corporate and government corruption in its many forms.
The day is intended to raise awareness about corruption in its many different forms and also to highlight the role of the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the initiatives that the convention hopes to encourage.
Unfortunately, the day does not seem to get as much attention as it should – particularly within the mainstream media – and thus I thought it would be proper to use today’s post to highlight the work being done with such an initiative and bring our reader’s attention to the subject.
Corruption comes in many forms and is to be found in every country and city around the globe. Although many of us are not in a position to fight such activity head on, raising awareness of corruption and the impact that it has at all levels of society is possibly even more important than fighting individual instances of corruption. By raising awareness of such activity it becomes harder for corrupt individuals, corporations and governments to continue acting in such an unethical manner.
This year’s focus is on the effect of corruption on developing countries, and in particular the use of charity and aid in areas around the world that require assistance. Corruption causes any attempt at assistance to be undermined, with profits being siphoned off to those who need them least whilst the people who could really benefit from such aid continue to be left in a state of great need.
In relation to this day there is one particular aspect that I would like to highlight, and that is the use of corruption as a concept to justify lack of action or even, in some cases, unethical action. There are corporations and governments around the world who feel that it is okay to act unethically within countries that they deem to be corrupt, using the label to get away with corrupt actions of their own such as not paying local taxes or investing in communities. We must always be aware that such action is in itself corruption, and in most cases such action is not justifiable but rather hypocritical and undermines any progress against corruption that may be able to occur.
So, take some time today to read through the materials provided by the UN and various other bodies that are working with them. Educate yourself on the different forms that corruption can manifest itself so that if you are ever in a situation where you can do something about it you will be able to act effectively and with foresight.
Use today to find a news story about corrupt activity and share it with your friends on Twitter or Facebook, bring up the topic of Anti-Corruption Day in one of the many conversations that you will have over the coming days, or even just donate a small amount to various organisations that work to combat corruption and raise awareness of one of global society’s greatest scourges. Whatever small way you can contribute in the fight against corruption is worth doing, because in the end it is corruption that lies at the heart of many of the pressing issues that face global society today.