Global report highlights the link between corruption and violence – KGET 17

BERLIN (AP) — Most of the world is still failing to fight corruption, with 95 percent of countries making little or no progress since 2017, a closely watched study by an anti-corruption organization found Tuesday.

Transparency International’s 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index, which measures perceptions of public sector corruption by experts and businesspeople, also found that governments hamstrung by corruption lack the capacity to protect people, while public discontent is more likely to turn into violence.

“Corruption has made our world a more dangerous place. As governments have collectively failed to make progress in combating it, they are fueling the current rise in violence and conflict – and putting people everywhere at risk,” said Delia Ferreira Rubio, president of Transparency International.

“The only way out is for states to do the hard work, rooting out corruption at all levels to ensure that governments work for all people, not just an elite few,” she added.

The report ranks countries on a scale from “highly corrupt” 0 to “very clean” 100. Denmark is considered the least corrupt this year with 90 points, followed closely by Finland and New Zealand with 87. Strong democratic institutions and respect for human rights make these countries are among the most peaceful in the world, the report states.

However, the report also shows that while Western Europe remains the best-performing region, some of its countries are showing worrying signs of decline.

The United Kingdom fell five points to 73, its lowest score ever. The report states that a number of scandals, from public spending to lobbying, as well as revelations of ministerial misconduct, have highlighted woeful inadequacies in the country’s political integrity systems. Public trust in politics is also worryingly low, the statement said.

Countries such as Switzerland, at 82, and the Netherlands, which scored 80, are showing signs of falling amid concerns over weak integrity and lobbying regulations – although their scores remain high compared to the rest of the world.

In Eastern Europe, corruption is still considered widespread as many countries have reached historic lows.

Russia is particularly highlighted as a glaring example of the influence of corruption on peace and stability.

That country’s invasion of Ukraine nearly a year ago was a stark reminder of the threat that corruption and the absence of government accountability pose to global peace and security, the report said. It added that kleptocrats in Russia, which is at 28 points, have amassed vast fortunes by pledging loyalty to President Vladimir Putin in exchange for lucrative government contracts and protection of their economic interests.

“The absence of any checks on Putin’s power has allowed him to pursue his geopolitical ambitions with impunity,” the report concluded. “This attack destabilized the European continent, threatened democracy and killed tens of thousands.”

Before the invasion, Ukraine, which scored 33 points, had a low score, but was undertaking important reforms and steadily improving. Even after the outbreak of war, the country continued to prioritize anti-corruption reforms. However, wars disrupt normal processes and exacerbate risks, the report points out, allowing corrupt actors to pocket recovery funds. Earlier this month, investigations exposed alleged war profiteering by several senior officials.

The index ranked 180 countries and territories. Somalia was at the bottom with 12 points; South Sudan tied with Syria for second-to-last place at 13.

Only eight countries improved last year, among them Ireland with 77 points, South Korea with 63, Armenia with 46 and Angola with 33.

The report also points out that after decades of conflict, South Sudan is in a major humanitarian crisis with more than half the population facing acute food insecurity – and corruption is making the situation worse.

In Yemen, at 16, where complaints of corruption sparked a civil war eight years ago, the report said the state had collapsed, leaving two-thirds of the population without enough food in one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

The index has been compiled since 1995, and is calculated using 13 different data sources that provide perceptions of corruption in the public sector from business people and experts from the country. Sources include the World Bank, the World Economic Forum, and private venture and consulting firms.

The Latest

To Top