Corruption affects all areas of society. Preventing corruption unlocks progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, helps protect our planet, creates jobs, achieves gender equality, and secures wider access to essential services such as healthcare and education.
While it is everyone’s right to benefit from strong anti-corruption efforts, misconduct and wrongdoing is stealing away valuable resources at a time when they are most needed to respond to and recover from the COVID-19 crisis.
The 2021 International Anti-Corruption Day seeks to highlight the rights and responsibilities of everyone – including States, Government officials, civil servants, law enforcement officers, media representatives, the private sector, civil society, academia, the public and youth – in tackling corruption.
And yet it is not only countries that need to unite and face this global problem with shared responsibility. Every single person – young and old – has a role to play to prevent and counter corruption, in order to promote resilience and integrity at all levels of society.
To achieve this, policies, systems and measures need to be in place for people to be able to speak up and say no to corruption. The United Nations Convention against Corruption emphasizes the responsibility of Governments to put in place effective whistle-blower protection to ensure that persons who speak up are protected from retaliation. These measures contribute to effective, accountable and transparent institutions towards a culture of integrity and fairness.
To protect your rights, you need to be aware of the role you play and responsibilities you have in the fight against corruption. Speak up, “say #NoToCorruption”.