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Transparency International

About Transparency International

What is Transparency International?

Transparency International, the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption, brings people together in a powerful worldwide coalition to end the devastating impact of corruption on men, women and children around the world.
TI’s mission is to create change towards a world free of corruption.

Transparency International challenges the inevitability of corruption, and offers hope to its victims. Since its founding in 1993, TI has played a lead role in improving the lives of millions around the world by building momentum for the anti-corruption movement. TI raises awareness and diminishes apathy and tolerance of corruption, and devises and implements practical actions to address it.

Transparency International is a global network including more than 90 locally established national chapters and chapters-in-formation. These bodies fight corruption in the national arena in a number of ways. They bring together relevant players from government, civil society, business and the media to promote transparency in elections, in public administration, in procurement and in business. TI’s global network of chapters and contacts also use advocacy campaigns to lobby governments to implement anti-corruption reforms.

Politically non-partisan, TI does not undertake investigations of alleged corruption or expose individual cases, but at times will work in coalition with organisations that do.

TI has the skills, tools, experience, expertise and broad participation to fight corruption on the ground, as well as through global and regional initiatives.

Now in its second decade, Transparency International is maturing, intensifying and diversifying its fight against corruption.

What is corruption?

Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. It hurts everyone whose life, livelihood or happiness depends on the integrity of people in a position of authority.

Why does fighting corruption matter?

Corruption hurts everyone, and it harms the poor the most. Sometimes its devastating impact is obvious:

  • A father who must do without shoes because his meagre wages are used to pay a bribe to get his child into a supposedly free school.
  • The unsuspecting sick person who buys useless counterfeit drugs, putting their health in grave danger.
  • A small shop owner whose weekly bribe to the local inspector cuts severely into his modest earnings.
  • The family trapped for generations in poverty because a corrupt and autocratic leadership has systematically siphoned off a nation’s riches.

Other times corruption’s impact is less visible:

  • The prosperous multinational corporation that secured a contract by buying an unfair advantage in a competitive market through illegal kickbacks to corrupt government officials, at the expense of the honest companies who didn’t.
  • Post-disaster donations provided by compassionate people, directly or through their governments, that never reach the victims, callously diverted instead into the bank accounts of criminals.
  • The faulty buildings, built to lower safety standards because a bribe passed under the table in the construction process that collapse in an earthquake or hurricane.

Corruption has dire global consequences, trapping millions in poverty and misery and breeding social, economic and political unrest.

Corruption is both a cause of poverty, and a barrier to overcoming it. It is one of the most serious obstacles to reducing poverty.

Corruption denies poor people the basic means of survival, forcing them to spend more of their income on bribes. Human rights are denied where corruption is rife, because a fair trial comes with a hefty price tag where courts are corrupted.

Corruption undermines democracy and the rule of law.

Corruption distorts national and international trade.

Corruption jeopardises sound governance and ethics in the private sector.

Corruption threatens domestic and international security and the sustainability of natural resources.

Those with less power are particularly disadvantaged in corrupt systems, which typically reinforce gender discrimination.

Corruption compounds political exclusion: if votes can be bought, there is little incentive to change the system that sustains poverty.

The conclusion - Corruption hurts everyone.

Policy and Research

Contacti TI

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