World leaders need to act decisively and swiftly to end the shocking levels of corruption which still blight the global and national economies, local communities and the lives of individuals.
That is the message from EXPOSED, the global campaign determined to tackle corruption, in the run-up to International Anti-Corruption Day (Monday 9 December 2013).
Figures released this week in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2013 warn that the abuse of power, secret dealings and bribery continue to ravage societies around the world. More than two thirds of the 177 countries in the 2013 index score below 50, on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean).
“It is shocking that the world still tolerates corruption when we know the devastation that it causes – to economies, communities and to individuals. World leaders have to be more proactive and strident in developing political and business systems which end corruptive practices. This is not just to ensure the health of the global economy but most importantly for the sake of the world’s poorest people who are the most affected by corruption,” said Joel Edwards, International Co-ordinator of EXPOSED.
In October 2013, EXPOSED’s Week of Action saw participation from campaigners in over 150 nations. Across the globe 1,000 vigils were held to ‘Shine a Light on Corruption’. More than 3 million people heard the message through media and got involved in social media. Nearly 40,000 people have already signed the EXPOSED Global Call to End Corruption, a global petition pressing for more open tax regimes and greater transparency in payments to combat bribery and tax avoidance.
Australia took over the presidency of the G20, the world’s leading economies, on December 1st and the Global Call will be handed to the meeting of the G20 in Brisbane in November 2014.
EXPOSED is hopeful that G20 leaders will act to make all information on taxes and payments made across all jurisdictions openly available so secret deals and tax evasion can be exposed. This has already been agreed in the EU and USA and the G20 could push more nations to take concrete action. To sign the EXPOSED Global Call to End Corruption go to www.exposed2013.com.
The recent campaign showed that there is now a sense of urgency around the world and EXPOSED believes that people across the world do not just want to see an end to corruption in government, business and the church but also are beginning to demand change.
“In particular, people are beginning to wake up to the destructive effects of tax evasion and the links with corruption and poverty. If tax evasion was stopped, the lives of 230 under five-year-olds a day in the developing world could be saved. In many nations, like Nepal, Malaysia and Uganda, there are now practical and positive responses and changes but if we are to see the end of corruption and the end of poverty we need world leaders to act decisively,” Mr Edwards said.
The EXPOSED campaign, an international coalition of Christian organisations, aims to reach 100 million people across the world, encouraging them to consider practical and positive ways to resist corruption in their communities, including their churches, and to promote increased integrity and ethics in business. Since EXPOSED was launched in October 2012, across the world many thousands of people have already become involved, some at personal risk to themselves.
* For more information about EXPOSED, and to sign the Global Call to End Corruption go to www.exposed2013.com.
* Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2013 figures released Dec 3 http://www.transparency.org/
* "Who pays the price? hunger: the hidden cost of tax injustice", Christian Aid Report May 2013