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Status: Published

Corruption and human rights: Integrating human rights in the anti-corruption agenda (2010)



Integrating human rights in the anti-corruption agendaA taboo subject until the early 1990s, corruption is now under the spotlight and recognised as one of the biggest obstacles to development. Anti-corruption laws have been enacted, treaties like the United Nations Convention Against Corruption have been negotiated and ratified and new anti-corruption bodies are springing up. Citizens across the world publicly protest against corruption. Corrupt acts are sometimes brought out of the shadows and prosecuted, and on occasion, those responsible are punished.

These are tangible achievements. Nevertheless, persistent corruption continues to flourish in many environments, to the severe detriment of many millions of people. Against this background, many anti-corruption organisations are examining and revising their strategies in a search for more effective solutions.

The ICHRP project on corruption and human rights contributes to that quest. This second report follows on from the groundbreaking Corruption and Human Rights: Making the Connection, which developed a much-needed analysis of the conceptual links between human rights and corruption. Recognising that a conceptual model alone will not suffice if human rights are to become an effective tool in anti-corruption work, the new report examines issues of implementation in the context of the history, standards and practices of the anti-corruption movement. It provides an operational framework and a practical tool for applying human rights principles and methods to local and national anti-corruption programmes.

Integrating Human Rights in the Anti-corruption Agenda does not advocate human rights as a policy cure for every challenge faced by anti-corruption specialists. Rather, it examines when and how the use of human rights might improve performance in certain areas. It also identifies the limits of a human rights approach to anti-corruption. Recognising the disproportionate impact of corruption on women, the report pays particular attention to the value of adopting a gender strategy. It innovatively addresses alleged tensions between certain anti-corruption and human rights practices and shows how practitioners in both fields can unite efforts and effectively collaborate in the struggle to root out entrenched corruption.

Research team