One of the most prevalent destroyers, Corruption is the root-cause of thousands of scandals that take place in every corner of the world. There is no single nation which is entirely free from corruption and its negative influences. However, to bring about a positive ray of hope and transformation, 9th December is observed as the International Anti Corruption Day every year.
Corruption is not something which disturbs our economy, but it pollutes the whole government and organizing system of a nation. Every country experiences colossal corruption every year where you can’t actually define whose fault it is! Some people are forced by the authorities while some fall under this trap due to their natural instinct of being selfish. This issue is deepening day by day and is somehow giving birth to the more obvious conditions like that of inequality, poverty and of course, inhumanity. So before understanding the value of International Anti Corruption Day in our lives, it is essential for every individual to stay clear about the term ‘corruption.’
Know what is corruption and how intimidates our natural aim of development
There are several definitions which describe the term at its best. However, corruption is usually termed as wrong doing or the negative acts undertaken by a person in authority, or the part of authority through illegal, powerful, immoral and illegitimate means. This falls, against the ethical standards of a nation and thus, results from patronage, and its association is done with bribery.
Talking in general context, the illegal act of compelling or forcing an individual to bribe them with a particular sum of money (black money) to get their work done is what corruption is all about. People sitting on higher posts with extreme power usually misuse it for their personal benefits. The feeling of taking bribe generally arises from a person’s will of getting more money without doing hard work. The overall impact of this act falls on the shoulder of those poor people who can’t enjoy their rights as ensured by a democratic country to them.
Students, job seekers, and other deserving people are the most significant victims of corruption. They can’t get admission to the desired college even after securing percentages more than the cut off asked them to. Employment opportunities are many, but the competition is tougher. On every single vacancy, there are 100 or 1000 individuals who are dumping their applications. However, the one who is capable of paying a higher bribe is preferred than the candidate who has every skill to procure this job.
Where is the world going? What are we actually doing for ourselves? There is no single alternative that we have today other than falling deeper and deeper in the course of corruption. Authorities pressurize those who rise up and take a stand against the issue, their families suffer the negative consequences, and thus, the case gets closed! Here comes the need for the observance of International Anti Corruption Day.
What is the International Anti Corruption Day all about?
Let dig in detail about International Anti Corruption Day. The basic estimates have discovered that about $1 trillion of black money is paid every year, however, approx $2.6 trillion of it is stolen by people annually through corruption. This sum is much more than 5 % of the global GDP. Whether it’s a developing nation or a developed one corruption has spread its roots everywhere. Unless you have the ability to stand united against the cause, there is not a single power, which can stop this drug of selfishness from destroying the world.
However, with a definite vision, on 31st October 2003, the United Nations Convention against Corruption was passed (since then International Anti Corruption Day is observed globally on 9th December every year). This convention notably states the various influences possessed by corruption on a nation and how harmful is it for all of us. In parts, it indicates that United Nations is-
- Highly concerned about all the seriousness, problems and threats which are posed by corruption.
- It even affects the people on a larger scale and reduces the stability and security of societies.
- It undermines the values and institutions of democracy, justice and ethical values that are jeopardizing the sustainable development and the rules of law.
Since the recognition of all these issues and with a view to extracting out the best solution to this, UN declared the celebration of International Anti Corruption Day which somehow is a larger attempt to promote equality in the world by avoiding the give and take of black money as far as possible.
No country today is immune to this largely spreading heinous crime. To stand against the issue in a much strict way, the UNODC and UNDP have also launched a joint global campaign which talks about and focuses on how corruption affects our education system, health, justice, prosperity, democracy, and development. These campaigns on International Anti Corruption Day witnesses the issue as one of the largest impediments towards achieving sustainable development goals.
This initiative of United Nations has at least made the people aware of what necessary actions the individuals must take. It has given us the power to rise and act against the negative things that are undermining our social, political and human rights. A lot of private organizations and some governments have even attempted to eradicate and stop corruption. Most of them have brutally failed but, they have largely exposed those nations and their departments where corruption rate is the highest.
After the declaration of International Anti Corruption Day, there are several sub-rules, acts, and laws which are being passed by the people in authority. To fight against corruption-
- A lot of countries have now criminalized the act of bribery, corruption and influence peddling
- They have created a list of all those ancillary offenses like favoritism in public procurement process, abuse of corporate assets and wrong representation of a company’s accounts.
- They have also asked the firms to avoid committing corruption-related offenses while operating their business abroad.
- Every firm is obliged to maintain a code of conduct in the office along with undertaking employee disciplinary projects and assess the risk of corruption in the firm.
However, this act is still not recognized in several countries, and thus, they are suffering from regular debt and lack of development. There are several policies which come up especially for the benefits of the poor; however, they ultimately go in the dump as all the advantages fall into the lap of corrupt people and intermediates. It is very important for these nations to understand the importance of International Anti Corruption Day and should make it mandatory the observance of this day as well as the act passed by the United Nations.
How corruption affects the economy and society of a developing nation?
On International Anti Corruption Day, let’s find out how corruption is affecting the economy of developing nations. It is a common saying that “The rich are getting richer day by day and the poor are getting poorer day by day”. Well, this statement fits perfectly well when it comes to the developing nations. There are no single criteria which define developing nations. However, it is said that a developing country, also known as underdeveloped country or a less developed country is the one that has-
- Low human development index (HDI)
- less developed industrial base
- Less per capita income
- Higher rate of poverty
- Lower life expectancy rate
- Lack of education and literacy rate
- Women have a higher fertility and pregnancy rate
All these factors largely affect the honor of nations when used in context with their names; however, they never try to do something about it. There is no sustainable solution which has existed in all of these countries by far, and thus the rate of all these negative factors is increasing instead of falling.
Corruption largely affects our lives in several ways. However, its higher influences deteriorate the lives of the poor. Some of the most prevalent characteristics of corruption can be understood by-
- The quality of services in a nation– there are certain basic rights of an individual which he/she is entitled to get. General facilities and services like food, clothing, and shelter are the most primary ones. However, in a system filled with corruption, there is no policy or availability of good quality services. The individual has to demand the quality, and they may even have to pay for it. Areas like a municipality, relief fund providers, and electricity suppliers are some of the most prominent ones. Further, as already mentioned above, the deserving candidates can never get the seat whereas the one with no qualities can procure it by paying hefty bribes.
- The level of justice that you observe– the ritual of taking bribes can be highly witnessed in the governmental departments. An unjust judiciary system ultimately leads to improper justice. The victims, who oppose this crime, may eventually fall under a huge risk. Even if they procure huge evidence against the ones in authority, either the evidence is erased, or the person himself is killed. A lot of cases never reach up to a conclusion, and thus, they prove the fact right that “Justice delayed is justice denied.” Such cases go on for years and years, and thus, the innocents always suffer negligence.
- The number of unemployed people– lack of jobs and nonworking human force is considered as a liability to the whole economy, and this is one of the most prevalent conditions faced by the individuals today. Unfortunately, where there is lack of good quality education, there will be unemployed people for sure. Moreover, high donations and bribes reduce the number of applications as most of the individual is not in the condition of paying such a huge amount to get a job. Lack of awareness and alertness leads to unfortunate results, in fact, the people can’t even determine their own skills and talents in accordance with the job opportunities available.
- Lack of support to the poor and slow developments– those who do not pay their taxes in time also fall under the category of corruption supporters. They try to hide their actual income and save an excess of money. This practice ultimately leads to fewer investments in public projects by the government and fewer infrastructural developments. In fact, the policies designed and implemented with the assistance of poor never hit the bull’s eye. They somewhere get stuck in between the long procedures and never reach up to the people who are in need of it. Services like provision of free employment, free education, and free food are some of those policies which never showed the expected level of changes.
- Lack of sanitation and medical services– some of the most common influences of corruption fall under this category. Every developing country today suffers from huge critical diseases which lead to several deaths every year. Women can’t find proper services at the time of pregnancy; small children don’t get the desired cleanliness and the overall economy thus surfers the outcomes. The black money eaters never think about the plight of such people and keep on consuming and wasting the valuable resources. Thus, as medical services are highly expensive and the per capita income is quite less, good quality medical services can only be availed by those who earn well.
Thus, if a country suffers from all such problems, it is a clear indication that the nation is not being managed in the way it must be. Moreover, the government is not following the essential policies against corruption and its ill effects.
So, this International Anti Corruption Day, rise and speak for yourself!
As it is said that every vote counts, here, in the situation of such atrocities, each one of us must take positive actions against corruption as every “NO” counts. The importance of observance of International Anti Corruption Day is to make you understand that – “It’s you who can begin the practice of saying no, don’t ever take the bribe and neither pay it.”
As it’s never too late to take a necessary step, start rising up for your own rights and keep an eye on those whom you are doubtful about. Pay your income taxes genuinely and on time, don’t try to document your fake identity to attain subsidy on products. Fight for the right of every poor or farm labor which is working throughout his/her life to serving you with the food you eat. Never fall into the traps of those asking you to pay extra money for procuring a job or college seat. Just find out such culprits, and get them behind the bars as there is no other power stronger than that of an ordinary man. On International Anti Corruption Day, lets pledge to say NO to corruption.