#16Days: International Anti-Corruption Day – The Link with Peace

Fifteenth in series for 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence by John Coonrod, PhD. Updated 2022

December 9 is International Anti-Corruption Day. The 2022 theme is “Uniting the World Against Corruption” and focuses on the the ways that corruption, conflict and instability are profoundly intertwined. Corruption not only follows conflict but is also frequently one of its root causes. It fuels conflict and inhibits peace processes by undermining the rule of law, worsening poverty, facilitating the illicit use of resources, and providing financing for armed conflict.

Fighting corruption is a key strategy for communities to reduce the gender-based violence that is spiking during the pandemic. Government functionaries — on whom citizens depend and need to trust such as police and school teachers — often are not punished when they commit crimes ranging from sexual harassment to rape.

The failure of government to prosecute crimes is also corruption. In Mexico, 10 women are murdered every day, yet 93 percent of crimes were either not reported or not investigated in 2018. Human Rights Watch reports that hundreds of cases of sexual assault on both boys and girls in Afghanistan by teachers and sports coaches have gone unpunished.

Women are not only victims of corruption — they are often the leaders who are fighting it. Transparency International has celebrated 8 female anti-corruption fighters from countries ranging from Azerbaijan to the US.

Where does one begin to prevent and fight such a prevalent problem? Communities are discovering that the pandemic is a good time for e-learning! The UN Office on Drugs and Crime has provides free e-learning courses to the public at this link.

The World Bank has published a report on the most effective tools to enhance government accountability during the pandemic at this link.

The Movement for Community-led Development has partnered with organizations focusing on accountability, and its national chapters are linking up with them. You can watch the recorded presentation and follow links to additional information here.

Featured photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash