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Elimination of corruption and the creating of conditions for transparency, integrity and accountability

Elimination of corruption and the creating of conditions for transparency, integrity and accountability Statement of participants at the Regional Consultation on Anti-Corruption Mechanisms in Asia, 11-15 January 2010, Hong Kong We the participants of the Regional Consultation on Anti-Corruption Mechanisms in Asia held at the Asian Legal Resource Centre in Hong Kong from 11 to 15 January 2010 express our deep concern about the acute problems that people of our countries face, particularly for the large majority of people who still live in relatively poor conditions, which affect economic, social and cultural rights as well as civil and political rights. In areas of food and water, education and health, employment and so forth people across Asia face extremely serious problems of corruption. When attempting to gain the basic services to which they are entitled as members of society, corruption remains a serious obstacle. While budgetary allocations are inadequate to meet legitimate public expectations, state authorities misuse the allocations themselves. Apart from this, foreign aid for socio-economic development projects often ends up in the hands or pockets of corrupt politicians and those in authority, defying all attempts at accountability. Corruption is also playing a role in stimulating violence and internal insecurity, as it shrivels the prospect of government supplying people with basic services, opportunities, rights and entitlements. As a result, people choose to remain silent on internal conflict and do not support the state in handling crises. Further, people also opt not to participate in governance. In this sense corruption weakens people’s democracy and creates space for authoritarian rule. There are also problems associated with the planning and allocation of resources that are conditioned by the institutional gaps and defects associated with systems of power in society. In the development of policies and their implementation, serious inequalities in the distribution of basic resources often affect the structural issues that engender conditions enabling corruption. On the other hand, in the struggle for the eradication of corruption, obstacles arise due to political and social factors that are associated with inequalities imbedded in society. Therefore, realisation of the basic human rights of persons, promotion of the rule of law and achievement of democratic rights in countries of the region are all very much linked to the problems of eradication of corruption. Eradication of corruption as a human rights issue

The treating of eradication of corruption as a human rights issue speaks to the fundamental indivisibility of socio-economic rights and civil and political rights. In all problems associated with corruption, whether in the form of land grabbing, corrupt development projects, deaths caused by corrupt practices in health institutions or otherwise, our countries lack good policing, independent investigative agencies and well-functioning justice institutions that can meet the needs and expectations of people.

Questions of illegal arrest and detention, denial of access to justice and denial of fair trial are often associated with the unaffordability of justice, which is also associated with problems of corruption that beset institutions for the administration of justice, particularly the police, prosecution services and judiciary. The right to life is deeply affected by problems created through institutional malpractices that are the result of deeply corrupt practices within society. Among the people who face these problems in the most acute way are more vulnerable groups such as women and children, and minorities. Historical and contemporary causes of corruption

The root causes of corruption are the histories of our society’s feudal social structures as well as the problems created during...
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