News / Asia

Report: Corruption Remains Widespread Global Problem

Anger over corruption has sparked mass demonstrations and even toppled governments in the past few years.  But a global study published Wednesday by Transparency International finds the problem remains widespread. 
 
In Pakistan, teacher Bashir Bulti says it takes a bribe to get a job.
 
Cambodian motorcycle taxi driver Chum Van says police sometimes put the blame for accidents on poor people, regardless of who is at fault. 
 
Transparency Corruption Index 2012Transparency Corruption Index 2012
x
Transparency Corruption Index 2012
Transparency Corruption Index 2012
Pakistan and Cambodia are among 176 nations studied by the anti-corruption group Transparency International.

The group's Huguette Labelle says a majority of countries have a serious corruption problem. “This translates into human suffering, with poor families being extorted to pay bribes to see doctors or get access to clean drinking water," he said. 
 
She warns that major infrastructure projects in emerging nations, and the work needed to cope with climate change, could be hurt by corruption.  Labelle sees hope in some nations where new laws make it easier for the public to track government spending and offer some protections for people who raise corruption allegations.

Somalia, North Korea and Afghanistan received the worst ratings, while Denmark, Finland and New Zealand were rated as the least corrupt countries.

Transparency International, Sub-Saharan Africa regionTransparency International, Sub-Saharan Africa region
x
Transparency International, Sub-Saharan Africa region
Transparency International, Sub-Saharan Africa region
The United States was 19 places behind the best rating, while China placed 80th, and India 94th.
 
Complaints about corruption helped spark the Arab Spring uprisings, as massive protests and other actions toppled governments in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.
 
Transparency International, Middle East and North Africa regionTransparency International, Middle East and North Africa region
x
Transparency International, Middle East and North Africa region
Transparency International, Middle East and North Africa region
But the report shows even the drastic step of changing government has not ended corruption. 

Scholar Robin Wright at the Woodrow Wilson Center is not surprised. 
 
“Bakshish is a concept that is central to the way of life in the Middle East, bakshish being bribes.  And that hasn’t changed overnight with the introduction of democratic ideals or goals. A Libyan businessman said we used to have one Qaddafi.  Now we have 6 million," she said. 
 
Transparency International, Eastern Europe and Central Asia regionTransparency International, Eastern Europe and Central Asia region
x
Transparency International, Eastern Europe and Central Asia region
Transparency International, Eastern Europe and Central Asia region
Scholar Charles Kenny of the Center for Global Development says corruption takes many forms, like using a bribe to get a driver's license, job or contract for an unqualified person.

He calls corruption a symptom of poor government, and says bringing the issue to public and official attention will help - eventually. “These changes take changes in norms of behavior, and attitudes across millions of people in the country, so they take time," he said. 
 
Transparency International, Asia Pacific regionTransparency International, Asia Pacific region
x
Transparency International, Asia Pacific region
Transparency International, Asia Pacific region
Kenny says corruption causes problems for business when money is diverted into an official’s pocket instead of being spent on roads or energy projects.

Nigerian tailor Ukudi Nawa blames corruption for a faulty public electric supply.  She says customers become angry when she raises her prices to cover the cost of fuel for a backup generator. “So that really has a negative impact of my business because it makes me spend more," he said. 
 
Transparency International bases its annual report on perceptions of corruption on multiple sources of information from businesses, international organizations, and experts around the world.

Is it Corruption? You Decide
 

Jeff Seldin

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters and is national security correspondent. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

Russia Names US NGO 'Undesirable'

Prosecutors determine activities of National Endowment for Democracy to be 'undesirable,' paving the way for it to be outlawed on Russian territory More

Erdogan Vows 'Anti-Terror' Campaign in Syria, Iraq

Erdogan expressed confidence the 'necessary steps' will be taken by NATO leaders, who will meet Tuesday at Turkey's request More

North Korea: 'No Interest at All' in Nuke Deal

Senior US envoy Sydney Seiler visits Beijing Tuesday for talks on how to revive the stalled six-party nuclear talks with North Korea More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Christopher Tingus from: Harwich
December 16, 2012 6:19 AM
Truthfully, how can we expect anything from other nations when Hillary Clinton announces on a Friday might in the midst of a terrible tragedy in CT that she has suffered a concussion over the last few days and she will Not be able to testify at the "Benghazi Massacre" Foreign Affairs Committee Hearings - how dare she? How ca we expect others in foreign governments when our own "entrusted" WH and State lie and see themselves above the law - if you are an American citizen with a US passport, see the front pages where Hillary Clinton asks that American have safe passage through foreign nations - her unwillingness for now over three months to stand as forthright with us teh Amwrican People as she was when prostituting her own integrity and standing w/barry Obama at taxpayer expense on Pakistani television touting some flick - some movie few knew about resulting ina Middle East conflagration...well, enough is enough and if necessary, We the People, even if the 50% who voted to oust this WH which continues to undermine our Judeo-Christian values in every way...it is time to subpoena Hillary Cointon to the hearings with her first step out her door - also, a note...every action is done before the Lord and His witness and thes eongoing lies, our tattered Constitution and a new Secretary of State who threw his medals and has been so condescending...America is I am afraid on very shaky grounds even far worse than the unstableness of the shooter in CT for those We "entrust" to serve this beloved Republic, how self-serving and We shall be futher punished by siuch arrogant and divisive demeanor - SUBPOENA HILLRY CLINTON TO THE "BENGAHZI MASSACRE HEARINGS" -

by: Mehdi Alavi, Ph.D. from: USA
December 07, 2012 10:31 PM
Transparency international is commended for its great global service to humanity. According to Peace Worldwide Organization’s Civility Report 2012, no country’s civility score exceeds 80 out of 100. We could all act more responsible and cooperate with one another to make our world a better place for all.

by: elahi from: US
December 07, 2012 9:56 AM
For all third world countries like Indian, Pakistan, Bangladesh, sri Lanka. Their crook leaders are very rich makes me wonder what kind of business they are into, and if candidate spend millions of $$ to get elected that mean he/she will expect to make of $$$.

by: Zach Elliott from: WI, US
December 05, 2012 10:10 AM
Though I think the pursuit of transparency and the elimination of corruption are worthy goals, I'm not sure how accurate a picture you're going to get just by asking people how corrupt their govt is. Isn't the most successful corruption that which no one knows about, or that which isn't perceived as corruption? There are other problems, in that corruption can be endemic, and still not be as damaging to society as one, or a few, instance(s) of spectacular corruption. Though I don't believe it involves a govt organ, the LIBOR scandal is an perfect example in that it resulted in the artificial gaming of billions of dollars, with very real implications for millions of people, and yet it is not well known as such and would only be a single instance of corruption

by: Sérgio de Castro Belém from: Brasil
December 05, 2012 8:08 AM
Those corrupt ones in high places have no idea how devastating corruption is to the self-steem of a whole nation.
Brasil has corrupt politicians and public servants in all levels of public services.
Such a shame.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Wini
X
July 28, 2015 12:21 AM
The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Obama Encourages Kenya to Fix Cultures of Corruption, Discrimination

President Barack Obama bid farewell to Kenya Sunday with a major speech at as stadium outside the capital Nairobi where he called on Kenyans to change the cultures of corruption and discrimination that can hold society back. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video California Towns Welcome Special Olympics Athletes

Cities and towns in Southern California are greeting thousands of athletes who are arriving for Special Olympics, a competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The games will run from July 25th through August 2nd. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, where athletes from Namibia, Singapore and Tanzania got a rousing welcome from local residents.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.
Video

Video Hoverbike Flying Toward Reality

Another long-standing dream of many technological inventors is quickly approaching reality: U.S.- and British-based firms are cooperating in the development of an individual flying platform they call a hoverbike. They say it may revolutionize the concept of flying, including in the U.S. military. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video As Japan Expands Defense Role, Protests Follow

The Japanese government is moving forward with a controversial security bill that would authorize the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War II. Leaders say it is critical to defend against rising threats from China and North Korea. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Japan on the big changes ahead, and the opposition they are drawing.
Video

Video Replacing Poppies with Coffee in Myanmar

The remote mountains of Myanmar’s Shan state are home to the second-largest opium-producing region in the world. After a drop during the 2000s, production surged in the past eight years to feed an increasing demand for heroin in China. But farmers are now making less on the crop, and the U.N. is hoping many will make the switch to growing coffee. Daniel de Carteret reports for VOA from Taunggyi.

VOA Blogs