News / Asia

    Report: Corruption Remains Widespread Global Problem

    Jim RandleJeff Seldin
    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

    Multimedia Obama Calls on Americans to Help the Families of Its War Dead

    In last Memorial Day of his presidency, Obama lays wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery

    The Strife of the Party: Will Trump Permanently Alter Republicans?

    While billionaire mogul's no-holds-barred style, high-energy delivery are what rocketed him to nomination, they also have created rift between party elites and his supporters

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora