International Anti-Corruption Day: History, theme, significance

Corruption impacts the world as a whole, and in order to fight it, we celebrate International Anti-Corruption Day.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Thursday, December 08, 2022, 06:26 PM IST
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International Anti-Corruption Day: History, theme, significance | FPJ

Corruption is a complex issue that undermines democratic institutions, contributes to government instability, slows economic development, and attacks the foundation of democratic institutions. Corruption impacts the world as a whole, and in order to fight it, we celebrate International Anti-Corruption Day.

International Anti-Corruption Day is globally observed on December 9 to raise awareness of the impact of corruption and the need for a corruption-free society. The United Nations declared this day to bring more attention to the adoption of an anti-corruption stance.

History of International Anti-Corruption Day

Corruption has existed for a very long time. The proof can be found in the texts of the Arthashastra in India, the Code of Hammurabi of Babylonia, and the Great Edict of Horemheb. But it was in the 19th century when corruption started getting more attention and people started understanding the drawbacks of a corrupt society.

Transparency International is one of the most well-known organisations today that is tackling corruption in countries across the globe. It was founded by Peter Eigen, a World Bank official who witnessed the impact of corruption. It was due to the negative impact of corruption in East Africa that Eigner decided to start a non-profit to shed more light on this issue.

In 1993, in Berlin, the secretariat was set up, and in 1995, Transparency International developed the Corruption Perception Index to measure corruption across different sectors and then rank countries accordingly. The index has now evolved to collect data from 180 countries. Even the World Bank captures corruption data through its Worldwide Governance Indicators.

Currently, it hosts the International Anti-Corruption Conference every two years to create awareness about the challenges posed by corruption. The first virtual conference was held in 2020, and it is still available to watch online.

The United Nations in December 2003 took the first step to fight against corruption by passing the United Nations Convention Against Corruption which was drafted on October 31, 2003. UNAC is a treaty between UN member states that came into effect on December 14, 2005. This treaty legally binds the countries to work on reducing corruption and enforcing law and order. Since then, as many as 188 countries have committed to the conventions' anti-corruption obligations. The assembly also designated December 9, as International Anti-Corruption Day.

The first International Anti-Corruption Day was celebrated in India on December 9, 2006, by signing the UN convention against corruption.

International Anti-Corruption Day 2022: Theme

The main objective of this day is to eradicate corruption and make a way for a prosperous society. The theme for the upcoming two years is 'Recover the Integrity', while the theme for International Anti-Corruption Day 2022 is 'Your right, your role: say no to corruption'.

How do you celebrate International Anti-Corruption Day?

Several politicians, personalities, notable writers, members of private organisations and journalists came forward to create awareness regarding corruption. There are various seminars, campaigns, skits, and plays that are organised. Essay writing, speech competitions, and drawing competitions are held in schools and colleges while the local authorities distribute pamphlets and booklets in public, encouraging people to raise their voices against corruption.

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