International Anti-Corruption Day: Starting Early to Change Attitudes About Corruption

International Anti-Corruption Day: Starting Early to Change Attitudes About Corruption

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December 09, 2016

Although corruption is a broadly entrenched social ill, each corrupt act is a decision made in its own specific place and time. To address the global problem of corruption, we need to focus our attention locally and join together in our individual acts of resistance.

That dynamic is concisely expressed in the phrase “United Against Corruption”—the official slogan of today’s 2016 International Anti-Corruption Day, spearheaded by the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The associated campaign focuses on corruption as an impediment to development, and offers a wide range of suggestions for what governments, media, businesses, and individuals can do to participate in the ongoing struggle.

The campaign’s website includes a series of powerful videos illustrating the dire effects of corruption. One shows a child’s happy birthday-cake anticipation turn to disappointment as shadowy hands reach out and remove slices one by one, leaving only crumbs when the tray arrives.

Children are often the ones that suffer the effects of corruption, but they can also play a key role in changing a society’s tolerance of it. The campaign encourages individuals to “[e]ngage the youth of your country about what ethical behavior is, what corruption is and how to fight it”.

At TRACE, our mission includes fostering a culture in which bribery cannot thrive. We believe this benefits everyone, including our member companies, whose ability to feel secure doing business around the world is directly tied to local rejection of corruption as a way of life. We also know that those attitudes can take their cast early in life, and we celebrate the role that initiatives like International Anti-Corruption Day play in that formation.

We have decided to do something ourselves to help teach children about bribery. And not only teach them that it exists (as if they didn’t already know), but help them develop a sense that they can do something about it.

We have created a series of short animated stories featuring the “Bribe Busters”—an elite young team of corruption fighters who spend their days fighting corruption around the world with the help of a time travel teleportation super-computer. Their mission: to ensure that children everywhere have a fair future.

Each episode focuses on a different aspect of corruption, and shows the viewer that although the world is full of unfairness, things don't have to be that way. In one episode, the team is able to convince a government safety inspector not to look the other way at building code violations by showing him (with the help of their time-traveling computer friend) the devastation of a consequent building collapse. In another, they help an underserved remote village organize to get rid of a kleptocrat whose greed has prevented an important road project from being completed.

The message is clear: corruption exists, but you can do something about it. We believe that’s also the basic message of International Anti-Corruption Day, and it’s one we are happy to endorse. 

FOR MORE ON THIS TOPIC, PLEASE SEE THE FOLLOWING RESOURCES:

International Anti-Corruption Day: 9 December
Bribe Busters | English
Children awarded for most clever anti-corruption solutions
Children in the Fight Against Corruption
The fight against corruption should begin at school

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