Fighting corruption must happen within the boundaries of human rights and the rule of law. Thus, increased knowledge on international human rights standards, principles and values. Empowerment, non-discrimination and diversity, equality and equity, participation and inclusion, integrity, transparency, and accountability, are important preventive measures in the fight against corruption. These can help promote a culture of transparency and accountability that can serve as a deterrent to corruption.
Education, professional training and awareness-raising programmes on the nexus between human rights and corruption is therefore key at all levels of society. Educational institutions play a crucial role in promoting the development of societies that are based on human rights, trustworthy institutions and the rule of law. It is a long-term process that goes beyond mere criminal justice responses, which are only effective as a reactive punitive response.
Prevention is a key strategy in the fight against corruption. Chapter 2 in the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) calls on member states to “develop and implement or maintain effective, coordinated anti-corruption policies that promote the participation of society and reflect the principles of the rule of law, proper management of public affairs and public property, integrity, transparency and accountability”.
Furthermore, in its resolution 35/25 “The negative impact of corruption on the enjoyment of human rights” the UN Human Rights Council reiterated that “preventive measures are one of the most effective means of countering corruption and of avoiding its negative impact on human rights”.