Anti-Corruption and Human Rights – How to Become Mutually Reinforcing

By: Raoul Wallenberg Institute

Number of pages: 28

The report builds upon the discussion, presentations, conclusions and recommendations drawn during a Roundtable 13-14 November in Lund. The Roundtable brought together 26 participants from the public and private sector, international and regional organisations including treaty bodies, academia and civil society and statutory bodies and municipalities.

Roundtable participants discussed the connection between human rights and corruption, as well as whether human rights based approaches can add anything important to the fight against corruption. The blend of participants created a vibrant and constructive explorative exchange and resulted in a set of 29 conclusions and recommendations for participants and other stakeholders to consider in their work to promote a corruption-free, and human rights-based society.

The Key Messages drawn from the Roundtable are:

  • A Human Rights-Based Approach emphasising the role of principles, standards and mechanisms for the promotion and protection of human rights can be a valuable and complementary tool in the fight against corruption.
  • Corruption is often perceived as victimless crime, with the result that it is not as stigmatising as other criminal activities. A change in the way corruption is perceived and dealt with is crucial.
  • A bottom-up approach to the fight against corruption is necessary to strengthen the popular support in this endeavor and empower victims.
  • Technology-based solutions can play an important role in this respect.
  • Promoting gender equality is key, given the perceived correlation that countries with higher levels of gender equality tend to have lower levels of corruption.
  • There is no need for additional standards and mechanisms for the fight against corruption. Focus should instead be on making use of the existing ones, including human rights standards and mechanisms, more effectively and to develop tools and handbooks supporting their implementation.

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