Anti-Corruption and Human Rights- how to become mutually reinforcing / Raoul Wallenberg Institute.

Contributor(s): [Raoul Wallenberg Institute]Material type: TextTextLund, Sweden : Raoul Wallenberg Institute, 2018Description: 28 pages ; Electronic resourceContent type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeSubject(s): Human rights | CorruptionOnline resources: View / Download PDF Abstract: What is the connection between human rights and corruption? Can the human rights based approach add anything important to the fi ght against corruption? These and other key questions were discussed when the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law held a Roundtable to discuss the intersections between corruption and human rights on 13-14 November 2017. The Roundtable aimed at stimulating a discussion about how a more active contribution of human rights in the fi ght against corruption could be developed to promote human rights and to reduce corruption. The idea was to identify human rights-based opportunities and to explore synergies and possibilities for cooperation between different actors in society. The 26 participants came from public and private sectors, from international and regional organisations including treaty bodies, from academia and civil society, from statutory bodies and municipalities. The blend created a vibrant and constructive explorative exchange. The outcome of the Roundtable included 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. I would like to thank all participants for their great contributions to the Roundtable, which was held under Chatham House Rules. I would like to thank Mikael Johansson, Isis Sartori Reis, Sandra Jakobsson and Gabriel Stein who have been involved in preparing the report from this Roundtable. On behalf of the Institute, I would also like to thank the cooperative Södra for the lunch sponsored during the Roundtable.Summary: There was a wide agreement among participants that corruption is one of the biggest obstacles for an effective implementation of civil and political rights, as well as economic, social and cultural rights. It was however argued that more data and analytical work is needed to measure the impact that corruption has on human rights, with a view to foster a deeper understanding of, and provide an evidence-based argument for, the interrelationship between corruption and human rights violations. With this relationship further clarifi ed, such analysis could also contribute to support the argument for applying a human rights-based and victim-oriented approach to the fi ght against corruption, meaning for example an increased use of the human rights system as a tool in the fi ght against corruption. For this purpose, a number of participants proposed that a study should be undertaken to look at how, for example, UN human rights treaty bodies and special procedures, including Special Rapporteurs, and regional human rights systems, including the European Court of Human Rights, have seen corruption as potentially being a cause for human rights violations. In this context, calls were also made for more in-depth studies on how various anti-corruption efforts around the world are contributing to promoting or hindering human rights. Participants at the Roundtable also recognised that one of the most vulnerable groups affected by corruption are economically disadvantaged people. Studies show that they more often fall victim to corruption than other groups in society, either by having to pay bribes or being referred to public services which are malfunctioning due to corrupt practices. It was argued that there is need for further research, collecting statistics on victims, including how many there are and who and where they are located. A call was also made for more analysis on the relationship between gender equality and corruption, as arguments can be made that a higher level of gender equality have a positive effect on the level of corruption in society. This relationship should be further analysed in order to develop practical tools that countries, companies, local communities and other stakeholders could incorporate in their management systems in order to increase the number of women in senior positions, thus contributing to the fi ght against corruption. Participants in the Roundtable also called for more research on the nexus between human rights, corruption, and the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly on how to better integrate anti-corruption components under each individual goal. It was recognised by the participants that education is an important tool in the fight against corruption. It was recommended to further explore how anti-corruption education can be strengthened and integrated into other disciplines, such as economics, environmental studies, and human rights. Building on the mapping of the global prevalence of academic education in anti-corruption by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), it was proposed that a similar mapping could be done for human rights education in order to examine the potential of a stronger interaction between ongoing initiatives in the two disciplines, as they are mutually reinforcing. As to education, it was also stressed that NHRIs have an important role to play in addressing the relationship between corruption and human rights, for example through different awareness-raising programmes. The role of NHRI’s in fighting corruption through education should be further explored. Participants recognised that corruption must be addressed at all levels in society and that local authorities, who often are in charge of providing public services, play an important role in the fight against corruption. It is at the local level where citizens are closest to the decision-makers and can potentially hold them accountable for their actions. Examples from Sweden show how a Human Rights-Based Approach to local government, emphasizing principles such as non-discrimination, public participation, transparency in decision-making, and mechanisms for responsibility and accountability at different levels, could also contribute to reinforce anti-corruption initiatives at the local level. It was proposed at the Roundtable that such an approach could also prove to be valuable for the private sector and synergies should be explored between different private and public sector initiatives on how to prevent corruption by applying a Human Rights-Based Approach. As to the corporate sector, it was acknowledged that compliance frameworks, such as those developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), business compliance codes and internal process mappings can play an important role in the fight against corruption and prevention of human rights abuses. Such tools can facilitate the establishment of effective routines contributing to the fight against corruption and prevention of human rights abuses. It was therefore recommended that it should be further explored how anti-corruption and human rights corporate compliance frameworks, which often are separate tools, could mutually reinforce each other.
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What is the connection between human rights and corruption? Can the human rights
based approach add anything important to the fi ght against corruption? These and other
key questions were discussed when the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and
Humanitarian Law held a Roundtable to discuss the intersections between corruption and
human rights on 13-14 November 2017. The Roundtable aimed at stimulating a discussion
about how a more active contribution of human rights in the fi ght against corruption could
be developed to promote human rights and to reduce corruption. The idea was to identify
human rights-based opportunities and to explore synergies and possibilities for cooperation
between different actors in society. The 26 participants came from public and private sectors, from international and regional organisations including treaty bodies, from academia
and civil society, from statutory bodies and municipalities. The blend created a vibrant and
constructive explorative exchange. The outcome of the Roundtable included 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.
I would like to thank all participants for their great contributions to the Roundtable, which
was held under Chatham House Rules.
I would like to thank Mikael Johansson, Isis Sartori Reis, Sandra Jakobsson and Gabriel Stein
who have been involved in preparing the report from this Roundtable. On behalf of the Institute,
I would also like to thank the cooperative Södra for the lunch sponsored during the Roundtable.

There was a wide agreement among participants that corruption is one of the biggest obstacles for an effective implementation of civil and political rights, as well as economic, social
and cultural rights. It was however argued that more data and analytical work is needed to
measure the impact that corruption has on human rights, with a view to foster a deeper understanding of, and provide an evidence-based argument for, the interrelationship between
corruption and human rights violations. With this relationship further clarifi ed, such analysis
could also contribute to support the argument for applying a human rights-based and victim-oriented approach to the fi ght against corruption, meaning for example an increased
use of the human rights system as a tool in the fi ght against corruption.
For this purpose, a number of participants proposed that a study should be undertaken to
look at how, for example, UN human rights treaty bodies and special procedures, including
Special Rapporteurs, and regional human rights systems, including the European Court of
Human Rights, have seen corruption as potentially being a cause for human rights violations.
In this context, calls were also made for more in-depth studies on how various anti-corruption
efforts around the world are contributing to promoting or hindering human rights.
Participants at the Roundtable also recognised that one of the most vulnerable groups affected by corruption are economically disadvantaged people. Studies show that they more
often fall victim to corruption than other groups in society, either by having to pay bribes or
being referred to public services which are malfunctioning due to corrupt practices. It was
argued that there is need for further research, collecting statistics on victims, including how
many there are and who and where they are located.
A call was also made for more analysis on the relationship between gender equality and
corruption, as arguments can be made that a higher level of gender equality have a positive effect on the level of corruption in society. This relationship should be further analysed
in order to develop practical tools that countries, companies, local communities and other
stakeholders could incorporate in their management systems in order to increase the number of women in senior positions, thus contributing to the fi ght against corruption.
Participants in the Roundtable also called for more research on the nexus between human
rights, corruption, and the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly on how to better
integrate anti-corruption components under each individual goal.

It was recognised by the participants that education is an important tool in the fight against
corruption. It was recommended to further explore how anti-corruption education can be
strengthened and integrated into other disciplines, such as economics, environmental
studies, and human rights. Building on the mapping of the global prevalence of academic
education in anti-corruption by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), it
was proposed that a similar mapping could be done for human rights education in order to
examine the potential of a stronger interaction between ongoing initiatives in the two disciplines, as they are mutually reinforcing.
As to education, it was also stressed that NHRIs have an important role to play in addressing the relationship between corruption and human rights, for example through different
awareness-raising programmes. The role of NHRI’s in fighting corruption through education
should be further explored.
Participants recognised that corruption must be addressed at all levels in society and that
local authorities, who often are in charge of providing public services, play an important role
in the fight against corruption. It is at the local level where citizens are closest to the decision-makers and can potentially hold them accountable for their actions. Examples from
Sweden show how a Human Rights-Based Approach to local government, emphasizing
principles such as non-discrimination, public participation, transparency in decision-making, and mechanisms for responsibility and accountability at different levels, could also
contribute to reinforce anti-corruption initiatives at the local level. It was proposed at the
Roundtable that such an approach could also prove to be valuable for the private sector and
synergies should be explored between different private and public sector initiatives on how
to prevent corruption by applying a Human Rights-Based Approach.
As to the corporate sector, it was acknowledged that compliance frameworks, such as
those developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), business compliance codes and internal process mappings can play an important role in the fight against
corruption and prevention of human rights abuses. Such tools can facilitate the establishment of effective routines contributing to the fight against corruption and prevention of human rights abuses. It was therefore recommended that it should be further explored how
anti-corruption and human rights corporate compliance frameworks, which often are separate tools, could mutually reinforce each other.

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