Global fight against corruption weakens as rule of law declines: report News
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Global fight against corruption weakens as rule of law declines: report

Governments around the world are struggling to fight corruption, according to a Transparency International (TI) report published Tuesday. The report, known as the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption. The scores range from zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).

In 2023, the CPI global average stayed at 43 for the twelfth year in a row, with more than two-thirds of the countries and territories falling below 50. “This indicates serious corruption problems,” stated TI, who has been publishing the report annually since 1995. 23 countries fell to their lowest scores this year, and most countries have either declined or made no progress in the last decade. TI also published its 2023 Rule of Law Index last October, finding that the rule of law has “once again eroded in a majority of countries.” Countries with the lowest scores in the rule of law index largely scored very low on the CPI as well, demonstrating a “clear connection between access to justice and corruption.”

At the bottom of the CPI this year was Somalia, with a score of just 11. The other lowest-ranking countries included Venezuela, Syria, South Sudan and Yemen. TI also highlighted several countries to watch, including Guatemala, which scored a 23. The prosecution of anti-corruption advocates in the country has reduced the state’s ability to fight corruption in the past few years, and recently elected President Bernardo Arévalo will be tasked with dismantling these “corruption networks.” Another highlight this year was Ukraine, which has continued an 11-year rise on the CPI despite its war with Russia increasing corruption risks.

Denmark remained at the top of the list for the sixth year in a row, scoring a 90 out of 100. Right behind Denmark were Finland and New Zealand, and all three countries were also top scorers in the 2023 rule of Law Index. TI noted, however, that there are several opportunities for improvement in 2024, even in the highest-scoring countries, that “cannot be wasted.” The organization claims it is imperative that the pending anti-money laundering reforms in several top scoring countries are passed in order to prevent corrupt individuals from hiding their wealth in those nations. The organization also recommended that lower-scoring countries enforce anti-bribery rules and devise new measures to combat transnational corruption.

“Corruption worsens social justice and disproportionately affects the most vulnerable,” stated TI’s CEO Daniel Eriksson. “It is time to break the barriers and ensure people can access justice effectively.”