International Anti-Corruption Day : 09 December 2021


09 December 2021

2021 Theme - “Your right, your role: Say no to Corruption”

Corruption affects all areas of society. Preventing corruption unlocks progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, helps protect our planet, creates jobs, achieves gender equality, and secures wider access to essential services such as healthcare and education.

The 2021 International Anti-Corruption Day seeks to highlight the rights and responsibilities of everyone - including States, Government officials, civil servants, law enforcement officers, media representatives, the private sector, civil society, academia, the public, and youth - in tackling corruption.

And yet it is not only countries that need to unite and face this global problem with shared responsibility. Every single person - young and old - has a role to play to prevent and counter corruption, to promote resilience and integrity at all levels of society.

To achieve this, policies, systems, and measures need to be in place for people to be able to speak up and say no to corruption. The United Nations Convention against Corruption emphasizes the responsibility of Governments to put in place effective whistle-blower protection to ensure that persons who speak up are protected from retaliation. These measures contribute to effective, accountable, and transparent institutions towards a culture of integrity and fairness.

To protect your rights, you need to be aware of the role you play and the responsibilities you have in the fight against corruption. Speak up, “say #NoToCorruption”.

Key areas in the fight against corruption


Corruption steals from young people and affects their ability to live in safe, just, and inclusive societies. 

The world’s 1.8 billion young people have a major stake in countering corruption, as their future depends on access to equal opportunity and a level playing field. Young people have the right to demand accountability from leaders. They also play a key role in promoting integrity and can be powerful agents of change by developing innovative and impactful solutions within their communities, with support from decision-makers. 


Corruption and crime threaten the positive contribution of sport in the cultural, educational, social, and economic spheres.

Governments, sports organizations and, athletes need to commit to tackling corruption and crime in and through sport to overcome the impact the COVID-19 crisis has had on the sport and ensure it remains a force for development and peace.

To save the sport from sports corruption and crime athletes must be able to come forward and report approaches from match-fixers, and sport sports leadership act upon reports of wrongdoing. 


Corruption impacts women and men differently, results in the exclusion of women in decision-making roles, and perpetuates negative social stereotypes, limited economic power, and educational opportunities.

There is evidence of the disproportionate impact of corruption on women during public health crises, including during the COVID-19 pandemic, and its effect on the provision of education and healthcare. 

Gender-sensitive whistle-blower reporting and protection systems and a victim-centered approach are of particular importance for women as the lack of protection, fear of reprisals and the level of confidentiality can negatively impact the decision to report corruption. 


Doing good is good for business. Corruption damages businesses, and companies that counter corruption also strengthen their brand value, enhance their business performance, and protect their reputation.

Governments cannot counter corruption on their own and businesses can be proactive partners in reducing corruption.

To effectively prevent and counter corruption, companies need to educate and empower their employees to speak up and report corrupt practices. Education and training within businesses and along value chains, to include SMEs and other partners, is essential.  


The COVID-19 crisis has created new opportunities for corruption to thrive, targeting public procurement and stimulus funds. 

It is essential to include anti-corruption measures in all COVID-19 response plans. This includes safeguards in emergency legislation, public health procurement, and the use of technology, all of which can strengthen recovery from the crisis.  

Corruption in the context of COVID-19 increases inequality and disproportionately affects women, youth, and poor and marginalized groups. 

Young people have experienced an unprecedented disruption in education, employment, social interaction, and their ability to discover the world. They now play a crucial role in building forward for a more just, equitable, resilient, and sustainable world. Countering corruption is an essential part of this endeavor. 


Preventing corruption unlocks progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, helps protect our planet, creates achieves jobs, achieve gender equality and, secures wider access to essential services such as health and education.  Direct cooperation between countries’ law enforcement authorities is essential to counter corruption.  

Initiatives such as the Global Operational Network of Anti-Corruption Law Enforcement Authorities (the GlobE Network), and the Stolen Asset Recovery work (the StAR Initiative) that we undertake with the World Bank are just two examples of helping achieve this.


Technology is an important ally of transparency and accountability. E-government systems, management of conflicts of interest through online interest and asset declarations, and technology-enabled financial investigations and forensic accounting, are all examples of ways that technology can play a part in tackling corruption.

For the International Anti-Corruption Day on 9 December please use the hashtags #NoToCorruption and #IACD2021 on all digital platforms.

Credits - United Nations office on drugs and crime (UNODC) 

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