By Russ Warner, VP Marketing –
When it comes to corruption on a worldwide level, billions of people are affected. In fact, entire countries are affected, from the government toppling to the citizens suffering. And those in developing nations have it even worse than those in well-to-do nations.
Global Costs of Corruption: Financial and Human
What does it cost? According to U.S. district judge Mark Wolf, corruption costs 5 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP). In countries like Russia, the figure is even higher, with corruption consuming 44 percent of GDP.
International criminals thrive because of corruption in governments around the world, including Mexico and the Middle East. But there is also a cost in humanity. Grand corruption, in which public leaders abuse their office to receive personal profit, “destroys democracy and devastates the human rights that governments are constituted to protect.”
Citizens of countries like Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan are devastated time and time again, with their rights and privileges being revoked and their very lives put into jeopardy.
What Can Be Done?
Obviously, individual countries suffer and are in “way over their head.” We cannot expect countries with high levels of corruption to resolve things in the short term. The United States is not immune by any means.
Wolf suggests that nations band together to form an international anti-corruption court (IACC). By doing so on a global level, all who are able and willing can contribute to reduce corruption.
Wolf suggests ways an IACC would help to combat corruption. First, an IACC could be the forum in which corruption laws could be enforced globally, subjecting to prosecution those public officials from countries that cannot or will not prosecute corruption in their own nations.
This concept alone, argues Work, would give incentive to these countries to work harder to stop corruption internally. Such an approach has worked well for the United State. For state or local public officials accused of corruption, we generally rely on federal courts to judge.
Additionally, a global IACC should include international judges with far less risk of bias. It would also more effectively prosecute officials whose crimes are against humanity.
Those who destroying the lives of their citizens due to corrupt behavior should answer for their crimes, and international scrutiny would go a long way to reduce such corruption.
While an international anti-corruption court may be difficult to implement, coming together as a global community to fight such an alarming trend in worldwide corruption would help us avoid significant financial losses and the denial of human rights.