Corruption 'Ravages' Two-Thirds of the World's Countries

Published: 05 December 2012


Two-thirds of the world's 176 major countries are highly corrupt, according to the annual Corruption Perceptions Index, published Wednesday by the anticorruption group Transparency International (TI). 

"Corruption continues to ravage societies around the world," where it "destroys lives and communities, and undermines countries and institutions," TI said in a press release Wednesday.

The report highlighted several countries that seem to have backslid on corruption and abuse of power issues. In Afghanistan, one of the countries deemed most corrupt by TI's index, recent news belied the widespread perception that the country was cleaning up its politics during reconstruction. A recent independent report showed that Kabul Bank was nothing more than a "well-concealed Ponzi Scheme" from its beginning.

Many of the countries in which citizens have called for greater corruption oversight have seen their positions in the index stagnate or worsen since last year, TI reported. And among the countries scoring very poorly in the index, "many are failed states, characterized by the repression of human rights, social inequality, and ingrained poverty, in addition to corruption," said TI Chair Huguette Labelle in a statement on Wednesday.

Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Sweden, Singapore, and Sweden all scored high on the group's index, indicating that their citizens consider them clean.

In announcing its report, Transparency International called on governments to integrate anti-corruption measures into all aspects of decision-making, and criticized countries that have remained soft on power abuses in recent years. Governments "must prioritize better rules on lobbying and political financing, make public spending and contracting more transparent, and make public bodies more accountable," TI concluded in its report.