Fighting corruption

Corruption undermines development and leads to increasing levels of human rights abuse. It undermines democracies and, in particular, the achievements of many developing countries and countries in transition. It saps a society?s integrity, and so distorts the market that ordinary people are deprived of its benefits. Until about 1995 the IMF-World Bank partnership preferred to ignore corruption. Today, governments and banks do discuss it, thanks to the intervention of some NGOs. One of these is Transparency International, a global coalition dedicated to curbing both international and national corruption and increasing government accountability. In each country TI tries to involve the state, civil society and the private sector. It does not ?name names,? but works to resist the ?everyone-does-it? syndrome. Each National Chapter brings together people of integrity to collaborate in building systems that combat corruption. In the Netherlands, TI has about seventy members (individuals only — corporations can neither belong as such nor make donations) who meet twice a year. The co-founder and President (1999-2001) of the Dutch TI is Fr. Edward Kimman SJ, a professor of business ethics at Maastricht University and at the Free (Reformed) University of Amsterdam. The experience of TI has led him to change his own teaching; he sees work here for theologians, too, since corruption is evil, not just a huge practical social problem but one faced by mankind in need of salvation. [HL10108] See www.transparency.de