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Good practices: UN support to States in preventing and fighting against corruption

OHCHR and good governance

Published: 23 April 2019
Author: OHCHR
Presented: At the 41st session of the HRC
Link: A/HRC/41/20


An expert workshop examining good practices of the United Nations system support to States in preventing and fighting against corruption, with a focus on human rights was held on 11 June 2018.

It was organised by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 35/25. The report was subsequently issued in April 2019.


During the workshop, participants:

  • Exchanged good practices of United Nations system support to States in preventing and fighting against corruption, with a focus on human rights;
  • Identified challenges by exploring and discussing difficulties faced by countries in fighting corruption, especially grand corruption;
  • Identified opportunities for linking anti-corruption measures with the promotion and protection of human rights;
  • Discussed methods for measuring the impact of corruption on the enjoyment of human rights and the importance of strong rights-based approaches to tackling corruption, for the enjoyment of all human rights and for the realization of the SDGs; and
  • Considered ideas for further steps and actions that might usefully be taken by the UN system, including the Human Rights Council, to help States adopt a rights-based approach to preventing and fighting corruption.

The report summarises topics discussed during the workshop.

The perceived level of corruption and the enjoyment of human rights are closely correlated. Corruption affects in particular the poor, marginalised and vulnerable segments of society; it is not only a problem of criminal behaviour, but also and above all a structural issue. Combating corruption therefore requires a coherent, holistic approach that seeks to prevent and suppress corrupt behaviour.

International human rights law and international anti-corruption law share the same principles of integrity, transparency, accountability and participation, which are also key principles of good governance. The United Nations Convention against Corruption and the findings of its Implementation Review Mechanism constitute the most widely agreed international standard for addressing structural impediments.

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