Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia remain most corrupt countries

4 Dec 13
The three most corrupt countries in the world are Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia, according to the 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index, published by the Transparency International.

By Judith Ugwumadu | 5 December 2013

The three most corrupt countries in the world are Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia, according to the 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index, published by the Transparency International.

The index, which is based on expert opinions of public sector corruption, ranks countries based on how corrupt their politics, administration and institutions are perceived to be. More than two-thirds of countries around the world scored below 50, on a scale between 0 and 100, with 0 indicating the most corrupt and 100 meaning a very clean government is been run.

Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia all scored 8, this year, with no change from 2012 as the worst performers.   

TI’s analysis found the abuse of power, secret dealings and bribery continued to ravage societies around the world.

The report added that corruption in the public sector ‘remained one of world’s biggest challenges’ and covered areas such as political parties, police and justice systems.

‘Public institutions need to be more open about their work and officials must be more transparent in their decision-making. Corruption remains notoriously difficult to investigate and prosecute,’ the organisation said.

Corruption could also form a road block hindering future efforts to respond to climate change, economic crisis and extreme poverty would face a massive roadblock because of corruption, TI warned.

‘It’s time to stop those who get away with acts of corruption,’ said TI chair Huguette Labelle said. ‘The legal loopholes and lack of political will in government facilitate both domestic and cross-border corruption and call for our intensified efforts to combat the impunity of the corrupt.’

Countries scores could also be helped by instituting strong access to information systems and rules governing the behaviour of those in public positions. A lack of accountability across the public sector coupled with ineffective public institutions lead to perceptions of corruption.

At the top of the rankings, Denmark and New Zealand were tied for first place with scores of 91. Finland and Sweden were also seen as having among the least-corrupt governments in world, scoring 89 points each.

‘The top performers clearly reveal how transparency supports accountability and can stop corruption,’ said Labelle. ‘Still, the better performers face issues like state capture, campaign finance and the oversight of big public contracts which remain major corruption risks.’

The UK was ranked 14th of the 177 countries included in the index, with a score of 76, two points higher than last year.

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