3 December 2013 | Will Green
Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia have been ranked jointly as the most corrupt countries in the world.
Furthermore, more than two-thirds of countries around the world scored less than 50 in Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perceptions Index 2013, where nations are rated from zero to 100 (with 100 being least corrupt).
TI said the index, based on perceptions of public sector corruption, raised concerns and it called for government action.
The report said: “Covering 177 countries, the 2013 index paints a worrying picture. While a handful perform well, not one single country gets a perfect score. More than two-thirds score less than 50.
“The need for greater accountability is clear, and leaders cannot look the other way. But recognising the problem is only the first step – governments need to turn pledges into actions. All citizens deserve bribe-free services, and leaders that are answerable to the public, not to powerful friends.”
Denmark and New Zealand were ranked at joint first place, with scores of 91, while the UK was placed at 14 with a score of 76.
TI said corruption around political parties, police and criminal justice “remained one of the world’s biggest challenges”.
TI chairman Huguette Labelle said: “The Corruption Perceptions Index 2013 demonstrates that all countries still face the threat of corruption at all levels of government, from the issuing of local permits to the enforcement of laws and regulations.
“The top performers clearly reveal how transparency supports accountability and can stop corruption. Still, the better performers face issues like state capture [where private interests influence government decisions], campaign finance and the oversight of big public contracts, which remain major corruption risks.
“It is time to stop those who get away with acts of corruption. 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.”
Top 10 most corrupt countries
1=. North Korea
5. South Sudan