International Anti-Corruption Day

Corruption is a serious crime that can negatively affect the social and economic development in all societies. Unfortunately, no country, region or community is immune to this crime.

That is why the global campaign called the International Anti-Corruption Day, held every December 9 each year, focuses on how corruption negatively affects education, health, justice, democracy, prosperity, and development of a country or society. This day aims to stop corruption once and for all.

International Anti Corruption Day

What is Corruption? Corruption refers to the destruction of honesty, loyalty, and trust through the undermining of moral integrity. In the most common way, corruption is the use of position, power, and trust for dishonest gain. Ultimately, it leads to unstable governments, fake democracy, and economic meltdown. There are various forms of corruption and the degree of the negative effects can vary from weak to strong.

International Anti-Corruption Day
A December 9 United Nations Holiday raising public awareness for anti-corruption; the effects of corruption and its impact on people, society and economy; and how to fight corruption.
When Celebrated:December 9
Upcoming Date: December 9,
fighting against corruption, publicizing the message, speeches, distributing flyers
Significance:Fighting against all forms of corruption
Also called:
World Anti-Corruption Day, United Against Corruption Day, IACD
Holiday Type:United Nations Holiday – Awareness Holiday

About the International Anti-Corruption Day

The fight against corruption is indeed a global concern. Both poor and rich countries suffer from corruption. The sad thing about it is that it hurts poor people more. The people engaged in corruptive practices get all the money that they want and thus stay at the top of the social pyramid when ranked in terms of wealth. As a result, corruption leads to worsened poverty rates, instability, and state failure.

During the International Anti-Corruption Day, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, the media, and all the citizens around the world join forces to fight against this heinous crime. This event is spearheaded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). These two major organizations lead the celebration because they recognize the fact that corruption is one of the biggest impediments in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Who Created International Anti-Corruption Day?

On October 31, 2003, the UN General Assembly designated the 9th of December as the International Anti-Corruption Day. The organization aims to raise awareness about corruption and the role of the UN Convention in fighting and preventing corruption. The Assembly made member countries sign and ratify the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) in order to ensure the speedy implementation of the goal. In fact, the UNCAC is the first legally binding international anti-corruption instrument that provides a chance for all countries in the world to respond against corrupt practices.

When Celebrated?

As mentioned earlier, the International Anti-Corruption Day is always celebrated on the 9th of December each year. 

International Anti-Corruption Day December 9Sunday
International Anti-Corruption Day December 9Monday
International Anti-Corruption Day December 9Wednesday
International Anti-Corruption Day December 9Thursday
International Anti-Corruption Day2022December 9Friday
International Anti-Corruption Day2023December 9Saturday
International Anti-Corruption Day2024December 9Monday
International Anti-Corruption Day2025December 9Tuesday

Themes of International Anti-Corruption Day

Every year, the UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) and UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) develop a joint global campaign under a “theme” focusing on how corruption affects justice, democracy, education, health, prosperity, and development.

The Theme for the International Anti Corruption Day is “Corruption begets more corruption, and fosters a corrosive culture of impunity”. The theme sheds light on the harmful effects of corruption in our society and how corruption can give rise to impunity.

  • Theme for the International Anti Corruption Day 2016-2017 was – “United Against Corruption for Development, Peace and Security”.
  • Theme for the International Anti Corruption Day 2014-2015 was – “Break the Corruption Chain”.
  • Theme for the International Anti corruption Day 2013 was- “Zero Corruption- 100% Development”.
  • Theme for the International Anti Corruption Day 2011-2012 was-“Act Against Corruption Today”.
  • Theme for the International Anti Corruption Day 2007-2010 was – Corruption- “Your NO Counts”.
  • Theme for the International Anti Corruption Day 2005-2006 was – “You Can Stop Corruption”.
  • Theme for the International Anti Corruption Day 2004 was – “With Corruption Everyone Pays”.

Why Celebrate Anti-Corruption Day?

The following are the main reasons why you should participate in the celebration of the International Anti-Corruption Day:

To Fight Against All Forms of Corruption

Of course, the main reason why you should celebrate this day is that you can take it as a great opportunity to fight against all forms of corruption. The truth is that corruption of any form will definitely harm someone or something. To prevent that from happening, corruption must be fought at all times as soon as possible. By celebrating this day, you can help in achieving that goal.

To Improve the Government

One of the serious issues that governments face is corruption. This heinous crime results in government services that the public does not deserve. If you are in a country plagued by corrupt government officials, you may not realize that your life is directly affected. You do not receive the government service that you rightfully deserve. And that is extremely unfair. Hence, you should celebrate this day to make the government a better place – free of corrupt practices.

To Make the Economy Prosperous

As mentioned earlier, corruption hurts the economy. Corrupt people gain through dishonest means. As a result, the economy is hurt and so is you being its resident. Hence, you should celebrate this day in order to fight against corruption and improve the economy,

Celebration Ideas and Activities

International Anti-Corruption Day is the best time for political leaders, governments, legal bodies, and lobby groups to work together in fighting against corrupt practices. That is why during this day, advocates organize events to engage the general public to effectively fight against corruption and fraud in communities. The main activities involved during this day, which you can also do, are the following:

  • Conduct musicals and plays which publicize the message of fighting against corruption.
  • Listen or deliver keynote speeches from the victims of corruption or from those who fought against it.
  • Participate in essay competitions focusing on issues surrounding the topic of corruption.
  • Disseminate posters, flyers and other material to increase awareness levels on corruption.
  • Organize creative activities in your community to mark the 9th of December as the International Anti-Corruption Day.
  • Use the Anti-Corruption logo on publications and events.
  • Send a message to your networks about the campaign.
  • Celebrate on social media by using the hashtag #InternationalAnti-CorruptionDay.
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