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International Anti-Corruption Day

The United Nations’ (UN) International Anti-Corruption Day aims to raise public awareness of corruption and what people can do to fight it. It is observed on December 9 each year.

Musicals, plays, keynote speeches and other activities that focus on the theme of fighting against corruption help promote International Anti-Corruption Day.

©iStockphoto.com/Nikada

What Do People Do?

International Anti-Corruption Day is a time for political leaders, governments, legal bodies and lobby groups to work together against corruption work by promoting the day and the issues that surround this event. On this day anti-corruption advocates organize events to engage the general public to effectively fight against corruption and fraud in communities. Other activities that promote the day include:

  • Musicals and plays to publicize the message of fighting against corruption.
  • Keynote speeches by those who were victims of corruption or fought against it.
  • Essay competitions on issues surrounding the topic of corruption.
  • The dissemination of posters, flyers and other material to increase awareness levels on corruption.

Some organizations hold special recognition ceremonies to pay tribute to people and projects that provide assistance to nations and communities in the battle against corruption.

Public Life

International Anti-Corruption Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

Corruption is an issue that affects all countries around the world. It can refer to the destruction of one’s honesty or loyalty through undermining moral integrity or acting in a way that shows a lack of integrity or honesty. It also refers to those who use a position of power or trust for dishonest gain. Corruption undermines democracy, creates unstable governments, and sets countries back economically. Corruption comes in various forms such as bribery, law-breaking without dealing with the consequences in a fair manner, unfairly amending election processes and results, and covering mistakes or silencing whistleblowers (those who expose corruption in hope that justice would be served).

By resolution 58/4 of October 31, 2003, the UN General Assembly designated December 9 as International Anti-Corruption Day. This decision aimed to raise people’s awareness of corruption and of the role of the United Nations Convention against Corruption in combating and preventing it. The assembly urged all states and competent regional economic integration organizations to sign and ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) to ensure its rapid entry into force. UNCAC is the first legally binding, international anti-corruption instrument that provides a chance to mount a global response to corruption.

Symbols

Posters, slogans, and other promotional material on International Anti-Corruption Day have featured a slogan or logo that takes up two lines. The first line reads “CORRUPTION” in capitalized red words, and underneath are the words “Your NO counts”. Most of the second line is written in black text except for the word “NO” which is highlighted in red capital letters within a white speech bubble.

The UN logo is also associated with promotions for this event. It features a projection of a world map (less Antarctica) centered on the North Pole, inscribed in a wreath consisting of crossed conventionalized branches of the olive tree. The olive branches symbolize peace and the world map depicts the area of concern to the UN in achieving its main purpose, peace and security. The projection of the map extends to 60 degrees south latitude, and includes five concentric circles.

International Anti-Corruption Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015WedDec 9International Anti-Corruption DayUnited Nations observance
2016FriDec 9International Anti-Corruption DayUnited Nations observance
2017SatDec 9International Anti-Corruption DayUnited Nations observance
2018SunDec 9International Anti-Corruption DayUnited Nations observance
2019MonDec 9International Anti-Corruption DayUnited Nations observance
2020WedDec 9International Anti-Corruption DayUnited Nations observance
2021ThuDec 9International Anti-Corruption DayUnited Nations observance
2022FriDec 9International Anti-Corruption DayUnited Nations observance
2023SatDec 9International Anti-Corruption DayUnited Nations observance
2024MonDec 9International Anti-Corruption DayUnited Nations observance
2025TueDec 9International Anti-Corruption DayUnited Nations observance

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