What is Corruption?

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Corruption takes many forms, and those who perpetrate corruption are swift in developing new strategies to conceal their practices. Corruption is defined as ‘the abuse of entrusted power for private gain’ and occurs in both the public and the private sectors. Corruption is the abuse of power within in a state institution, a private entity or a public organization. Both the bribe-taker and the bribe-giver benefit from corruption whether in cash or in-kind. Bribe-takers collect rewards for carrying out the functions which are their duty to perform as free service to the public. Bribe-givers benefit from access to basic needs and privileges over those who cannot afford to pay a bribe. Corruption prevents citizens from access to services to which they are entitled, diverts government and development assistance away from the most vulnerable, and undermines productive economic activity.

Adapted from “The basics of Anti-Corruption”, U4 Anti-Corruption Resources Center. 

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