A New Guide Outlines the Potential of UN Human Rights Mechanisms in Countering Corruption

Anti-corruption poster Anti-corruption poster

15 October 2019

Corruption is a major obstacle to the observance and implementation of human rights. Moving from an economic and political perspective on corruption towards a human rights approach involves a shift in perception whereby corruption is viewed not as being solely a misappropriation of wealth and distortion of expenditure, but rather as a potential violation of human rights.

This being said, anti-corruption practitioners rarely make this link and resort to United Nations (UN) human rights mechanisms to address corruption and its impact on the enjoyment of human rights. Similarly, none of the UN human rights mechanisms has approached this issue in a systematic manner.

A Tool for Anti-Corruption Groups and Practitioners

The Practitioners’ Guide on Human Rights and Countering Corruption, by focusing on how UN human rights mechanisms can be better used to report on corruption issues, fills this gap.

Published by the Geneva Academy and the Centre for Civil and Political Rights (CCPR Centre), it intends to serve as a user-friendly practitioners’ manual and strategic advocacy tool to explore how a human rights-based approach, with its focus on the victims of corruption and state responsibility, can be used to complement and strengthen anti-corruption efforts.

To this end, it focuses primarily on how UN human rights mechanisms can be better used to report on corruption issues, and it provides guidance as well as practical recommendations on effectively integrating human rights into anti-corruption efforts.

Wide Consultations

This Guide is the outcome of research, several conferences and consultations carried out in partnership with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and is based on a draft initiated by OHCHR.

The Guide also received several inputs from legal and corruption experts, academics, NGO representatives and OHCHR staff. Its production has been possible thanks to the continued support by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

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