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Anti-Corruption and Human Rights, Global Knowledge Products,

(New Publication) Corruption and Contemporary Forms of Slavery: Examining Relationships and Addressing Policy Gaps

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Corruption is an underlying cause of and a facilitating tool for practices arising from contemporary forms of slavery; it is essential to creating the conditions for a low-cost, low-risk, high-profit illicit trade in vulnerable individuals. Yet, corruption and contemporary forms of slavery tend to be dealt with in isolation, with no international instrument that focuses on the important link between them, and a lack of systemic data collection efforts on corruption in contemporary forms of slavery. This has significant negative implications on human rights and gender equality, as estimates suggest that 40 million people—71% of whom are women and girls—are trapped in contemporary forms of slavery, with 24.9 million in forced labour and 15.4 million in forced marriages. In addition, with the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the economic and labour markets and on people's lives and livelihoods, the risks of corruption and vulnerabilities to enslavement have increased.

This study therefore explores the linkages between corruption and contemporary forms of slavery, including from a gendered perspective, and offers recommendations for the international community, governments, civil society and the private sector to develop effective strategies to prevent and address them.

Anti-Corruption in SDGs, Global Knowledge Products, Library,

(New Publication) New Technologies for Sustainable Development: Perspectives on Integrity, Trust and Anti-Corruption

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The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has brought immense opportunities to leverage digitalisation and technological innovation to meet many development challenges. In the area of anti-corruption, technology has become one of the greatest allies for preventing and tackling corruption, not only through detecting, analysing and monitoring corruption but also through promoting effective, accountable and inclusive institutions. However, given that the development of new technologies and digital solutions adds a new dimension of vulnerability, there is a need to address the risks of misuse and abuse of technology, including corrupt and fraudulent activities that could be facilitated by technology. Moreover, there is a need to address the digital divide among and within countries, as well as ethical and human rights issues, to ensure the responsible use of technologies and data.

This study therefore explores the opportunities and risks of new technologies – artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, big data analytics, robotic process automation, the Internet of Things, and cloud computing – for sustainable development, from the perspectives of integrity, trust and anti-corruption. It also examines the current regulatory mechanisms surrounding the use of these technologies around the world, and offers recommendations for governments, civil society, the private sector and the international community to develop effective digital governance strategies that maximise the benefits of technology for sustainable development.

COVID-19, Global Knowledge Products, News,

New UNDP Publications on Transparency, Accountability and Anti-Corruption in COVID-19 Response and Recovery

UNDP’s Global Anti-Corruption Programme has published two new knowledge products on Integrating Transparency, Accountability and Anti-Corruption in COVID-19 Response and Recovery:

The COVID-19 pandemic is far more than a health, humanitarian or socio-economic crisis; it is also a governance crisis, testing the resilience of governance institutions and systems to support societies and economies to recover from the ramifications of COVID-19. In particular, corruption and its consequences significantly impact COVID-19 response and recovery. This Guidance Note presents UNDP’s offer in supporting countries to integrate transparency, accountability and anti-corruption in both response and recovery priorities.

To build forward better, UNDP’s Next Generation of Anti-Corruption programming aims at strengthening the role of oversight and anti-corruption institutions for sustainable development; promoting social accountability and the role of civil society; strengthening business integrity; and harnessing the benefits of technology and innovation to enhance transparency and openness. These will contribute to all five pillars of the UN’s framework on socio-economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the recognition that effective and accountable governance systems and processes are critical for progressive socio-economic change.

As the technical lead for the socio-economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the UN system, UNDP and its COs worldwide are working to assess the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on economies and communities to develop and implement effective strategies for COVID-19 response and recovery. Although there is recognition that COVID-19 impacts governance systems, processes and institutions, existing socio-economic impact analyses have not specifically assessed the links between them, and in particular, the impact of corruption and a lack of transparency and accountability on COVID-19 response and recovery. These are largely due to two main challenges: a lack of knowledge and guidance on how to integrate transparency, accountability and anti-corruption in socio-economic impact analysis; and a lack of coordination between anti-corruption institutions and the institutions focusing on socio-economic aspects.

This guidance note thus provides a practical methodology, including checklist questions, on how to integrate transparency, accountability and anti-corruption in social and economic needs assessment and response in the context of COVID-19.