Anti-Corruption Day is an annual event promoted by the United Nations. The goal of Anti-Corruption Day is to raise awareness about corruption and related issues, and to show people how they can fight corruption in their communities and governments. This event occurs on 9 December each year, and it is not treated as a public holiday, although in some communities there are public events which people can attend, such as musical concerts, plays, and workshops.
The United Nations passed a resolution to create Anti-Corruption Day in 2003, the same year that the organization drafted the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. The convention was fully ratified two years later, in 2005, and it includes far-reaching commitments from signatory nations to fight corruption.
Corruption is a very widespread problem which has a major impact on the daily lives of people all over the world. It can take a wide number of forms, from obliging people to pay bribes to pass customs to using political influence to push for a particular outcome in a legislature. No country in the world is immune to corruption problems, although some nations have more endemic corruption than others. The United Nations believes that fighting corruption is an important part of its mission, to ensure that people around the world have an equal say in their governments, and that no one is forced to pay bribes or engage in other illicit activities to deal with the government.
As part of Anti-Corruption Day, the United Nations sponsors the “your no counts” campaign, illustrating ways in which people can fight corruption directly. The campaign promotes rejecting corruption by refusing to pay bribes and insisting on handling interactions with government officials legally. For example, someone who is asked to run errands for a government official to get a visa could refuse, insisting that running errands is not part of the visa application process.
Combating corruption can be done in a variety of ways, from insisting on transparency in financial dealings to promoting restitution for people who have been forced to make payments to corrupt officials, political parties, or governments. The United Nations Convention Against Corruption includes specific discussions about criminalizing corruption and providing real legal penalties for engaging in corrupt activities, along with investigating charges of corruption, preventing corruption, and cooperating internationally to raise corruption awareness and educate people about ways in which they can resist it. Anti-Corruption Day is one important way to reach out to the world's citizens.