UN Convention against Corruption

The Convention Against Corruption is the UN’s set of guidelines, standards, and rules for handling corruption internationally and within states’ domestic spheres. The Convention is legally binding for all signing countries and aims to fight corruption through the strengthening of states’ internal structures, as well as through increasing the cooperation between states with regards to international incidences of corruption. The Convention was adopted by the UN General Assembly on October 31, 2003 and was opened for signatures in December of 2003. 


Goal: The goal of the Convention is to fulfill the following purposes:

a)      To promote and strengthen measures to prevent and combat corruption more efficiently and effectively;

b)      To promote, facilitate and support international cooperation and technical assistance in the prevention of and fight against corruption, including asset recovery;

c)       To promote integrity, accountability and proper management of public affairs and public property.


Relevant Clauses [i]


13. Participation of Society

1.  Each State Party shall take appropriate measures […] to promote the active participation of individuals and groups outside the public sector […] in the prevention of and the fight against corruption […] This participation should be strengthened by such measures as:

a) Enhancing the transparency of and promoting the contribution of the public to decision-making processes;

b) Ensuring that the public has effective access to information;

d) Respecting promoting and protecting the freedom to seek, receive, publish and disseminate information concerning corruption […]


32. Protection of witnesses, experts and victims

1.    Each State party shall take appropriate measures […] to provide effective protection from potential retaliation or intimidation for witnesses and experts who give testimony concerning offences established in accordance with this Convention […]

4.    The provisions of this article shall also apply to victims insofar as they are witnesses.

5.    Each State Party shall […] enable the views and concerns of victims to be presented and considered at appropriate stages of criminal proceedings against offenders […]


33. Protection of reporting persons

Each State Party shall consider incorporating into its domestic legal system appropriate measures to provide protection against any unjustified treatment for any person who reports in good faith […] any facts concerning offences established in accordance with this Convention.


35. Compensation for damage

Each State Party shall take such measures […] to ensure that entities or persons who have suffered damage as a result of an act of corruption have the right to initiate legal proceedings against those responsible for that damage in order to obtain compensation.


[i]United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. (2004). United Nations Convention Against Corruption. Retrieved October 8, 2013, from United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime: http://www.unodc.org/documents/treaties/UNCAC/Publications/Convention/08-50026_E.pdf