Transparency International has released its corruption perception index (CPI) for 2017 showing, as usual, a strong correlation between high levels of corruption and lack of protections for the press and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

New Zealand and Nordic countries topped the list with the least corruption, while Afghanistan, Syria, South Sudan, and Somalia came bottom.

The data reveals that – despite attempts to combat corruption around the world — many countries have made little to no progress over the last six years.

It also showed countries with the lowest protections for press and NGOs also tend to have the worst rates of corruption.

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What was said:

Transparency International chair, Delia Ferreira Rubio, said:

CPI results correlate not only with the attacks on press freedom and the reduction of space for civil society organisations. High levels of corruption also correlate with weak rule of law, lack of access to information, governmental control over social media and reduced citizens‘ participation.

In fact, what is at stake is the very essence of democracy and freedom.

Managing director of Transparency International, Patricia Moreira, said:

No activist or reporter should have to fear for their lives when speaking out against corruption.

Given current crackdowns on both civil society and the media worldwide, we need to do more to protect those who speak up.

Smear campaigns, harassment, lawsuits and bureaucratic red tape are all tools used by certain governments in an effort to quiet those who drive anti-corruption efforts.

3 Things That Will Change the World Today

We’re calling on those governments that hide behind restrictive laws to roll them back immediately and allow for greater civic participation.

What this means:

Transparency International expressed disappointment about the slow rate, and in some places complete lack, of progress in improving corruption worldwide.

The global corruption level remained consistent with previous years. More than two-thirds, 69 percent, of the 180 countries studied scored below 50 — zero represents highly corrupt and 100 very clean. The global average was 43. Not one country in the world is corruption-free.

This means that more than six billion people live in countries that are corrupt.

The European Union and Western Europe had the best average score of 66. Sub-Saharan Africa and Eastern Europe and Central Asia ranked the lowest with 32 and 34 respectively.

These general figures were exactly the same as in 2016.

By and large, most countries’ retained the same or a similar CPI score to 2016.

The UK increased by one point to 82. The US and France did the same to 75 and 70 respectively.

New Zealand and Denmark switched places so the former is the number ranked country in terms of corruption in 2017. Their scores both declined by two points.

However, some notable countries did significantly reduce their CPI score in 2017.

In 2015, North Korea had the lowest score of eight alongside Somalia. However, its score has been increasing since – 22 in 2016 and 17 in 2017. It is no longer the lowest ranked state in the Asia Pacific Region.

Barbados’ score increased by seven points – it moved up ten places in the rankings.

The data showed nine out of ten journalists were killed in countries that scored 45 or less. One in five of these murdered journalists were covering a story about corruption.

It also estimated that on average, at least one journalist is killed every week in a country that is highly corrupt.

Background:

Transparency International is a global organisation that has been involved in the fight against corruption since 1993. Its vision is to create a world which is free of corruption.

It has produced annual CPI reports since 1995 alongside other publications that focus on individual themes, countries and regions.

The CPI reports use expert opinion to measure “the perceived levels of public sector corruption worldwide”.

Transparency International then looks at trends to analyse the relationship between corruption and other global political and social issues.

Previous noteworthy connections revealed by the CPI were between corruption and inequality in 2016 and corruption and conflict in 2015.

Rank 

Country

CPI Score 2017

1 New Zealand 89
2 Denmark 88
3 Finland 85
3 Norway 85
3 Switzerland 85
6 Singapore 84
6 Sweden 84
8 Canada 82
8 Luxembourg 82
8 Netherlands 82
8 UK 82
12 Germany 81
13 Australia 77
13 Hong Kong 77
13 Iceland 77
16 Austria 75
16 Belgium 75
16 US 75
19 Ireland 74
20 Japan 73
21 Estonia 71
21 United Arab Emirates 71
23 France 70
23 Uruguay 70
25 Barbados 68
26 Bhutan 67
26 Chile 67
28 Bahamas 65
29 Portugal 63
29 Qatar 63
29 Taiwan 63
32 Brunei Darussalam 62
32 Israel 62
34 Botswana 61
34 Slovenia 61
36 Poland 60
36 Seychelles 60
38 Costa Rica 59
38 Lithuania 59
40 Latvia 58
40 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 58
42 Cyprus 57
42 Czech Republic 57
42 Dominica 57
42 Spain 57
46 Georgia 56
46 Malta 56
48 Cabo Verde 55
48 Rwanda 55
48 Saint Lucia 55
51 Korea, South 54
52 Grenada 52
53 Namibia 51
54 Italy 50
54 Mauritius 50
54 Slovakia 50
57 Croatia 49
57 Saudi Arabia 49
59 Greece 48
59 Jordan 48
59 Romania 48
62 Cuba 47
62 Malaysia 47
64 Montenegro 46
64 Sao Tome and Principe 46
66 Hungary 45
66 Senegal 45
68 Belarus 44
68 Jamaica 44
68 Oman 44
71 Bulgaria 43
71 South Africa 43
71 Vanuatu 43
74 Burkina Faso 42
74 Lesotho 42
74 Tunisia 42
77 China 41
77 Serbia 41
77 Suriname 41
77 Trinidad and Tobago 41
81 Ghana 40
81 India 40
81 Morocco 40
81 Turkey 40
85 Argentina 39
85 Benin 39
85 Kosovo 39
85 Kuwait 39
85 Solomon Islands 39
85 Swaziland 39
91 Albania 38
91 Bosnia and Herzegovina 38
91 Guyana 38
91 Sri Lanka 38
91 Timor-Leste 38
96 Brazil 37
96 Colombia 37
96 Indonesia 37
96 Panama 37
96 Peru 37
96 Thailand 37
96 Zambia 37
103 Bahrain 36
103 Côte D’Ivoire 36
103 Mongolia 36
103 Tanzania 36
107 Armenia 35
107 Ethiopia 35
107 Macedonia 35
107 Vietnam 35
111 Philippines 34
112 Algeria 33
112 Bolivia 33
112 El Salvador 33
112 Maldives 33
112 Niger 33
117 Ecuador 32
117 Egypt 32
117 Gabon 32
117 Pakistan 32
117 Togo 32
122 Azerbaijan 31
122 Djibouti 31
122 Kazakhstan 31
122 Liberia 31
122 Malawi 31
122 Mali 31
122 Nepal 31
122 Moldova 31
130 Gambia 30
130 Iran 30
130 Myanmar 30
130 Sierra Leone 30
130 Ukraine 30
135 Dominican Republic 29
135 Honduras 29
135 Kyrgyzstan 29
135 Laos 29
135 Mexico 29
135 Papua New Guinea 29
135 Paraguay 29
135 Russia 29
143 Bangladesh 28
143 Guatemala 28
143 Kenya 28
143 Lebanon 28
143 Mauritania 28
148 Comoros 27
148 Guinea 27
148 Nigeria 27
151 Nicaragua 26
151 Uganda 26
153 Cameroon 25
153 Mozambique 25
155 Madagascar 24
156 Central African Republic 23
157 Burundi 22
157 Haiti 22
157 Uzbekistan 22
157 Zimbabwe 22
161 Cambodia 21
161 Congo 21
161 Democratic Republic of the Congo 21
161 Tajikistan 21
165 Chad 20
165 Eritrea 20
167 Angola 19
167 Turkmenistan 19
169 Iraq 18
169 Venezuela 18
171 Korea, North 17
171 Equatorial Guinea 17
171 Guinea Bissau 17
171 Libya 17
175 Sudan 16
175 Yemen 16
177 Afghanistan 15
178 Syria 14
179 South Sudan 12
180 Somalia 9