Sunday, December 8, 2013

Bribery and Corruption

According to Transparency International Bangladesh, the average household paid a total of 6,900 takas (approx $90) annually in payoffs - roughly a tenth of the yearly average salary.
One of the biggest issues that third world countries deal with is bribery and corruption.  Tanneries in all countries are subject to laws which require their liquid waste output to be cleaned and purified of the chemicals used during tanning.  However, third world countries where bribery is part of the culture, are often non-compliant - paying the bribe money to avoid the regulations.  The result is an environmental catastrophe which impacts all people who live in the area as well as all those who are downstream of the contamination.

Bribery is not a problem that can be solved with simple answers.  It has been pervasive in Bangladesh for many decades due to political instability and a ruling class that is subject to corruption. Transparency International in 2011 gave Bangladesh a 2.7 out of 10, with zero being the most corrupt.  With the problem being this severe and this entrenched, it seems like a very difficult problem to overcome.  But success in eliminating bribery and corruption will be the final keystone that brings these countries into caring for their environment and people in a way that makes their businesses behave sustainably.

Youth festival organised by Transparency International Bangladesh
The government is making efforts to change this and solve these problems.  Some of these efforts are in place because the world is paying attention to the deplorable treatment of the workers and the environment in these third world countries.  Banks start making requirements for regulations and transparency.  The people who are most harmed and vulnerable to bribery and corruption are the poor.  These are the people least able to fight back and the ones who suffer the most from the challenges.  For real reform to take place, there will have to be pressure internally from the people who are governed.  When the demand becomes high enough - change will have to be enacted.  Education and community forum for the people, including the poor who are the most disenfranchised will have the most success in reforming the problems these countries face.

No comments:

Post a Comment