corruptionTransparency International last week released the results of its Corruption Perception Index for 2014. The results come in the form of an interactive map showing the corruption levels of 175 countries on the planet, using a scale from dark red (highly corrupt) to yellow (very clean). Transparency International is a non-profit group dedicated to fighting governmental and corporate corruption.

They used data and expert opinions from 12 independent institutions, which specialise in governance to retrieve the data. To rank the countries, the organisations measured the prevalence of bribery, methods of corruption prosecution, government response to the population’s needs and guarantees of basic human rights. A poor score usually indicates widespread bribery and insufficient punishment or governmental response to corruption.

The results demonstrate that not a single country achieves a perfect score of 100 on the corruptions perceptions index and more than two thirds score below 50. Transparency International report that some of the major consequences of public sector corruption are poorly equipped schools as well as counterfeit medicine and elections, which are decided by money.

The Chair of Transparency International, Jose Ugaz, said: “Countries at the bottom need to adopt radical anti-corruption measures in favour of their people. Countries at the top of the index should make sure they don’t export corrupt practices to underdeveloped countries.” The organisation added that the G20 needs to demonstrate is international leadership role and take measures to prevent money laundering and put a halt to secret companies masking corruption.

Australia was ranked the 11th least corrupt country with a score of 80. This shows a decline in recent years from 85 in 2012 and 81 in 2013.

The top ten countries which proved to be the least corrupt were: Denmark (92), New Zealand (91), Finland (89), Sweden (87), Norway (86), Switzerland (86), Singapore (84), the Netherlands (83), Luxembourg (82) and Canada (81).

The lowest scoring countries aka. the most highly corrupt were Somalia and North Korea with a score of 8. These bottom countries were followed by Sudan (11), Afghanistan (12), South Sudan (15), Iraq (16) Turkmenistan (17), and Uzbekistan, Libya and Eritrea, all of which garnered a score of 18.

The general trends for regions around the world showed that the EU and Western Europe is the least corrupt area with an average score of 66. Next was the Americas with an average score of 45 followed by the Asia Pacific on 43. The Middle East and North Africa have an average of 38, and Sub-Saharan Africa and Eastern Europe and Central Asia both possess averages of 33.

In order to create change and help lift the corruption scores of these poorer regions, Transparency International stresses the need to stay informed about the issues and grow discussion. They also encourage people to  volunteer or donate to help the cause, which provides support for victims of corruption and develops research in the field.

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