Corruption affects considerably the fulfillment of human rights, especially for people from vulnerable groups. The cost of this phenomenon is estimated at millions of lei annually. Most often, corruption leads to violations of the right to life, to defense and to a fair trial, as well as of the right to education, to health, to property and to social protection. These are few conclusions drawn by a group of Moldovan and Swiss experts who analyzed the cause-effect link between corruption and the fulfillment of human rights. The study was conducted with UNDP support, as part of “Curbing corruption by building sustainable integrity in the Republic of Moldova" project, funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The research shows that individual acts of corruption led to human rights violations in about one third of the cases analyzed by the experts, while systemic corruption is responsible for other 30 percent of violations. According to the authors of the study, other factors that cause human rights violations are non-compliance of national legislation and regulations with international standards, lack of resources or insufficient expertise to identify and observe international obligations, as well as also large-scale political corruption.
The analysis reveals that corruption implies two separate costs in relation to the fulfillment of human rights. The first one refers to reducing of public resources due to bribery and non-payment of taxes and other fees, and the second one refers to the consequences of human right violations, loss of the opportunity for personal development and decline in the legitimacy of public institutions.
In case of violation of the right to life, the authors identified that the most vulnerable groups affected by corruption are women survivors of domestic violence and their dependents (children, older people), but also prisoners. The violation of the right to education mainly affects preschoolers, pupils, students, especially the socially vulnerable ones, while the right to health is limited especially for people with multiple health issues, those with disabilities and older people.
According to the authors of the study, for 300 analyzed individual human rights violations, the costs of corruption would amount to about 20 million lei (1 million euro).
For example, in the case of domestic violence, the average cost per case goes up to 45,000 lei (2,000 euro), which includes healthcare; psychosocial assistance; lost productivity or work capacity (sick leave); social security (payments, benefits); legal aid (guaranteed by the state) and legal services (private costs); supporting criminal justice (lawsuits and protection orders) and law enforcement (criminal justice and police, protection orders).
For the right to education, driving license, for example, the cost generated by corruption is estimated at about 130-140 million lei (6-7 million euro) per year.
The authors note that the collaboration of institutions responsible for preventing and combating human rights violations, on the one hand, and those focused on anti-corruption measures, on the other hand, is currently limited. The study also highlighted the absence of a distinct legal framework in place to regulate institutional cooperation and complementarity between such institutions.
The research recommends several policies and interventions to limit the impact of corruption on the fulfillment of human rights. These include: developing or adapting the methodology for assessing the ex-ante impact of corruption on the fulfillment of human rights by strengthening cooperation of relevant institutions, in assessing individual and systemic corruption; amending legislation to include corruption as an aggravating factor in criminal proceedings and human rights disputes; and expanding the common role of anti-corruption and human rights institutions in examining and investigating human rights violations. It also suggests improving transparency in the examination and investigation of human rights violations, including accessibility of information on human rights.
The study "Impact of corruption on the fulfillment of human rights in the Republic of Moldova" was developed by the Centre for Civil and Political Rights (Geneva) in the framework of "Curbing corruption by building sustainable integrity in the Republic of Moldova" project, implemented by UNDP Moldova, with the financial support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The authors of the study used data from open sources, published by the National Anticorruption Center, the National Integrity Authority, the Ombudsperson's Office, and other state institutions.
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