Survey: Poorest preyed on most by corruption
By Assocaited Press
Published December 7, 2007
BERLIN - Some of the world's poorest people in Africa and Asia are hardest hit by public corruption - forced to pay bribes for police protection, education and justice - according to a survey released Thursday.
Anticorruption watchdog Transparency International's 2007 Global Corruption Barometer showed that as a region, Africa suffered the most public corruption.
"Poor families are hit hardest by demands for bribes," the organization said in a summary.
"This year's Global Corruption Barometer has made it clear that too often, people must part with their hard-earned money to pay for services that should be free," said organization chairwoman Huguette Labelle in a statement.
The survey of more than 63,199 people in 60 countries, compiled by polling agency Gallup, found that a majority believe corruption in general is on the rise, and they consider politics the most graft-ridden sector.
About 54 percent said they expect corruption to increase in the next three years, 26 percent said it would stay the same, while 20 percent said it would decrease.
Slightly less than 70 percent said political parties were the most corrupt institutions, followed by about 55 percent who said parliament or the country's legislature was the most corrupt, narrowly trailed by just more than 50 percent citing police departments.
The figures total more than 100 percent because people gave multiple answers about where they paid bribes.
"The fact that health and education and the judiciary and the police is where there is a great demand for bribes ... is something we need to look at and be very concerned about," Labelle said.
In the African countries surveyed, 42 percent of people reported that they had been asked to pay a bribe to obtain a service during the past 12 months. The Asia-Pacific region was next with 22 percent; then a grouping of Russia, Moldova and Ukraine with 21 percent; Latin America with 13 percent; southeastern Europe with 12 percent; the European Union with 5 percent; and North America with 2 percent.
Of the countries and territories surveyed, Cameroon fared the worst, with 79 percent of respondents saying they had paid a bribe to obtain services. Next came Cambodia, 72 percent; Albania, 71 percent ; and Kosovo, 67 percent.
In Canada, Japan, South Korea, Austria, France, Iceland, Sweden and Switzerland, 1 percent of respondents said they had paid a bribe. In the United States, 2 percent said they did.
[Last modified December 7, 2007, 02:33:41]
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