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Corruption as a Violation of Human Rights


Julio Bacio-Terracino


The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies

January 2008

International Council on Human Rights Policy, Forthcoming

Abstract:     
In recent years, scholars have begun to examine the links between corruption and human rights and have widely held that corruption violates human rights. However, most of such assertions fail to show in a detailed manner the ways in which the rights are infringed on by different corrupt practices. Although all corrupt practices may in the long run affect a human right, this is not synonymous with a violation of rights. This work analyses when and how a corrupt practice entails a human rights violation by examining how the most common corrupt practices may violate several fundamental human rights. As this work reveals certain corrupt practices are only indirectly linked to a violation of human rights. Corruption in these cases is a factor fuelling human rights violations and can only be distantly linked to the infringement of human rights. On the contrary, other corrupt practices may constitute a violation of human rights in and of themselves. As evidenced through several examples, corruption is directly linked to a violation of human rights when the corrupt act is expressly used as a means to violate the right, or when the corrupt practice is an essential factor in the chain of events that eventually violates the human right. The aim of this paper is to provide a model analysis that can be applied more generally to cases of corruption in order to establish the extent to which they concern a violation of human rights. In addition, understanding corruption as a violation of human rights serves to add a new perspective to those working for human rights and those fighting against corruption.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 36

Keywords: Corruption, Human Rights, Embezzlement, Discrimination

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Date posted: March 19, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Bacio-Terracino, Julio, Corruption as a Violation of Human Rights (January 2008). International Council on Human Rights Policy, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1107918

Contact Information

Julio Bacio-Terracino (Contact Author)
The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies ( email )
1202 Geneva
United States
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