Defining the Relationship between Corruption and Human Rights
96 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2009 Last revised: 16 Dec 2010
Date Written: February 13, 2010
The relationship between corruption and human rights is only beginning to be seriously examined. A major premise of the ongoing research argues that corruption disables a State from meeting its obligations to respect, fulfill and protect the human rights of its citizens.
This study explores two other relationships between human rights and corruption. First, by showing how individualistic and procedural rights have been used to defeat investigations and prosecutions of corruption by high level governmental officials. Second, in demonstrating how anti-corruption reforms have primarily targeted the promotion of market efficiency while reducing spending in meeting basic needs and rights such as health and education inconsistently with the social and economic rights of the poor and marginalized. These findings are significant since they show that the relationship between corruption and human rights extends beyond showing corruption disables States from meeting their human rights obligations. Indeed, human rights can be used in support of or against corruption.
The thrust of the recommendations made in this study are premised on an approach to human rights that offers the maximum potential for the democratization of the Kenyan State through transformative constitutional and institutional reforms. In addition, this can be done by expanding human rights concerns to include as a central agenda the social and economic rights of the poor and marginalized as well as minority rights and safeguards.
Keywords: corruption, human rights, individual rights, procedural rights, anti-corruption reform
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