Fighting corruption is everyone's responsibility

PA

Tackling corruption is not only the job of business leaders and politicians but also needs individual action, says evangelical leader Marijke Hoek.

The Christian-led campaign against corruption is urging everyone to play their part in making the world a more just place.

In a new essay, It's Political, Hoek argues that politics is not only for those working directly in government but for every citizen and that every person should be getting involved in what is happening in their communities, nations and the wider world.

She says: "What the co-operative enterprise or collective is capable of is probably most easily recognised in local politics that fosters a common life and pursues a common good - politics with a small 'p', if you wish.

"It's community activism that recognises the fractures and flaws in society and their detrimental effect on its citizens.

"Rooted in locality, it provides a lens to focus our reading of the effect of injustice in the community; its challenge to the system is like catching a ray of sunlight in a magnifying lens, generating a focal point to ignite a fire."

The article gives the example of a group of people in Peru who were so alarmed about the high rates of child sex abuse and the "abominably low" rates of criminal conviction that they formed a coalition and spearheaded a campaign to fight the corruption in the local judicial system. This evolved into a national advocacy campaign that led to the ousting of the judges who had defended the perpetrators instead of punishing them.

Hoek also highlights the recently released documentary, The UK Gold, in which London priest, Father William Taylor, sheds light on Britain's offshore tax havens and unfairness in the British financial sector.

"The welfare of our nation lies in the hearts and hands of us all," she writes.

Amanda Jackson, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Micah Challenge International, a partner of Exposed, said it was crucial for people to understand that they could make a difference in the fight against corruption.

She said: "Yes, there are some who will be and are more actively engaged – community organisers, filmmakers, poets, philosophers, teachers, community organisers, pastors and church leaders, even groups like pensioners and those fighting for the rights of the disadvantaged."

A survey for a Transparency International report out this week found that two-thirds of people interviewed felt that 'ordinary people' could make a difference in the fight against corruption.

Jackson said she was encouraged by the findings.

"Politics should be for us all and we all have a right to have our say," she said.

To read It's Political by Marijke Hoek visit http://micahchallenge.org.uk/beinformed/news/758-its-political

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