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SERAP Asks UN Conference To Establish Global Fund For Victims Of Corruption

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ABUJA, Nov 16, (THEWLL) - A civil society group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the UN 14th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) in Bangkok, Thailand to “establish a global trust fund for victims of corruption. It argued that “this is already happening for victims of international crimes recognized under the Rome Statute of International Criminal Court. There is no reason why the same cannot be done in serious cases of corruption.” SERAP’s Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni who presented a paper at the conference titled: “Legal Redress for Victims of Corruption: Enhancing the role of civil society to bring and to represent victims in legal proceedings”, said that, “establishing a global fund for victims of corruption given the cost of corruption in countries like Nigeria is necessary if the fight against corruption is to be meaningful and lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty. “Nigeria is reported to have lost over $400 billion to corruption since independence in 1960. It is absolutely important to acknowledge that corruption is a crime with victims, and to set aside a trust fund to address the massive poverty to which majority of its citizens is subjected. The African Charter on Human and Peoples, Rights recognizes that in case of spoliation and corruption, the dispossessed people must have the right to lawful recovery and to adequate compensation,” the organization told the conference. The organization also said that: “Rectification and compensation in the framework of basic rights serve to restore the individual to the extent possible to their capacity to achieve the end they personally value, added the organization. “Establishing a trust fund to address the developmental needs of the victims of corruption in Nigeria (and elsewhere in Africa) would help address the discrimination, hunger, exclusion and dispossession that have resulted from decades of acts of political corruption in Nigeria. Unless there is a victim-based approach to addressing corruption, the efforts to tackling grand corruption including in my country may not achieve the desired result.” Other organizations such as the Basel Institute on Governance (Switzerland), and SHERPA, a French based anti-corruption non-governmental organization, backed the call for a global fund for victims of corruption. The IACC is the world premier forum that brings together heads of state, civil society, and the private sector to tackle the increasingly sophisticated challenges posed by corruption. The IACC takes place every two years in a different region of the world, and attracts up to 1500 participants from over 135 countries.

The conference serves as the premier global forum for the networking and cross-fertilisation that are indispensable for effective advocacy and action, on a global and national level.

The organization also called for a national, regional and international human rights and anti-corruption mechanisms to be strengthened and fully resourced to enable them play the expected role in vindicating the human rights of victims of grand corruption.