U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from a U4 Partner Agency. The U4 Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International in collaboration with the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre based at the Chr. Michelsen Institute.

Query

Has there been any study or work that explores the impact of corruption on vulnerable groups such as indigenous people? I am particularly interested in the impact of corruption on indigenous women.

Purpose

Corruption is known to negatively impact the effective delivery of services. Indigenous people are often marginalised from development processes and are disproportionately poor.

Content

1. Why are indigenous people vulnerable to corruption?
2. The impact of corruption on indigenous people
3. References

Summary

There is little empirical research specifically focused on the impact of corruption on indigenous people. There is also limited disaggregated data available that would make it possible to track the impact of corruption on these groups with regard to incidence of poverty and other socio-economic indicators. However, indirect attribution is plausible. Indigenous people often experience extreme poverty, abuse and discrimination, and are often referred to as the “poorest of the poor”. There is some evidence that poor and marginalised people are particularly vulnerable to corruption. It could be inferred that indigenous people as a group will therefore be disproportionately affected by corruption. In addition, indigenous communities may have profiles that render them particularly vulnerable to exploitation and corruption. They often live in remote, natural resource rich areas, and depend upon natural resource for their livelihoods. Their social organisation may also be poorly respected by more rigid political and legal institutions. Some forms of corruption may be especially harmful to indigenous communities since they may directly threaten their social, economic and cultural survival. Corruption risks relate to the illegal exploitation of land and natural resources, which may lead to resource degradation or dispossession that has a ripple effect on all aspects of indigenous peoples’ livelihoods.

Authors

Marie Chêne, Transparency International, mchene@transparency.org

Date

26/05/2010

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