Guest Post: Connecting the Two Worlds of Anticorruption and Human Rights Activism

Today’s guest post is from Casey Kelso, a human rights and integrity consultant currently serving as Senior Advocacy Officer for Worldwide Initiatives for Grantmaker Support (WINGS), and Servaas Feieretag, an independent consultant on integrity and anticorruption who currently serves as the lead expert on the MATRA for enhancing the efficiency, accountability and transparency of the Judicial Council of North Macedonia .

The link between human rights and anticorruption has been much discussed over the past decade (see, for example, here and here), yet anticorruption activists often do not recognize themselves as human rights defenders, while human rights activists often fail to understand corruption as a human rights issue. In order to highlight the interconnections between the international anticorruption movement and the international human rights movement, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, Mary Lawlor, has decided that her next report to the Human Rights Council in March 2022 will focus on threats to human rights defenders working directly on anticorruption issues. As she put it to us in a recent interview, “This issue of corruption comes up again and again in my conversations with human rights defenders, whether anticorruption work is the main focus of what they do or not.”

Corruption can cause or facilitate human rights violations in a host of ways. To illustrate with just a few examples: Continue reading