Comparative perspectives on corruption and its impact on implementing economic and social rights in India and China.

Raj Kumar, C. (2012) Comparative perspectives on corruption and its impact on implementing economic and social rights in India and China. In: International Conference on Realisation of Socio-Economic Rights in Emerging Free Markets: Perspectives from China and India, 29-30 November 2012, Hong Kong.

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India and China have experienced high levels of corruption over the years. The most recent Global Corruption Report 2012 published by the Transparency International has ranked India as 95 and China as 75 in the Corruption Perception Index. Corruption in both countries have been examined from the standpoint of its impact on law enforcement and in particular through the criminal justice system. This paper will focus on the impact of corruption on implementing economic, social and cultural rights in China and India. It will critically examine the interface between corruption and human rights in China and India and to what extent the understanding of the relationship between corruption and human rights can help in evolving a human right to corruption free service in both the countries. While India has a sound constitutional framework and an independent judicial process that has sought transparency and accountability, the fight against corruption continues to occupy the attention of the civil society, media and the Indian citizenry. Corruption has undermined the ability of the government of India to effectively implement economic, social and cultural rights and in particular to fulfill the right to food, education, health, as well as employment guarantees that are provided through legal, constitutional and institutional mechanisms. Corruption in India has also affected the ability of poverty alleviation programmes and social welfare measures to reach the beneficiaries. While China does not have a similar constitutional framework and a judicial process that seeks transparency and accountability similar to India, there have been a number of attempts in recent times to bring to focus the issue of corruption. A number of stronger actions have been initiated against corrupt officials both within the government as well as the private sector. There have been instances when officials of the communist party have been jailed for crimes relating to corruption. But all these efforts have still not instilled faith among the Chinese citizens that their basic ESC rights will be enforced without corruption. The paper will examine as to how Chinese government is responding to the challenge of corruption and to what extent contemporary measures of seeking accountability through a human rights framework can help in implementing economic, social and cultural rights. The recent announcement of the National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2012-15) is an important step in the right direction, but remains to be seen as to how this plan will get implemented and what are the legal and institutional mechanisms that the Government of the People's Republic of China is willing to take towards implementing economic, social and cultural rights. The paper will also discuss the role and contribution of the National Human Rights Commission in India as far as the enforcement of ESC rights. This will be discussed in the light of more recent suggestions for the establishment of a national human rights institution in China and how it augurs well for the protection and promotion of ESC rights in China. It assumes significance in the light of the fact that China has signed more than 20 international human rights treaties including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), which was ratified by the Chinese National Legislature in 2001. The paper will conclude by making a case for recognizing the seriousness of corruption as a violation of human rights both in India and China. The paper will argue that electoral democracy in India or the administration by the Communist Party in China have not helped in the fight against corruption in both the countries. Economic, social and cultural rights as a critical and integral part of human rights agenda in both the countries can be implemented only if urgent steps are taken to establish a society based on the rule of law, that includes legal and institutional mechanisms to fight corruption and seek transparency and accountability in governance. In this regard, the role of the media, civil society, independent commission against corruption, whistleblower protection and other legal and institutional mechanisms that prevail in Hong Kong will be examined to explore as to how these experiences can be drawn upon for implementing ESC rights free of corruption in India and China.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords: Corruption in India | Social rights | Global corruption report | Corruption in China
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Law and Legal Studies
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Global Law School
Depositing User: Amees Mohammad
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2022 05:06
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2022 10:16


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