Children are particularly vulnerable to the social and economic consequences of corruption. Bribery can deprive children of access to basic services, including education and healthcare, and can threaten their security. Countries that score highly on corruption indices such as the TRACE Matrix point to a set of societal conditions that place children at a particular disadvantage.
While children often bear the brunt of corruption in their day to day lives, they are also conduits for change. With this in mind, TRACE, an anti-bribery business association with a mission to advance commercial transparency worldwide, created Bribe Busters, a free cartoon and comic book series that educates children about the corrosive effects of corruption. The series – available on YouTube as cartoons and downloadable as PDF comic books from the TRACE website – follows four friends who defend fairness and right injustices around the world with the help of T.R.A.C.E, a time travel teleportation super-computer. Their mission: to ensure children everywhere have a fair and transparent future.
Through an understanding of what corruption is and the impact it can have, children can become the next generation of leaders in the field of anti-corruption and good governance, helping to improve their communities. Bribe Busters was released on International Anti-Corruption Day 2016, and already this series is making a positive difference. In Nigeria, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in partnership with the Creative Youth Initiative Against Corruption (CYIAC), gave 25 students aged 9 – 14 net books pre-loaded with Bribe Busters as an award for winning a three-month intensive program aimed at curbing corruption through creative development. Ranking 172nd out of 200 on the TRACE Bribery Risk Matrix, Nigeria presents an extreme challenge for businesses with respect to avoiding bribery and corruption, and perceptions of corruption are also high with a ranking of 136 out of 176 on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index. Educating children about corruption and empowering them to take a stand against it is one of many ways high-risk countries can work towards reducing bribery and corruption.
“We were delighted to hear that the winners of the EFCC and CYIAC’s program were awarded laptops pre-loaded with Bribe Busters,” said TRACE President Alexandra Wrage. “We created this animated series to inspire children to take a stand against bribery in their everyday lives. Corruption is a great obstacle to development and increases inequality. We hope that more countries will use Bribe Busters to raise awareness of the damaging effects of corruption.”
Bribe Busters is available in English, French and Spanish, with Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese and Russian coming soon to support anti-corruption education efforts throughout the world. To find out more about Bribe Busters, watch the cartoons or download the comic books, visit the TRACE website.
TRACE is a globally recognized anti-bribery business organization and leading provider of cost-effective third party risk management solutions. Members and clients include hundreds of multinational companies headquartered worldwide. For more information, visit www.TRACEinternational.org.