Siem Reap, 13 January 2015 – Gathered at the first ever International Youth Camp on Transparency and Integrity organised last week in Siem Reap, Cambodia, youths from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines expressed their will to fight against corruption in their countries and in the region and took concrete steps to carry this fight forward.
The week-long event, which began on 3 January 2015 and was sponsored by Transparency International, brought together 33 young activists from Asia-Pacific who care about the future of their countries and are committed to making a difference. With the help of local and international guest speakers, the participants learnt and exchanged on anti-corruption best practice and the importance of setting up and maintaining a vibrant anti-corruption international youth network.
“This camp has offered me an enriching experience of cultural diversity and learning. Most importantly, it has made me realise the potential and capabilities of a united youth to combat corruption”, said 20-year-old Fakhruddin Valika from Pakistan.
Young people constitute a powerful tool for positive change, in Asia-Pacific and beyond. While many people from the older generation see corruption as an inevitable and acceptable fact of life, young people can help change attitudes and build zero-tolerance for graft and bribery. In a Youth Integrity Survey conducted in Asia-Pacific last year by Transparency International, 88 percent of the young respondents said they believed youth can play a role in promoting integrity and fighting corruption.
At the end of the event, bolstered by their newly acquired knowledge, the participants brainstormed and set up youth-to-youth initiatives to be implemented in each country with Transparency International funding—from anti-corruption comics in Indonesia to debate competitions in Malaysia, and advocacy on corruption in Pakistani hospitals or recruitment processes in Vietnam.
The participants also agreed on a joint initiative and set up the Youth Movement for Transparency in Asia (YMTA), a perennial platform for representatives from each country to meet regularly to exchange ideas and carry forward future joint projects to promote transparency and integrity across the region.
“This first International Youth Camp was an amazing opportunity for the participants to learn how to stand more effectively against corruption and unite across the region for larger impact. The projects developed and the YMTA are designed with creativity and relevant insight into the countries’ contexts to forcefully tackle major corruption challenges. If well implemented, they will not only benefit the people directly targeted by the activities but also give good impetus to the larger anti-corruption movement”, said Ms. Annette Kleinbrod, Head of the People Engagement Programme at Transparency International.
Transparency International is the civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption