Corruption in the defence and security sector is particularly dangerous. Armed forces are the first line of defence in protecting peace and stability, but militaries plagued with corruption can exacerbate conflict and fragility, can undermine efforts to provide security, and can consume disproportionate levels of public funding.
Meanwhile, corruption in the global arms trade not only wastes vast sums of public money but can also result in the transfer of military equipment to malicious actors in fragile environments. Despite this, the defence sector is characteristically secretive and exempt from most international and national anti-corruption mechanisms.
In spite of the dangers of defence corruption, the sector remains one of the least transparent and accountable in the world.
Transparency International – Defence & Security is part of the global Transparency International movement, dedicated to tackling corruption and strengthening transparency and accountability in the defence and security sector worldwide.
Our thematic areas
Establishing best practice and global norms on responsible governance that ensure integrity, transparency and accountability in the defence sector.
Raising awareness of corruption as a threat to peace and security and helping to build the integrity of national and international defence institutions.
Tackling corruption in the global arms trade by strengthening anti-corruption and corporate transparency standards in defence industry.
What we do
Our work is underpinned by in-depth research into issues of corruption and integrity in the defence sector. Our research products include our indices – Government Defence Integrity Index (GDI) and Defence Companies Index on Anti-Corruption and Corporate Transparency (DCI) – research reports, and research-based toolkits.
We engage with actors from across the defence and anti-corruption spectrum, from militaries to industry to civil society, to push for effective defence governance reform and strong oversight systems. Our advocacy work includes training on defence anti-corruption issues for both military and civilian audiences.
Through our work in-country, we develop anti-corruption reform programmes tailored to particular contexts with the aim of both encouraging meaningful change within defence institutions and also strengthening government and civil society oversight mechanisms. This work is conducted globally, with particular focus on West Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East and North African region.