Global Witness exposes the corrupt exploitation of natural resources and international trade systems. It sets in motion campaigns to put an end to impunity, resource-linked conflict, environmental and human rights abuses. Since it was first founded in 1993, the organisation has undertaken investigations in over 20 countries, concentrating on key resources – including diamonds, oil, gas, timber, minerals and cocoa – that are exploited to fund corruption and conflict.
Global Witness’s work is premised on the basis that natural resources present one of the best opportunities to lift developing countries out of poverty, but that more often than not natural resource wealth fuels conflicts and entrenches repressive and corrupt regimes around the world. Effectively tackling high level corruption and state looting is an essential pre-requisite to poverty alleviation around the world.
We have funded Global Witness’s anti-corruption work, specifically the Ending Impunity and State Looting campaigns. The Ending Impunity work seeks to create a culture of accountability, whereby perpetrators of natural resource-related crimes – individuals, governmental agencies or companies – are brought to account through legal and non–legal mechanisms. Tightly intertwined, the work conducted by the Kleptocracy team aims to change the international norm so it is no longer acceptable for an elite to loot a state and its people of their natural resource assets. The overarching aim of the anti-corruption work is to establish precedents designed to have a deterrent effect and help make corruption history.
In 2003 Global Witness’s work to curb the trade in conflict diamonds earned it a co-nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize; in 2005 the founding directors won the Gleitsman Foundation International Activist Award; and in 2007 Global Witness received the Center for Global Development/Foreign Policy Magazine Commitment to Development Ideas in Action Award.
- Liberia (cameraman) © Global Witness
- Young man carrying sack of minerals, Ruashi Mine, Katanga, Democratic Republic of Congo © Global Witness
- Guarding logs along the Thai/Cambodia border. Global Witness first exposed the issue of ‘conflict timber’ financing the war in southeast Asia © Global Witness