Corruption exists all over the world, in countries that are both rich and poor, and fighting it in order to one day eliminate it altogether is vitally important. Not only does corruption contribute to economic instability and poverty, it’s also one of the main reasons that many countries cannot stay afloat.
Corruption is a crime – and one that pushes societies down instead of lifting them up. This year, the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) have joined forces to develop a global campaign that will focus on how corruption (in the government, in schools, and in the workplace) affects education, justice, democracy, prosperity, and development – and they will try to beat out corruption by bringing more global awareness to the problem.
How to Celebrate & Bring Awareness to This New Global Holiday
December 9th, 2015 will be the inaugural Anti-Corruption Day in the U.S., and both the UNODC and UNDP are urging followers to join the campaign by showing support on social media, knowing and using the “Call to Action Matrix” – a detailed chart listing how government officials, nonprofits, the media, and everyday people can fight corruption – and by organizing creative activities in support of the cause. Daily anti-corruption activities include educating the public and creating awareness, reporting incidents of corruption, and taking a strong stand against participation in illegal activities.
Everyday citizens can spread anti-corruption awareness by sharing the “Call to Action Matrix” on Facebook and Twitter. We can also talk to our friends and family about the importance of ending corruption, and urge them to pass along what they’ve learned.
There are 2 key pieces of legislation that directly impact the mesothelioma community – the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act and the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in Congress. Both of these bills are backed by big spenders, politicians, and corporations that will pay large sums of money to get their way. These groups showcase greed and do not have the best interests of the American people in mind.
Corporate Corruption and Greed Affects Patients’ Medical Funding
One example of corruption (among many) in the U.S. that affects thousands of people is the FACT Act of 2015. This Act – sponsored by Representative Blake Farenthold (R-TX) and Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) – is detrimental to patients with asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma, a deadly form of lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Besides the Act itself being anything but beneficial, large corporations have also attempted to keep this Act in motion by buying influence on Capitol Hill – or paying large sums of money to certain government officials.
According to Eco Watch, the FACT Act would “deplete the resources of already-dwindling trust funds set aside to compensate asbestos victims. Trust officials estimate that complying with the bill would require each trust to expend up to 20,000 additional hours a year—slowing claims processing and payment distribution and exhausting scarce funds meant to compensate victims.”
The bill would also put victims at risk of identity theft by disclosing their personal information, including medical records and Social Security numbers. This legislation is backed by a number of corporations including Koch Industries and Honeywell – 2 companies that continue to use asbestos and that have paid millions of dollars to support the FACT Act in hopes that legislators will turn a blind eye on the issue.
TSCA Reform Impacts Human Health As Well
This spring, 2 bills that could reform the outdated TSCA of 1976 were presented to the U.S. Senate. The first, led by Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), would address hundreds of chemicals and materials that are hazardous to public health. The second, led by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and Senator David Vitter (R-LA), only addresses 25 toxic substances, and does not list asbestos (a highly toxic mineral) ever. Because the second bill has much more funding than the first, it doesn’t seem to matter that it was created by people who work within the chemical industry and that they have money in mind – not the best interests of the people being affected by this bill if it passes.
Stamp Out Corruption on December 9th
We, at Sokolove Law, believe that it’s time to end corruption once and for all. Join us on December 9th in support of this new – and important – global holiday. Let’s stamp out corruption together, in the U.S. and internationally, in order to end poverty and to give our fellow Americans a chance for economic freedom and equality.