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Global effort to shine a light on corruption

Australian money. Photo courtesy of Stock Xchng

CORRUPTION is one of the major contributing factors in ensuring millions of people remain trapped in poverty.

Governments, businesses and churches across the globe are being challenged to expose and tackle it.

Last week in London, a coalition of Christian organisations called "Exposed" officially launched the start of a year-long global awareness-raising campaign that aims to mobilise 100 million Christians who will practise and promote ethical and just behaviour in all spheres of life.

Micah Challenge Australia is facilitating the local expression of the global anti-corruption campaign and encouraging Christian individuals, churches and groups to "shine the light" on corrupt tax evasion practices by multinational corporations.

"Corruption and tax evasion drain developing countries of vital revenue they need for development and reducing poverty," said John Beckett, National Coordinator of Micah Challenge Australia.

"Without adequate tax revenue, developing countries are often forced to cut essential services such as health and education and it is usually the poorest people who miss out."

Micah Challenge is encouraging individuals and groups to sign the "shine the light" petition which urges the Australian government to support international initiatives to end tax evasion and introduce legislation requiring all corporations registered in Australia to report all payments they make and receive on a country-by-country basis, starting with the extractive industries.

In over 100 meetings with Members of Parliament and Senators at Micah Challenge's Voices for Justice event in September, lobbyists urged Australian politicians to make country-by-country reporting an urgent priority.

"Requiring country-by-country reporting makes it harder for companies to shift their profits into tax havens, and gives citizens access to the information they need to hold their government to account for the revenue it receives," said Mr Beckett.

Micah Challenge will encourage Australian churches to be involved in a week of global prayer and action from 14 to 20 October 2013.

Following the week of action, an anti-corruption Global Call from millions of Christians around the world will be presented to the G20 summit of leading world economies to be held in Australia in 2014.

Visit Micah Challenge at micahchallenge.org.au.

Photo : Australian money. Photo courtesy of Stock Xchng