Corruption has been on the rise, according to the 2010 Global Corruption Barometer, a survey released by Transparency International, an anti-corruption watchdog.

Six out of 10 respondents to the survey said corruption has increased over the last three years. The deterioration was most acute in in Europe and North America, where 73 percent and 67 percent of the people, respectively, think corruption has increased in the past three years.

 

The fall-out of the financial crises continues to affect people’s opinions of corruption, particular in Europe and North America, said Huguette Labelle, chair of Transparency International.

 

Poor countries, however, remain the most corrupt places. More than one in two people reported paying a bribe in Sub-Saharn Africa, which is the most corrupt region in the world, according to the survey.   Other highly corrupt regions include Middle East and North Africa, newly independent states (Russia plus several of its former satellites), and Latin America.

 

Globally, one in four people reported paying bribes last year, eight out of ten people say politicians are corrupt or extremely corrupt, and half of the people doubt whether governments' action to stop corruption is effective. 

 

The police are the most frequent recipient of bribes as 29 percent of those who had contact with them said they paid a bribe.

 

When asked about their views on which sector is most affected by bribes, the survey respondents named political parties as their top selection.

 

The message from the 2010 Barometer is that corruption is insidious. It makes people lose faith, said Labelle.

 

The Transparency International report surveyed more than 91,500 people in 86 countries and territories.