The role of tertiary students in promoting integrity and joining the fight against corruption was put forth to Senate Members of Fiji’s regional university on 19 May.
Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) took part in this half day workshop which saw 16 members from the University of the South Pacific Student Association (USPSA) learn about the impacts of corruption on a global and regional context.
Organized by the United Nations Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) project, the workshop also saw members from the Pacific Youth Council (PYC), and the Pacific Youth Forum Against Corruption (PYFAC) weigh in on this global problem.
FICAC Principal Corruption Prevention Officer Ms. Arti Naidu encouraged students not to be part of the group of people who indirectly engaged in corruption due to the lack of understanding on the elements constituting corruption.
“If you know it's wrong – don’t do it. Do what you have to do, not what you want to do,” she emphasized.
The student leaders were given situations commonly experienced by them which were forms of corruption to make the session one that was relatable and easy to understand.
Participants from Pacific Island countries like Samoa, Nauru, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands were also part of the workshop and took the opportunity to address and clarify issues and situations which happened back home on whether it was corruption related or not.
PYFAC representative Ms. Hilda Vukikomoala also called on the leaders to use their time as members of the USPSA to join the fight against corruption because youths make up more than half of the population in the world and so can make the greatest impact in eradicating corruption.
The organizations hope to host more workshops similar to this one in the future to increase awareness on corruption amongst tertiary students and to foster an attitude where they are able to report on and say no to corruption.