Global Witness investigates and campaigns to change the system by exposing the economic networks behind conflict, corruption and environmental destruction.
In 2011 the value of exports of fuels and minerals from Africa, Asia, South and Central America and the Caribbean was over $1.4 trillion. At the same time, many resource-rich countries are home to some of the poorest and most dispossessed citizens on the planet. This is the resource curse, the paradox that sits at the heart of Global Witness’s work.
The roots of this paradox lie in a natural resource business riven with corruption, and at its worst, extreme violence and conflict. We get to the bottom of the true economic story: the warlords and politicians looting natural wealth; the oil, mining or timber companies they do business with; the traders, manufacturers and investors who turn a blind eye; and the banks, lawyers and anonymous shell companies that help launder the profits.
Global Witness focuses on unpicking and, ultimately dismantling, these shadow systems.
We undertake hard-hitting investigations into matters of public interest, publish our findings and expose the systems that enable corruption, resource-fuelled conflict and environmental destruction.
Based on the evidence we gather, we also launch campaigns that change the terms of debate, change laws and encourage companies to do things differently.
We will have succeeded when the major avenues by which corrupt elites can get away with looting entire states, and which allow armed factions to militarise the resource business regardless of human and environmental consequences, are closed for good.