The Inter-American Convention Against Corruption

Fact Sheet
Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
February 19, 2014

The Inter-American Convention against Corruption was adopted in the framework of the OAS in 1996, and has been signed by 34 of its Member States and ratified by 33 Member States. Barbados has not ratified. The convention entered into force in March of1997. It was the first international legal instrument in the area of corruption and is the most ratified treaty in the Hemisphere following the OAS Charter. Its preamble specifically includes recognition of the international impact of corruption and the need for an instrument to promote and facilitate cooperation among states to confront it effectively.

The Convention emphasizes the importance of the actions of all the players involved: individual states, the private sector, civil society, and the international community.

The Convention is also the principal inter-American legal instrument for extradition in corruption-related cases; for inter-state cooperation and assistance in securing evidence and pursuing other formalities necessary to facilitate the investigation and prosecution of acts of corruption; and for identifying, tracking, securing, seizing, and confiscating assets obtained or derived from, or used in the commission of crimes of corruption.