Awareness raising in the context of this guide refers to different campaigns that can be undertaken by CSOs with the purpose of:
- Raising awareness (across society, key institutions in the public sector and the private sector, including the financial sector and designated non-financial businesses and professions (DNFBPs)) about the importance of asset recovery, its role in the fight against corruption and in development efforts.
- Generating demand (across society and key institutions) for asset recovery.
- Raising awareness (across society and key institutions) about the roles and responsibilities of concerned actors, including CSOs.
Potential research projects include:
- Practical asset recovery work;
- Policy dialogue;
- Enhancing general understanding of asset recovery.
Often research and awareness are intrinsically linked – research projects uncover issues and formulate ideas backed by established evidence, and awareness campaigns deliver these ideas and issues to a wide audience. Article 13 of UNCAC seeks to promote the participation of CSOs in the prevention of and fight corruption, including by undertaking public information activities.
Awareness campaigns and research efforts should aim at informing citizens of new information on asset recovery, and enriching the information that the target audience may already be aware of. However it is important to remember that asset recovery-related awareness campaigns should be conducted with a level of caution. CSOs need to approach asset recovery awareness raising strategically to ensure sufficient pressure is on governments to act, whilst not raising expectations in society regarding the speed at which assets can be returned to an unrealistic level. Thus, the role of CSOs in this regard is delicate, and extremely critical in steering the entire asset recovery process in a constructive direction.