Corrective work order

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Corrective Work Order, commonly known as CWO, is one of the two penalties (the other is a fine) in Singapore to be meted out to 'litterbugs' (those who are caught littering in the public street).


The order forces the 'litterbugs' to clean up a specified location as ordered by the government, while wearing a bright green luminous vest bearing the words "Corrective Work Order". The punishment aims to force the offender to rehabilitate and shame litterbugs in public to deter others from committing the similar offence. It may also be meted out together with a fine.[1]


Corrective Work Order was intended for repeat offenders only. Introduced in 1992, it proved to be very successful. Littering offenses have significantly dropped, and there were very few repeat offenders. Occasionally, a few who served Corrective Work Order had their faces photographed by The Straits Times and published on the front cover.[2] Litterbugs serving Corrective Work Order usually have their faces covered with a mask or plastic bag (which is legal) to avoid being identified by members of the public.

However, media interest long since tailed off, and there is some evidence that the sentence is no longer working as a deterrent to littering by the general public.[3] ESM Goh Chok Tong commented in 2015 that "Singapore becoming a 'garbage city'".[4]


  1. ^ "High-rise litterbug fined $19,800, sentenced to 5 hours of corrective work order". 21 Jan 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  2. ^ "Singapore has become less clean, says Public Hygiene Council chairman Liak Teng Lit". 1 Feb 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  3. ^ Wing-Cheong Chan, "A Review of the Corrective Work Order in Singapore", Papers from the British Society of Criminology Conference, Keele, July 2002. ISSN 1464-4088
  4. ^ "Singapore becoming a 'garbage city', says ESM Goh Chok Tong". 29 Jan 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2015.

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