WIN connects and strengthens civil society organizations that defend and support whistleblowers. The Network provides counsel, tools and expertise needed by those working in their countries to address corruption, waste, fraud, abuse, illegality and threats to the public interest.
Dr. Wim Vandekerckhove writes about how WIN enhances the work of academics and others working on behalf of whistleblowers worldwide.
I started researching whistleblowing in 2000, tracing public debates about different “good reasons” to protect whistleblowers through legislation in around 16 countries. These were all economically “first world” countries that had or were in the process of developing whistleblower protection legislation. For my data collection I relied on internet searches and snowballing, with Public Concern at Work in the UK putting me in contact with the Government Accountability Project in the US, Open Democracy Advice Center in South Africa, and Whistleblowing Netzwerk in Germany. I finished my analysis in 2005 and the book was published a year later.
In researching the book I made contacts in the US, the UK, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, Australia, Switzerland, and Belgium. The individuals I met were working as auditors, legal advisors, ombudsmen, union reps, or were whistleblowing activists. I thought I had a good idea of what was happening “on the ground” at that time, or at least a much better idea than most of the junior academics I knew who were working on whistleblowing. In fact, my interest in researching this topic came from working in a family business with someone who had blown the whistle on a cartel — and whose business had gone under as a result. Continue reading
On the 30th April 2014, the Committee of Ministers adopted the Recommendation on the Protection of Whistleblowers and its accompanying Explanatory Memorandum. This legal instrument is of strong persuasive value and places whistleblower protection firmly within a democratic and human rights framework. By focusing on the public interest in the reporting and disclosure of information by individuals in work-based relationships, the Recommendation pushes the protection of whistleblowers beyond a mechanism solely to address corruption and ensures the focus is on public accountability. Public accountability of those persons and institutions whose functions and activities – private and public – affect the well-being of individuals, society, and the environment. Continue reading
by Vladimir Radomirović
Vladimir Radomirović explains how the Whistleblowing International Network’s resources are helping him improve whistleblower protections in Serbia.
Journalists are accustomed to being the publishers of whistleblower disclosures, not the sources of them. But in 2009 that’s exactly what happened to a group of journalists I was a part of who blew the whistle on censorship and conflict of interest at the oldest daily newspaper in Serbia. That whistleblowing experience changed the course of my career, forcing me to rethink how I could best practice journalism. It also resulted in my association with the Whistleblowing International Network, which is supporting our work in Serbia to chart a new course for whistleblowers in our country. Continue reading
With whistleblowing at the center of the world stage like never before, WIN co-organized a conference that brought together those professional communities whose work is central not only to whistleblowing but to the fate of whistleblowers themselves: lawyers, journalists, and technologists. WIN partnered with Network Democracy, Free Press Unlimited, Netherlands Whistleblower Advice Centre, and the Hermes Centre for Transparency and Human Rights for the first-ever International Whistleblowers Conference on June 18, 2014 in Amsterdam. Continue reading
By Yasmine Motarjemi and Alison Glick
SWITZERLAND — The proposed whistleblowing law that has been adopted in the Swiss Conseil des Etats, the upper house of parliament, will effectively silence employees who are best placed to report wrongdoing and threats to the public interest. The proposed law, which focuses on whistleblowing procedures rather than on the public interest value in the information, offers no protections for whistleblowers. It also prohibits the disclosure of information to the press, except when the regulatory authorities do not reply within two weeks to the whistleblower. The proposed law now will be considered by the Conseil National, the parliament’s lower house. Continue reading
If you missed this conference last year … you are in luck! Click here for a half-hour “documentary” of the Whistleblowing for Change conference organized by Transparency International and held at the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Berlin in March 2013. See excerpts from Mark Cohen’s terrific keynote speech (Office of the Special Counsel, US), Bea Edwards’ inspiring closing speech (Government Accountability Project, Washington – a founding member of WIN!) and get a sense of the panel discussions with participants from around the world. Continue reading
This is the Spanish translation of an article that originally appeared in English in Food Safety Magazine, June/July 2014.
The Council of Europe’s Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights held the second of two public hearings on mass surveillance and strengthening whistleblower protection on June 24th. At both hearings Edward Snowden gave evidence by video link and in the second hearing, Anna Myers, the Expert Coordinator of the Whistleblowing International Network, also gave a statement. Continue reading
Stop Targeting Hungarian NGOs!
Since its re-election, the Hungarian government launched a campaign attacking the credibility of Hungarian NGOs and are striving to gain controlling power over their funding distributed independently from the government. We believe that a dynamic and independent civil society plays a fundamental role in a democratic society, as it is one of the key checks and balances to governing power. As demonstrated by Putin’s Russia, the harassment of the civil sector could easily lead to the criminalization of NGOs and could effectively hinder their work. We stand in solidarity with the Hungarian NGOs and call on the Hungarian and all other governments to refrain from harassing civil society! Continue reading