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WIN Director Anna Myers gives opening plenary talk at International Whistleblowing  Conference, Amsterdam, June 2014

WIN Director Anna Myers gives opening plenary talk at International Whistleblowing Conference, Amsterdam, June 2014

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.

Why we need networks like WIN

by Vladimir Radomirović

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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

International Whistleblowers Conference brings together journalists, lawyers, and technologists for first-of-its kind gathering in Amsterdam

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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

Proposed whistleblower law provides no protections for whistleblowers

By Yasmine Motarjemi and Alison Glick

13053457-hand-print-of-swiss-flag-colorsSWITZERLAND — 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

Whistleblowing for Change

Blowing-The-WhistleIf 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

Edward Snowden addresses second hearing at Council of Europe

Snowden testifying at CoE, with WIN Director Anna Myers, 2nd left.

Snowden testifying at CoE, with WIN Director Anna Myers, 2nd left.

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 civil society in Hungary

Stop Targeting Hungarian NGOs!

HungarianFlagSince 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

Hungarian whistleblowing case unfolds

The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (Tasz) is representing a former staff member of the Hungarian National Tax and Customs Administration, András Horváth, who went public with information about companies committing VAT fraud with the assistance of the National Tax and Customs Administration (NAV) only after trying unsuccessfully on several occasions to raise his concerns within the Administration itself and to the Government.

This is exactly the type of case that all member states of the Council of Europe, the European Union (Hungary is a member of both) and signatories of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (Hungary ratified UNCAC in 2005) should want to get right. Hungary’s new Whistleblower Protection law came into force on the 1st January 2014 so Horváth, unwittingly perhaps, is the first to test the strength of the new law which Tasz already considers weak in many regards. An earlier whistleblower law called the Protection of Fair Procedures Law failed to make much of an impact not least because the Hungarian government never set up the agency the law envisioned to receive whistleblower reports and enforce the law.

But the description of what has happened to András Horváth so far – the police raid on his home and the court’s order upholding this action which Tasz argues was unlawful – does not bode well, at least in the short term, for those who hope the Hungarian Government will put its energies and resources into fighting corruption rather than attacking those who are trying to help it do the right thing.

For details of this case and the work of Tasz please see Why was the search of the whistleblower’s home unlawful? published today (7 April 2014) on its website.

Please note that Tasz and other important Hungarian civil society organisations K-Monitor and Atlatszo.hu are participating organisations in the WIN network.