OPINION: Ukraine’s Roller Coaster Ride on Whistleblower Protections Symptomatic of Uneven Commitment to Anti-Corruption Reforms

March 01, 2021
Back to All News

Today, WIN’s Executive Director Anna Myers and Tom Devine, Legal Director of the Government Accountability Project in Washington DC, and a Trustee of WIN, published an Opinion piece on how proposed amendments to whistleblower protections in the Ukraine create a dangerous trap for whistleblowers. 

This follows an open letter from WIN’s Board of Trustees, supported by 40 organisations, that was sent to  Ukraine’s President Zelensky on 16 February 2021 urging him to veto the anti-corruption bill - Draft Law #3450 – and send it back to Parliament to fix. 

Below is an extract from the Opinion piece: 

"Any self-respecting whistleblower rights group would be duty-bound to warn anyone trying to exercise their responsibility to report corruption that doing so under these newly written conditions would be an act of professional suicide.

What are the devilish details behind this deception? The law does not weaken rights to public dissent, but 96% of whistleblowers first raise their concerns within the organization where they work. They do so as part of their job duties and through internal institutional checks and balances when necessary. Therein lies the Achilles heel. By the time whistleblowers go public they will already be legally defenceless against dismissal, because the amendments create a gauntlet for internal reports that is virtually impossible to survive."

You can read the Opinion piece in the Ukranian Press here: 

Ukraine Crisis Media Center   

Kyiv Post 

Transparency International Ukraine 

Download a full Ukrainian translation here or an English translation here