Demystifying Whistleblowing in the Armed Forces

WIN is delighted to launch our joint report with the European Organisation of Military Associations and Trade Unions (EUROMIL): Demystifying Whistleblowing in the Armed Forces

Report: Demystifying Whistleblowing in the Armed Forces 

WIN and EUROMIL focus on the role whistleblowing plays in promoting ethics and preventing wrongdoing and harm within the security sector, as well good practices for ombuds institutions in handling whistleblowing disclosures and protecting whistleblowers.


The report highlights the findings from WIN and EUROMIL’s seminar at the Eleventh International Conference of Ombuds Institutions for the Armed Forces. The Seminar brought whistleblower protection experts on whistleblowing law and practice to discuss how to handle public interest disclosures in the defence sector.

Question & Answer Guide

The report also includes a Q+A guide featuring WIN’s Law and Policy Coordinator - Ida Nowers - alongside three other experts - Rody Butler, a Senior Investigating Officer at the Garda Ombudsman of Ireland, Irvin McCullough, a former National Security Analyst at the Government Accountability Project in the US, and Dr Vigjilenca Abazi, Assistant Professor at University of Maastricht, the Netherlands.

The guide is intended to be a useful resource for ombuds institutions in the military starting to consider their role in supporting whistleblowers – the expert answers to questions raised during the Demystifying Whistleblowing in the Armed Forces seminar – are grouped under the following themes, including:

· General Whistleblowing FAQs

· Legal frameworks

· Best Practice principles

· Handling whistleblowing disclosures

· Organisational whistleblowing arrangements

· Finding whistleblowing resources

The report highlights the challenges facing whistleblowers in the armed forces as well as those responsible for implementing institutional arrangements which promote speaking up on threats of harm to the public interest in legal frameworks which have strict, broadly applied national security exemptions from protection, which dissuade or criminalise, the disclosure of any classified information or ‘official secrets.’ Read more: The Global Principles on National Security and the right to Information (Tshwane Principles)

WIN and EUROMIL remain committed to strengthening the whistleblower rights of military personnel and of institutional and national legal systems which promote and protect the disclosure of public interest information in the security and defence sectors.


About the Authors:

The Whistleblowing International Network (WIN) is the leading global centre of expertise on whistleblowing law and practice. Its mission is to connect and strengthen the role of civil society organisations and practitioners working to support and defend whistleblowers all over the world.


The European Organisation of Military Associations and Trade Unions (EUROMIL) is the voice of European soldiers on an international level. Its core mission is to promote the professional and social interests as well as the fundamental rights and freedoms of European soldiers.