Working Paper Stalemate: Whistleblower Protection in Switzerland

The protection of whistleblowers is now being strengthened across the European Union with the implementation of the Directive on the protection of whistleblowers in 27 countries. Yet despite significant OECD pressure in this area for many years and Switzerland being part of the Council of Europe which adopted the Recommendation on the protection of whistleblowers in 2014, whistleblowers remain largely unprotected in Switzerland.

To better understand the stalemate situation in Switzerland and the challenges facing Swiss whistleblowers, the Charles LĂ©opold Mayer Foundation (FPH) and the Whistleblowing International  Network (WIN) conducted an in-country mission. Over three days in March 2022, we met with different actors including whistleblowers, lawyers, NGO practitioners, journalists, and academics in Geneva, Lausanne and Berne. These meetings provided a new perspective from which to consider how best to support efforts in Switzerland and the prospects for change that such support could engender, particularly to establish a collective process to protect whistleblowers in Switzerland.

This working paper is intended to offer an outsider’s perspective on the current state of play with respect to the challenges and the potential for advancing the protection of whistleblowers in Switzerland. It is neither an exhaustive review nor an in-depth analysis of each factor identified but rather an overview of the issues, the authors view as being relevant after a series of in-depth discussions with different actors in Switzerland, including whistleblowers. We trust that this will serve as a helpful basis for further discussion and elaboration.

Read the full working paper here