OTTAWA, June 16, 2017 – Today a Canadian Parliamentary committee released a hard-hitting report calling for a major overhaul of Canada’s inadequate federal whistleblower protection legislation.
The Government Operations Committee recommends a number of changes to provide genuine protection to federal civil servants who blow the whistle on government wrongdoing.
“Finally there is a serious call to reform a law that has done little to protect Canadian federal whistleblowers so far and may in fact have done more harm than good by making civil servants think twice before speaking up.” said Anna Myers, Director of WIN, a network of leading civil society organisations working around the world to protect public interest whistleblowing.
Along with important Canadian witnesses like David Hutton, Senior Fellow at the Ryerson University Centre for Free Expression, the Committee heard from international experts from Ireland, Australia and the USA.
In 2014, WIN Director Anna Myers was invited to give a lecture to the Thailand Anti-Corruption Agency about whistleblowing at the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA) near Vienna, Austria. The Academy asked Anna to write an article for the alumni magazine, IACAlumnus, which she did including some of the questions that participants in the workshop asked – and which remain highly relevant today – and her attempts to answer them. WIN thanks the IACA for permission to reprint the article.
Whistleblowing is a hot topic right now not just for those interested in tackling corruption as a social, political, and economic ill, but it is also fast gaining currency amongst those working to prevent serious human rights abuses, as well as practitioners working to deliver more open government and access to information. Further, the link between whistleblowing and protecting journalists’ sources is also being highlighted, particularly among a new generation of journalists not necessarily based in established media or newspaper organizations, and who conduct serious investigations into corruption.
However, while legal protection for whistleblowers is still a new concept, the act of whistleblowing is not new. Whistleblowing is a human instinct – speaking up to alert Continue reading →
With the opening of Antoine Deltour’s trial today, WIN and several of the world’s leading whistleblower support and transparency advocates call on the charges against him to be dropped. Noting that his disclosures were manifestly in the public interest and recognized Continue reading →
Illegally built hotel in Serbia that was a subject of Marinković’s disclosures.
By Vladimir Radomirović
Vladimir Radomirović, Editor-in-Chief of Pištaljka, reporting on what’s changed for whistleblowers six months after implementation of Serbia’s new law, observes that the input of civil society has had a positive impact.
When Slobodan Marinković, a police detective in Belgrade, blew the whistle on corrupt police officers and politicians three years ago, he thought the crooks would soon be Continue reading →
Anna Myers, David Kaye, Aicha Elbasri & others addressing UN side panel on whistleblower and source protection
The protection of whistleblowers and journalists’ sources took center stage at the United Nations on October 22nd, with the Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, delivering his report on the promotion and protection of these rights. Kaye, speaking before the UN’s Third Committee, which oversees social, humanitarian, and cultural affairs, emphasized the crucial role played by whistleblowers Continue reading →
David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression
by Alison Glick
The new report by Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression at the United Nations, David Kaye, adds to the growing call for increased whistleblower protections as necessary to strengthen and ensure the right to information and free expression. In his report, Kaye analyzes not only international and national legal frameworks used to protect sources of Continue reading →
Martin Woods discusses the implications of silencing corporate whistleblowers when doing so has such wide-ranging negative public impact.
We live in a world where money has become the ultimate goal – where millions worship at the altar of the dollar. Far too often the value of money has taken primacy over the value of human life. In my own professional life, I’ve seen a banker’s appetite for cash outweigh Continue reading →
Certain WIN affiliates and partners will be participating in next week’s International Anti-Corruption Conference in Malaysia. We do so to highlight the need for serious anti-corruption efforts globally, and to support our partners in Malaysia who are working under difficult circumstances to fight corruption in their country. We also support our partners’ Continue reading →
It shouldn’t be a crime to report a crime, but increasingly it is.
From the land Down Under to the U.S. hinterland, whistleblowers are being threatened with prosecution for exposing abuses in both the public and private sectors – a phenomenon that bodes ill for holding authorities accountable and for protecting basic rights to free speech and information.
The push to criminalize employees and interested citizens documenting and reporting abuses, illegality, and threats to public safety continues to gain momentum, as do efforts to resist the crackdown. It seems that the mantra “If you see something, say something” applies only in certain situations, and most assuredly not in ones that embarrass governments or narrow their corporate benefactors’ profit margins. Continue reading →
Rik van Steenbergen is Policy Advisor Labour Quality/Employment Law with the Dutch Federation of Trade Unions (FNV) which has actively supported public interest whistleblowing in the Netherlands for many years.
The Dutch approach to regulation in practically all spheres of social life is a very pragmatic one: an issue is raised and debated, a consensus is sought, a policy is set out on a limited scale, and after evaluation it gets implemented more broadly. Then it is evaluated and amended again.
Whistleblowing is an issue that has been taken very seriously in the Netherlands and much debated over the last 15 years. The Dutch term for whistleblower, introduced by professor Mark Bovens in 1987, is ‘klokkenluider’, meaning bell-ringer. Continue reading →