Whistleblowing: International Standards and Developments
ARTICLE 19: Global Campaign for Free Expression
February 1, 2011
CORRUPTION AND TRANSPARENCY: DEBATING THE FRONTIERS BETWEEN STATE, MARKET AND SOCIETY, I. Sandoval, ed., World Bank-Institute for Social Research, UNAM, Washington, D.C., 2011
Whistleblowing is a key tool in fighting corruption. By promising that their rights will be protected, employees and others who are familiar with the inner workings of an organisation and are in position to see when corruption occurs, will feel more willing to expose those problems to those who are in a position to remedy it, or more generally to the public.
Whistleblowers often face severe repercussions for their actions. They lose their jobs or are ostracized for their activities. Some are charged with crimes for violating laws or employment agreements. In extreme cases, they face physical danger.
Over 30 countries around the world have adopted legal regimes to encourage these important disclosures and protect the whistleblowers from retribution. Many international agreements and treaties on anti-corruption including the Council of Europe and UN Convention Against Corruption now include requirements that nations adopt these laws. Many organisations are also adopting internal rules to facilitate disclosures.
This paper reviews whistleblower legislation from around the world and proposes standards that should be adopted by nations in their own legislation.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 64
Keywords: whistleblowers, whistleblowing, whistle-blowers, whistle-blowing, public interest disclosure act
Date posted: February 2, 2011