Our work on whistleblowing

Filed under - Whistleblowing

article image

What’s at stake

A key challenge in preventing and fighting corruption is to detect and expose bribery, fraud, theft of public funds and other acts of wrongdoing. One of the most direct methods of shining the light on corruption is whistleblowing. Unfortunately, whistleblowers commonly face retaliation in the form of harassment, firing, blacklisting, threats and even physical violence, and their disclosures are routinely ignored.

What we’re doing about it

Whistleblowing, an alternative to silence, image

Transparency International believes that the individual right to freedom of expression includes the right to point out acts of wrongdoing – both in government and in private companies. Even beyond this basic right is the simple fact that people who step forward to disclose wrongdoing – particularly when public safety, health or resources are at stake – should be acknowledged and protected, not punished and ostracised.

To help to ensure that whistleblowers are adequately protected from reprisals, and to provide them with easy-to-access avenues to make their disclosures, Transparency International is engaged in a wide range of advocacy, public awareness and research activities in all regions of the world. Through our Advocacy and Legal Advice Centres, located in nearly 50 countries, we advise whistleblowers in making their disclosures and work to make sure that their disclosures are duly addressed by appropriate authorities. We work closely with advocacy groups, legal experts and whistleblowers toward enhancing whistleblower protections and rights.

To promote responsible whistleblowing and adequate protection of whistleblowers, we have developed international principles for whistleblower legislation, which many countries and international organisations have used to develop their own legislation and standards. We have also conducted in-depth assessments of whistleblower laws in 10 European countries and recommended areas of improvement. As part of a project co-funded by the European Commission, this analysis is being expanded to include all 27 countries in the European Union, which will serve as a basis for Europe-wide advocacy efforts.

Who’s involved

Many of Transparency International’s chapters are working to improve whistleblower protections, advocating for strong legislation, and assisting whistleblowers. These include chapters in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Liberia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Romania and Zambia. Our chapter in Ireland has established “Speak Up”, a free, secure helpline and online system for employees considering reporting wrongdoing. The Ireland chapter is also campaigning for the passage of a national whistleblower law that would cover all employees.

Our approach

Transparency International works closely with whistleblower organisations and legal experts in all regions to implement and strengthen whistleblower protection laws, make sure these laws are ably put into practice, raise public awareness of the importance of whistleblowing, and to enhance the perception of the people who risk their livelihoods and sometimes their lives to expose corruption.

We are building a chain of knowledge and experiences that connects the legal experts who write whistleblower laws, to the advocates who lobby government officials to implement them, to the agencies that enforce them, to the organisations that use these laws to protect whistleblowers, and ultimately to the whistleblowers themselves.

We track legislative and advocacy developments in all regions, serving as a clearinghouse for whistleblower experts and advocates around the world – assisting them in their work to improve whistleblower laws, protections and resources. We focus on strategies and messages that succeed in Country A and adapting them to Country B, C and D. As much as any anti-corruption tool, whistleblowing requires global cooperation and learning. Transparency International is at the centre of this circle.

Timeline and results

More...

Contact us

Mark Worth, Whistleblower Programme Coordinator
mworth@transparency.org

Get involved



Country / Territory - International   
Region - Global   |   Europe and Central Asia   
Language(s) - English   
Topic - Advocacy   |   Civil society   |   Law enforcement   |   Whistleblowing   
Tags - Legislation   |   Whistleblowers   |   Whistleblower protection   |   Violence   |   Threats   

Related news

A tribute to Grégory Ngbwa Mintsa

The winner of Transparency International’s 2010 Integrity Award passes away.

11
Apr
2014

Snowden: Auch NGOs werden von Geheimdiensten ausspioniert - Zivilgesellschaft fordert Aufklärung der Vorwürfe

Human Rights Watch, Reporter ohne Grenzen, Transparency International Deutschland und das Whistleblower-Netzwerk haben von der Bundesregierung ...

9
Apr
2014

Transparency International calls for governments to respect fundamental human rights in surveillance

Following recent comments by Edward Snowden, Transparency International calls on all governments to respect fundamental rights and a right to ...

Nominations open for Latin American Investigative Journalism Award

The nomination process for the 2014 Latin American Investigative Journalism Award is now open.

Related publications

Publication cover image

Whistleblowing in Europe: Legal protections for whistleblowers in the EU

This report is an overall assessment of the adequacy of whistleblower protection laws of 27 member countries of the European Union (EU). It also ...

Report published – Nov 2013

Publication cover image

International principles for whistleblower legislation

Recognising the role of whistleblowing in corruption-fighting efforts, many countries have pledged to enact whistleblower protection laws through ...

Report published – Nov 2013

Related blog posts

Fighting for workers’ rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina


Imagine you were asked to work seven days a week, with no lunch breaks and no overtime pay. That you were ... [read more]

Posted on 16 Apr 2014 by Rachel Beddow

Haiti: a new anti-corruption law brings hope


It has taken a long time but Haiti finally has a comprehensive anti-corruption law. On 11 March the lower ... [read more]

Posted on 07 Apr 2014 by Marilyn Allien

Haïti: une nouvelle loi contre la corruption, porteuse d’espoir


Après plusieurs années d’attente, finalement Haïti est doté d’une loi globale de lutte contre la corruption. ... [read more]

Posted on 07 Apr 2014 by Marilyn Allien

Corruption-busting in Zimbabwe: why being a woman helps


Saturday 8 March is International Women’s Day, and to mark the occasion we’re celebrating women corruption ... [read more]

Posted on 05 Mar 2014 by Saran Koly

Slovenia: ‘Women’s voices must be louder’


Saturday 8 March is International Women’s Day, and to mark the occasion we’re celebrating women corruption ... [read more]

Posted on 04 Mar 2014 by Nicky Rehbock