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Transparency International calls for greater whistleblower protection and oversight of government surveillance

Whistleblowing plays key role in fight against corruption, movement resolution states

Measures to protect whistleblowers and increase oversight of government surveillance are essential to restore public trust in government, Transparency International said in a resolution passed by its 2013 Annual Membership Meeting today.

The resolution called on governments to respect the right to privacy in safeguarding national security, saying there is a need for meaningful oversight of government surveillance activities. (See full resolution in the annex below)

“We call for universal protection of all whistleblowers who truthfully reveal abuses of state power from any retaliation,” said the resolution.

Transparency International also said whistleblowing “plays a key role in the fight against corruption”. This week, Transparency International published International Principles for Whistleblower Legislation, warning that the law in many countries fails to protect whistleblowers from retaliation.

Transparency International representatives from more than 100 countries met today for the anti-corruption organisation’s annual meeting where they discussed the way forward in the fight against corruption.

International Board of Directors election

The meeting also elected two International Board members. Incumbent Board member J. C. Weliamuna was re-elected to the International Board, and Natalia Soebagjo was elected as a new Board member. Transparency International’s International Board of Directors, consisting of 12 members, is led by Chair Huguette Labelle and Vice-Chair Akere Muna.

Brief biographies of the Transparency International Board members elected today:

J. C. Weliamuna - Sri Lanka

One of Sri Lanka’s leading public interest lawyers, Weliamuna holds a Master of Laws from the University of Colombo, where he works as a visiting lecturer. He is also an Eisenhower and a Senior Ashoka Fellow. After establishing his legal career in commercial law, Weliamuna moved into the fields of constitutional and human rights law, and became an active contributor to local and foreign media on governance and human rights challenges in Sri Lanka. He also served as an elected bureau member of the South Asians for Human Rights movement. In 2002 he became TI Sri Lanka’s first Executive Director, where he served until 2010. Weliamuna was elected to TI’s International Board of Directors in 2010.

Natalia Soebagjo – Indonesia

Since 2009, Natalia Soebagjo has been a member of Transparency International Indonesia and Chair of its Executive Board since 2011. Natalia is a member of the Independent Team for National Bureaucracy Reform which advises the National Steering Committee for Bureaucracy Reform. She is a lecturer and Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Governance at the University of Indonesia. Natalia was educated in Antwerp, London, Jakarta, and earned her MA in Asian Studies in UC Berkeley, USA.

For more information on TI’s Board of Directors, please click here.


Transparency International is the civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption


Resolution on whistleblower protection and oversight of surveillance activities

Proponents: TI Germany, TI Ireland and TI USA

Transparency International recognizes that whistleblowing plays a key role in the fight against corruption. We call for universal protection of all whistleblowers who truthfully reveal abuses of state power from any retaliation.

Consistent with democratic principles and good governance, Transparency International also recognizes the need for meaningful oversight of government surveillance activities and for governments to respect fundamental human rights, including the right to privacy, in safeguarding national security.

We believe such measures are essential to restore public trust in government.

National chapters are encouraged to engage with each other, with governments, and with international organisations and other stakeholders to promote these principles.

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Chris Sanders
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