International Whistleblower Rights
Government Accountability Project, through its International Whistleblower Rights work, champions the creation, implementation, and monitoring of rights and best practices to support whistleblowers around the world. Since the mid-1990s, our team has drafted whistleblower policies for international organizations, including the World Bank, the Organization of American States, and the United Nations, hosted hundreds of international delegations through the State Department, and participated in speaking tours promoting whistleblower rights in over two dozen countries. The State Department has dubbed our legal director, Tom Devine, the ambassador of whistleblowing.
Our international team provides expert assessments on countries’ whistleblower laws and conducts trainings in host nations for various stakeholders, including judges, prosecutors, law enforcement, Inspectors General, government agencies, nonprofits, and academics. The program has assisted in drafting proposed whistleblower legislation in over a dozen countries including Ghana, Serbia, and Tunisia.
Our International Whistleblower Rights team investigates international organizations from the World Trade Organization to the UN, researches and publishes reports on international agencies and organizations, and supports international scholarship on whistleblowing and accountability through the Getulio P. Carvalho Fellowship.
EU Whistleblower Directive Advocacy
Whistleblowing International Network
In 2013, Government Accountability Project played a leading role in establishing the Whistleblowing International Network (WIN), a worldwide coalition of non-governmental organizations focused on whistleblowing. WIN connects and strengthens civil society organisations that defend and support whistleblowers. WIN provides counsel, tools, and expertise needed by those working in their countries to address corruption, waste, fraud, abuse, illegality, and threats to the public interest.
WIN’s founding members also include:
- Protect (formerly Public Concern at Work), UK
- Whistleblower-Netzwerk e.V. / Whistleblower-Network, Germany
- Open Democracy Advice Centre, South Africa
- Federal Accountability Initiative for Reform, Canada (currently inactive, see the Centre for Free Expression (CFE) Whistleblowing Initiative)
Learn more about WIN by visiting its website.
The Getulio P. Carvalho Fellowship
In 2014, the Getulio P. Carvalho Fellowship was established in order to fund international research projects such as a handbook for whistleblower protection at international organizations, an academic paper on whistleblowers and racial discrimination at international organizations, and case studies of retaliation against UN human rights whistleblowers.
Previous Carvalho Fellows
Anders Kompass In July, 2014, Kompass — then Director of the Foreign Operations and Technical Cooperation Division (FOTCD) of the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) – received a report written by a human rights officer in the Central African Republic (CAR). The report contained compelling evidence of the rape and apparently ongoing sexual abuse of boys by French peacekeeping troops at a camp for those displaced by violent conflict in [...]
Kathryn Bolkovac Bolkovac is a former Nebraska policewoman who served as an International Police Task Force human rights investigator in Bosnia. Working for a private contracting firm assigned to support the UN peacekeeping mission in that country, she discovered that officers were involved in gross wrongdoing, including human trafficking and forced prostitution. After bringing her findings to light in 2002, she was retaliated against and fired. Fearing for her safety, Bolkovac fled the [...]
Miranda Brown Dr. Miranda Brown was the Chief of the East and South Africa section for the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights when she reported the sexual abuse of children in the Central African Republic by peacekeepers and the retaliation against Anders Kompass, the one senior official who reported it to law enforcement. She called upon the UN Secretary General and other senior UN officials to end their misguided [...]
Dr. Aicha Elbasri Dr. Elbasri was the spokesperson for the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur when she witnessed first-hand how the UN was obscuring the reality of atrocities being committed against Darfuris and failing to protect civilians. As the UN continually blamed civilian deaths on factors beyond its control, Elbasri struggled with providing honest responses to reporters as her higher-ups obfuscated the truth. Unwilling to be a part of a mission that [...]
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