International Whistleblower Rights2021-03-01T15:07:47-05:00

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.

INTERNATIONAL BEST PRACTICES FOR WHISTLEBLOWER POLICIES
MAP OF NATIONAL WHISTLEBLOWER LAWS

Research

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Investigations

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EU Whistleblower Directive Advocacy

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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:

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

Whistleblower Profiles

The Telegram: The whistleblower’s dilemma: to report or not?

The whistleblower's dilemma: to report or not? This article features Government Accountability Project and was originally published here. JOHN'S, N.L. — If you’re thinking about blowing the whistle on wrongdoing in a public sector workplace, there is legislation to guide you, but it’s still a scary prospect. “I can tell you there is a fair amount of handholding,” said Bradley Moss, Newfoundland and Labrador’s citizen’s representative. “Generally, you are throwing a gauntlet at somebody in higher [...]

The Hill Times: Opposition parties should force feds to strengthen whistleblower protections with private member’s bill, says watchdog

Opposition parties should force feds to strengthen whistleblower protections with private member’s bill, says watchdog This article features Government Accountability Project and was originally published here. While the governing party bears much of the responsibility for the lack of movement on this issue, opposition parties, over the years, have not exhausted all avenues for pressuring the government to bring in better whistleblower laws. 'In a functioning Western democratic society, you would think that we would [...]

THISDAY: Are Whistleblowing Laws Working?

Are Whistleblowing Laws Working? This article features Government Accountability Project and was originally published here. The International Bar Association has published a new report titled ‘Are Whistleblowing Laws Working?’ The report which is a Global Study of Whistleblower Protection Litigation, tracks the record of whistleblower laws in 38 countries, and provides an unprecedented effort to understand the successes and shortcomings of whistleblower protection legislation worldwide, following a proliferation of laws in recent decades. Co-published by [...]

The Hill: The world abandoned COVID-19’s best antidote: Whistleblowers

The world abandoned COVID-19’s best antidote: Whistleblowers This op-ed was written by our Legal Director Tom Devine and Deputy International Director Samantha Feinstein and was originally published here. Dr. Wenliang Li is now a Chinese folk hero. In the winter months of 2019, before the deadly pandemic took hold across the world, Dr. Li spoke up against his government’s suppression of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The retaliation he suffered as a result was short-lived; Dr. Li [...]

Shadowproof: Dissenter Weekly: Report Shows How Whistleblower Protection Laws Often Fail Whistleblowers – Globally

Dissenter Weekly: Report Shows How Whistleblower Protection Laws Often Fail Whistleblowers - Globally This episode features Government Accountability Project and was originally published here. In this edition of “Dissenter Weekly,” host and Shadowproof editor Kevin Gosztola highlights an important report from the Government Accountability Project and the International Bar Association on the state of whistleblower protection laws in 37 countries. Kevin also covers two Congolese whistleblowers who revealed their identities at great risk to themselves. [...]

Law Society of Ireland Gazette: Remove economic barriers for whistleblowers – IBA

Remove economic barriers for whistleblowers – IBA This article features our Legal Director Tom Devine and was originally published here. The International Bar Association (IBA) has published a report that tracks the records of whistleblower laws in 38 countries, and probes the successes and shortcomings of these laws. Are Whistleblowing Laws Working? A Global Study of Whistleblower Protection Litigation is co-published by the IBA’s Legal Policy and Research Unit (LPRU) and the Government Accountability Project. The report aims [...]

HuffPost Canada: Canada’s Whistleblower Law Ranks Dead Last In International Rankings

Canada's Whistleblower Law Ranks Dead Last In International Rankings This article features Government Accountability Project and was originally published here. OTTAWA — Canada is at the bottom of an international ranking of countries with whistleblower protection, lagging behind Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Botswana. A report released Tuesday by the U.S.-based Government Accountability Project and the U.K.-based International Bar Association surveyed whistleblowing frameworks in 37 countries with such laws to determine whether they are actually working. What [...]

EURACTIV: We don’t want to be sued into silence

We don’t want to be sued into silence This article features Government Accountability Project and was originally published here. One hot spring afternoon in Malta, a journalist drove up to her house to find a court marshall duct-taping hundreds of sheets of paper to her front gate. Her family’s two guard dogs were barking uncontrollably and snapped at the marshall through the bars of the gate, but he was determined. The orders from the court [...]

Anders Kompass

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

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

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. 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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