Around the world, the need to protect and support whistleblowers has never been greater. Even as their disclosures are leading to more corrective actions within governments and corporations, whistleblowers continue to suffer from retaliation, threats, fines and criminal prosecution.
In Southeast Europe, a new initiative has been launched to fight for the rights of employees and citizens to report crime and corruption without being fired, harassed, sued or prosecuted.
Twenty public-interest advocates and investigative journalists from throughout the region gathered to form the Southeast Europe Coalition on Whistleblower Protectionin Belgrade on 9-10 November. The Coalition is comprised of organizations from 10 countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia.
The Coalition will work to ensure that whistleblowers are treated fairly and that their disclosures result in positive change. It will also promote the benefits of whistleblowing toward improving government and corporate accountability, and strive to enhance the public perceptions of whistleblowers.
This is the world’s first regional initiative dedicated to enhancing whistleblower rights and protections, and promoting whistleblowing as an effective anti-corruption tool. It will serve as an umbrella for advocacy, legislation and policy development, whistleblower support and advice, public and media outreach, as well as a network for exchanging expertise and information.
The Coalition will develop campaigns in partnership with other organizations, develop online resources to support whistleblowers, advise authorities who oversee whistleblower policies, coordinate research, host events, build an information clearinghouse, and develop national and regional projects.
The planning meeting in Belgrade was organized by the Regional Anti-Corruption Initiative (RAI) and Blueprint for Free Speech, and supported by the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC). RAI is an intergovernmental organization that deals solely with anti-corruption issues; Blueprint is an international advocacy and research NGO; the RCC promotes regional cooperation and civil society involvement in Southeast Europe.
Blueprint for Free Speech will serve as the Coalition’s interim coordinator pending the establishment of the Coalition office and appointment of a permanent coordinator.
Members of the Southeast Europe Coalition on Whistleblower Protection
- Institute for Democracy and Mediation
- Union of Albanian Journalists
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Center for Responsible Democracy
- (COD) / Luna
- Public Interest Advocacy Center
- Alexenia Dimitrova
- Saša Leković
- Article 10
- FOL Movement
- Transparency International Macedonia
- Anticorruption Alliance
- Center for Analysis and Prevention of Corruption
- Milka Tadić Mijović
- Center for Investigative Reporting in Montenegro
- Centre for Development of Non-Governmental Organizations
- Attila Biro
- Expert Forum
- Bureau for Social Research
- Blueprint for Free Speech
More details here.