The International Labour Organization (ILO) has called for more protection for whistle-blowers in the public sector. It says protecting whistleblowers is “fundamental to the advancement of decent work and efficient public service delivery, as well as a useful tool against corruption”.
To protect whistleblowers and fight corruption and other wrongdoing, there should be more effective laws and ways to protect people.
The ILO Technical Meeting on Whistleblower Protection in the Public Service Sector looked at how hard it was for different countries to implement these protections. Representatives from governments, employers, and workers concluded that governments should enforce laws and policies to stop any retaliation, violence, or harassment that might happen because of disclosures. This recommendation was made in collaboration with employers and organisations representing public sector workers.
According to Luis C. Melero, Vice-Chairperson of the Government Group, protecting public servants—including those employed by oversight bodies for the public sector—is “fundamental to the advancement of decent work, efficient public service delivery, and social justice, as well as a useful tool against corruption.”
The meeting concluded that corruption and other wrongdoing hurt public administration and government budgets. This means that public services aren’t done well, public investment goes down, there aren’t enough good jobs, and the economy grows more slowly.
Paul Mckay, the vice-chairman of the Employers’ Association, says, “Protecting whistle-blowers in the public sector can make it easier to find bribery solicitation, misuse of public funds, waste, fraud, and other forms of corruption across the economy.” “A climate that is supportive of sustainable enterprises includes anti-corruption measures.”
Participants talked about the role social dialogue may play in developing ways to increase whistleblower protection and be a part of the framework that safeguards the objectivity of the public service sector and its employees against improper influence. Also, it can help create a culture of accountability, openness, and total rejection of corruption in the industry. At the meeting, people talked about how important it is for governments, groups representing workers, and businesses to help create this kind of culture.
Wim Vandekerckhove, the vice-chairperson of the workers’ union, stated that “governments and social partners recognise that there are normative gaps in whistleblower protection and that social engagement is crucial to building a pathway towards a worldwide normative framework in compliance with the ILO mandate.”
“We need to make sure public servant whistleblowers are legitimate. To prevent whistleblowers from being singled out or turned into obvious targets for retaliation, we must establish collective action networks, according to meeting chair Judge Dhaya Pillay.
The summit, which took place in Geneva from September 26–30, came to several conclusions and recommendations intended to help governments, employers, and employees defend the effectiveness and impartiality of the public service sector and adequately protect whistleblowers.
Analysis by: Advocacy Unified Network