APC welcomes the opportunity to comment on the protection of sources and whistleblowers for the October 2015 report of the Special Rapporteur on the Protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression to the UN General Assembly.
Whistleblowers reveal misconduct at great personal and professional risk. They are routinely subject to harassment, job termination, arrest, and even physical attacks for exposing wrongdoing. Whistleblowers need strong legal protections to protect them from retaliation and enable them to report offences safely and freely.
But even in contexts where laws are in place to protect whistleblowers, they are rarely enforced or are completely ignored. The courageous actions of whistleblowers defend human rights, save lives and billions of dollars in public funds, contribute to making governments more transparent and companies more accountable. ICTs have played a pivotal role in aiding whistleblowers and sources as well as in generally enabling more transparency. They also pose challenges to the protection of whistleblowers and sources.