Transparency International stresses adoption of whistleblower protection laws

Organisation says effective whistleblower protection laws are essential for progress of integrity

By
Web Desk
The photo shows the logo and name of Transparency International.— The News/File

KARACHI: Transparency International Pakistan (TIP) on Saturday called on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and other government officials, urging them to address the delay in enacting Whistleblower Protection Acts at the federal and provincial levels.

TIP has written letters to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, provincial chief ministers, the Senate Chairman, and the Speakers of the national and provincial assemblies regarding the delay in enacting Whistleblower Protection Acts.

The anti-corruption watchdog emphasises that effective whistleblower protection laws are crucial for boosting integrity, combating corruption, and creating an environment where citizens can report misconduct without fear of being persecuted.

Pointing out that Pakistan ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) in 2007, TIP highlights that Articles 8.4 and 13.2 of UNCAC mandate governments to establish legal measures to protect whistleblowers.

To comply with UNCAC provisions, TIP urges the federal government and the provincial governments of Punjab, Sindh, and Balochistan to enact legislation concerning the reporting and protection of whistleblowers. This includes the introduction of appropriate reporting mechanisms and protective measures aligned with UNCAC requirements.

TIP also noted that many endeavours to introduce whistleblower protection legislation had been thwarted in the past — one such effort was the presentation of the Whistleblower Protection and Vigilance Commission Act, 2019 in the National Assembly in May 2019, which was subsequently withdrawn by the Ministry of Law.

Highlighting that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has passed the Whistleblower Protection and Vigilance Commission Act 2016, TIP stressed the need for the province to operationalise the Whistleblower Protection and Vigilance Commission as mandated under Section 3 of the Act.