Publication Date: August 2015
Research and Editorial Team: David Kaye, United Nations Commission on Human Rights' Special Rapporteur on the promotion and the protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression

In this report the UN Special Rapporteur David Kaye addresses the protection of sources of information and whistleblowers.

"A common thread ties together the right of access to information, the protection of sources of information and the protection of whistleblowers: the public’s right to know", it is pointed out in the conclusion of the report. The right to access to information is a universal right, an essential tool for the public’s participation in political affairs, democratic governance and accountability. In many situations, sources of information and whistleblowers make access to information possible, for which they deserve the strongest protection in law and in practice.

Drawing on international and national law and practice, the Special Rapporteur highlights the key elements of a framework for the protection of sources and whistleblowers, among which: improvement of national law protecting the confidenciality of sources; strenghtening protections against retaliation, that should apply in all public institutions, including those connected to national security; and the establishment of personal liability for those who retaliate against sources and whistleblowers.

Tags: Whistleblowing Access to information Worldwide

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