Home › Forums › Protecting Witnesses and Whistleblowers: Possibilities for Mauritius and Other Small Island › Research Paper – Protecting Witnesses and Whistleblowers
Hollie WebbModerator26/07/2019 at 16:38Post count: 5
Koonjal- When I started my research, this is what I often found. Many countries enact legislation but often it has yet to be implemented because of a lack of resources or political will. In the Caribbean, multiple states have passed legislation and have worked to create programmes, such as the Justice Protection Programme in Jamaica. I know that Trinidad and Tobago has one as well. The Caribbean region is also unique in that some states do have regional agreements for witness relocation.
Armando Joseph – Welcome, and I would love to hear any insight from Grenada!May De SilvaParticipant26/07/2019 at 16:39Post count: 4
Confidentiality yes but how many people have been prosecuted successfully for leaking information?Hollie WebbModerator26/07/2019 at 16:51Post count: 5
I think that Raj Awotarowa and May De Silva have both pointed out two aspects of confidentiality that are important to mention. Raj Awotarowa noted that the importance of police training as well as educating the public. Promoting integrity within the police force is vital to getting people to be willing to report corruption. In addition to having training and a code of conduct, it’s also important that police have a protocol in place for handling sensitive information and for dealing with reports.
From a legislative perspective, I think it’s important that there are ways to address leaks of information regarding a witness or reporting person. However, if those laws are not enforced, it will be difficult for people to feel that they can safely report.KoonjalParticipant26/07/2019 at 16:53Post count: 2
As mentioned by Mrs May, it is true that people are reluctant to report acts of corruption. Based on the Mauritian experience, once the element of trust is established, reporting will gradually increase. I also conquer with the opinion of Mr Jheengut that confidentiality is critical. Anti-corruption agencies should ensure that total confidentiality is maintained.Armando JosephParticipant26/07/2019 at 17:05Post count: 3
Whistleblowing is a new phenomenon to some of us; in this regard, people often shy away from things
that are new or unknown to them. It will take a lot of sensitization and public education on the importance
of whistleblowing in the fight against corruption. Additionally, whistleblowers will have to develop
a level of trust in our ability to provide protection for them. Anti-corruption entities will have to provide
assurances through effective legislation and build confidence through our actions.
In Grenada each staff member at the Commission is required to take oaths of Secrecy and Office, therefore
confidentiality is of paramount importance.Hollie WebbModerator26/07/2019 at 17:19Post count: 5
Another aspect of confidentiality is technological. If reports are allowed to be made online, reporting persons need to feel safe that the information they submit will be kept secure and not easily accessible via hacking. This means maintaining a certain level of internet security.Hollie WebbModerator26/07/2019 at 17:35Post count: 5
Armando, that’s a great point about whistleblowing. I agree that it’s somewhat of a new phenomenon for many people worldwide. There is also often a stigma associated with whistleblowing. People sometimes view public sector whistleblowers as disloyal or even treasonous. I also agree that it will take a lot of public education and sensitization on the importance of whistleblowing in order for it to be more accepted. In order to fully protect whistleblowers and encourage reporting, we really have to build a culture that values integrity, transparency, and the ability to access information. And this is definitely not limited to SIDS. I live in the United States, and here, whistleblowers receive very mixed reactions from the public and even the media. They are often described as “leaking” information rather than whistleblowing or making a report, which has a much more negative connotation.
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