Whistleblowers face serious social, political and legal hindrances that obstruct their public service, thus discouraging the disclosure of harmful activities and reinforcing the opacity of the status quo.
“A Change of Direction” is an international group of NGOs and research institutions that is promoting a new integrated framework for research, awareness-raising and public advocacy for protecting whistleblowers in Europe. This project stems from the conviction that stronger rights are essential to encourage public officials, employees and citizens to report corruption and misconduct within government and companies. The project reflects the European Union’s growing attention to fighting corruption toward strengthening European institutions.
The goal of “A Change of Direction” is to enable prospective whistleblowers to benefit from better and more updated information about their legal rights and obligations, access to safe and reliable channels to report wrongdoing, and adequate organizational support.
This project contributes to curbing corruption risks within government institutions and corporations, reinforcing a culture of accountability and trust, and helping the formation of new “partnerships” between employees and citizens, and governments and corporations within European institutions and at country level.
The project is the first on this scale in Europe to unite the fields of academia and advocacy on the issue of whistleblower protection. A multidisciplinary group of researchers from diverse areas joined a team of activists and investigative journalists to develop policy proposals, political campaigns, public awareness initiatives, and resources for whistleblowers that are informed both by credible research and practical experience. Thus, value is added in both directions - to academia and to advocacy - to work toward a productive and protective framework for whistleblowers.
The project has a duration of two years (March 2016 – February 2018) and is co-funded by the European Commission through the Internal Security Fund programme.