On February 16, the Whistleblowing International Network (WIN) asked President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to veto the law on whistleblowers passed on February 4.

WIN prepared a letter to the Office of the President, and Transparency International Ukraine joined the list of signatories.

In its address, WIN Board of Trustees reminds the leadership of Ukraine of the provisions of the Anti-Corruption Strategy, which, in particular, include a clause on the proper protection of whistleblowers. Like most civil society organizations in Ukraine, WIN believes that the proposed bill undermines the effective protection of whistleblowers.

WIN reminds that Ukraine has concluded an Association Agreement with the European Union and included the Euro-Atlantic integration as a value in its Constitution However, the proposed legal framework does not comply with the EU Directive on the protection of persons reporting breaches of Union law or basic tenets of international best practices principles for whistleblowing protection.

The specific concerns of the Network are as follows:

  • Prohibitive conditions for protected disclosure;
  • Removal of internal reporting channels;
  • Requirement to reveal confidential sources.

Read more in the document.

“The proposed amendments to Ukraine’s legislation are an attack on the basic principles of whistleblowing protection and the spirit of the EU Directive,”  says WIN Trustee Tom Devine. “As experts and organizations committed to whistleblower protection, we would have to warn those seeking our help that this law is a trap for internal disclosures.” 

In turn, Anna Myers, Executive Director at WIN, calls on President Zelenskyy to act:

“We hope that you will reject these amendments, block this Bill from becoming law and send it back to the Ukrainian Parliament for improvements which retain the unified, secure whistleblower portal. Whistleblowers are the real-life servants of the people. They need your support.”  

WIN is a network of over 40 organizations in 25 countries and numerous partners working on protecting whistleblowers in law and in practice across the world.

Earlier, a number of civil society organizations, including Transparency International Ukraine, also addressed the President asking him to veto the Law “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine to Settle Certain Issues of Whistleblower Protection” (No. 3450) and return it to the Parliament of Ukraine for further improvement.

We remind you that on February 4, the Parliament passed legislative changes which effectively strip of protection those whistleblowers who use internal reporting channels within the institutions where they are employed. Read more in our legal analysis.