Transparency International Switzerland

An anonymous hotline for white-collar “whistleblowers” is being set up by Transparency International Switzerland, an anti-corruption organisation. The move comes a week after the Swiss Senate demanded better protection for whistleblowers against unfair dismissal and other forms of discrimination. The hotline had taken its first calls on Wednesday (March 03, 2006) and will advise whistleblowers on what action to take.

A whistleblower is an employee, former employee, or member of an organisation who reports misconduct to his or her employer or to people or institutions that have the power to take corrective action. “We examine the case and we will transfer it to the Institute of Law at Zurich University. If we think it could be a case of corruption, we try to convince the whistleblower to go first to his or her employer and second – if the employer does not react or is involved in the case – to the police,” continous Anne Schwöbel. The success of the hotline in the fight against corruption will also be monitored by the Institute.

Risky business: Transparency International Switzerland says the first step for any potential whistleblower is to draw to their employer’s attention to any possible corruption. This is called internal whistleblowing. If the employer does not react, or implies that the whistleblower is involved or threatens them in another way, then the employee should go to the authorities – external whistleblowing.

This is not without danger as many – now former – employees have discovered. Switzerland is still catching up when it comes to protecting whistleblowers, according to Schwöbel. “It’s a really risky business and in particular the Anglo-Saxon countries like the United States, Britain and Australia already have whistleblower protection,” she admitted. “Switzerland now finally wants to change the law. So we’re seeing some positive steps in the right direction.” (Read the whole article about on this english swissinfo page).

Address and coordinates of Transparency International Switzerland, Berne (a short page in german).

And e-mail.

links:

Transparency points the finger at party funding;

TI Progress Report on OECD Convention Enforcement;

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