Tackling the issue of the lack of refuge available internationally for governmentally-identified whistleblowers
During the last fifty years, many individuals have disclosed the hidden unlawful practices of businesses, governments, and firms to the open public. Whistleblowers expose any kind of information or activity that is deemed illegal, dishonest, and morally or ethically wrong within an organization. These individuals can be classified into two categories: private sector whistleblowers and public sector whistleblowers. The latter are usually likely to be indicted for federal crimes and sentenced to jail. However, when information is disclosed in good faith and with the best interests of the public in mind, many organizations and governments are inclined to offer protection and refuge to these whistleblowers. Historically, whistleblowers have been ostracized from the organization or country whose information they have exposed and have been forced to seek refuge to avoid federal charges in their country of origin. In an effort to curb unlawful practices, many international governments have passed legislation protecting whistleblowers from retaliation and certain criminal penalties from federal managers and supervisors. However, the problems usually arise for whistleblowers working in national defense or with nationally and internationally classified information. As all employees and military personnel in the intelligence gathering are required to sign non-disclosure agreements, individuals who disclose classified information violate the terms of their agreement. This gives the government the ability to press charges against the offenders and renders the protection in place for whistleblowers ineffective. Due to the sensitive nature of the information being disclosed, this year’s Security Council at ASDMUN will be tackling the issue of the lack of refuge available internationally for governmentally-identified whistleblowers as a matter of international peace and security.
- Do other countries owe whistleblowers any form of protection?
- What actions of protection have been given to previous government whistleblowers?
- Which countries have laws or legislation that aim to protect whistleblowers?
- Which countries have laws or legislation that aim to punish whistleblowers?
- How have government whistleblowers affected international relations?
- How does the treatment of whistleblowers who work in national defense or with nationally and internationally classified information differ from the treatment of private sector whistleblowers?
- How does the potential for a breach of legal contract deter potential whistleblowers from disclosing sensitive information?
- If the sensitive information has the potential to be widely beneficial, is it ethical for someone not to disclose that information?
- If whistleblowing is, in fact, ethically mandated, are countries required to provide aid to whistleblowers?
- How does historical precedent illustrate the need for refuge available internationally for governmentally-identified whistleblowers?