ILO seeks new measures for whistleblower protection in the public sector

More work needed to guarantee safe channels and no repercussions.


This week the International Labour Organisation (ILO) will host a technical meeting for tripartite representatives on whistleblower protection measures. As a key player in the development and delivery of the EU Whisteblowing Directive, Eurocadres’ will participate in the meeting, taking place in Geneva from September 26 – 30th, disseminating the experiences from the European directive as seen from Brussels and members throughout Europe.

The ILO meeting will focus on the potential measures that can be implemented and improved in the protection of whistleblowers within public services. For decades, whistleblowers within the sector have delivered justice in numerous instances of wrongdoing and malpractice, yet are still faced with sub-standard reporting channels, assurances on protection or legal certainty on their employment status and other issues. While the meeting will touch upon a variety of issue, one of the main topics for discussion will be exploring possibilities for future ILO-level action and the promotion of best practices at a company and legislative level.

While the EU’s Whistleblower Directive is yet to be transposed in EU Member States, action from an ILO level can introduce measures beyond the scope of the directive and serve as a global point of reference. This particular ILO process comes after multiple years of preliminary measures on the preparation of action points, with the issue being on the ILO’s radar for a significant amount of time. In parallel to the potential introduction of an ILO standard, the organisation have also published guidelines on whistleblowing, while receiving support from other international organisations, such as the OECDs Principles for Responsible Investment.

We will input into a number of key areas within this discussion, not only the experiences in the run up to the development of the EU Directive, but subsequent work such as our 2021 research report and the 2020 best practice guide.

Eurocadres will participate as part of the Worker representatives’ group, hoping to steer the group towards a world-leading ILO standard. The technical meeting will be held from 26 to 30 September 2022, with an update expected following the conclusion of discussions.