Opinion: 2020 New Year’s Resolution: Promises Made, Promises Kept

The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of the Whistleblower Network News.

Mark Worth is a whistleblower advocate, investigative journalist, public interest activist, author, and publisher. He is the Executive Director of the European Center for Whistleblower Rights and is the founder of many organizations, campaigns, and publications. Mark is the Co-recipient of the 1994 Investigative Reporters and Editors Award for best magazine article.

One year ago I wrote: “In 2020 I pledge to devote myself completely to assisting, supporting and representing every whistleblower who contacts me – regardless of where they live, what they disclosed, and the potential risks to me and my organizations.”

I am very pleased to say that I kept my 2020 New Year’s resolution: “Working harder for whistleblowers every day.”

Last year we had more victories and were responsible for more positive impacts in the areas of whistleblower protection and anti-corruption than could be counted. The international whistleblower movement we are building is here to stay. Criminals and crooks hoping for whistleblowing to be a time-limited fad are in store for disappointment and surprises – and, for some of them, large fines and long prison sentences.

Here are some of the cases we investigated and some of the whistleblowers we helped last year, and are continuing to pursue (anonymized to protect identities):

  • We are advocating for the reinstatement of a tax authority employee who was fired after publicly exposing alleged embezzling of public funds
  • We are working to ensure fair treatment for a company employee fired after exposing illicit weapons deals
  • We are raising funds to support a whistleblower in urgent need of medical treatment
  • We are advising an employee of a prominent multinational IT company who was reinstated after being unfairly dismissed
  • We received and are investigating substantial evidence of potential financial, tax and other violations at several well-known multinational corporations
  • We successfully coached many whistleblowers on how to avoid retaliation, protect their confidential, keep their jobs and preserve their careers

Right now we are working on dozens of other cases – helping to shield conscientious citizens from vengeful companies and public agencies, investigating crimes and misconduct, and working to hold criminals to account. Where whistleblower policies and public officials are too weak to function properly, we are working around the system to help protect citizens and employees from reprisals.

We’re campaigning for improved whistleblower rights and rewards in all regions, coaching public officials throughout Europe, launching Germany’s first whistleblower support organization, and working hand-in-hand with journalists to expose corruption.

To commemorate International Anti-Corruption Day on Dec. 9, we opened the new Center for Whistleblower Rights & Rewards in cooperation with Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, and the new European Center for Whistleblower Rights in cooperation with the National Whistleblower Center.

I’m closing this article just as I did a year ago: We recorded many victories in 2020. Even more to come in 2021!

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