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Laws protecting whistleblowers have been in place for over two decades in some countries, however it is only recently that effective laws and procedures have begun to be studied comparatively and become one of the priorities of the G20.
At the G20 summit in Seoul in 2010, G20 leaders adopted whistleblower protection as a key element of their global anti-corruption strategy. They highlighted the fundamental value of whistleblowers to governments and companies as a first and often best early warning system for the types of corruption and regulatory failure now proven as critical risks to the global economy. Since this time, whistleblower protection has been an important key factor of financial, economic and regulatory cooperation between G20 countries. Moreover, not only has whistleblowing maintained its prominent position on international and national anti-corruption agendas, but the issue has grown in importance and highlighted whistleblowing’s relevance as a corporate governance and regulatory tool.
Countries are under increasing pressure to adopt international best practice and establish systems to protect whistleblowers from retaliation, strengthen their rights and provide safe means for disclosure. Across the globe, varying levels of international best practice have now been adopted in public and private sector laws, though in some countries no laws have yet been passed. In turn, employers need to ensure they have implemented the relevant measure in their offices across the globe to comply with whistleblower laws where they exist.