Whistleblowing and suppression of dissent

Contacts: advice and support

This information is located on

Suppression of dissent website

Contacts: advice and support

It is a sad truth that whistleblowers and dissidents often seek help but seldom find it. Below are some avenues to seek support or official action. Official channels are unlikely to be helpful and whistleblowers should undertake a careful assessment of official bodies before using them. Therefore, these bodies (of which there are a multitude) are only described in general terms. The most useful thing that most whistleblowers can do is to talk to other whistleblowers and to gain publicity. Media contacts change quickly. Hence the emphasis in the following listing is on organisations and networks that help put whistleblowers in touch with each other.

No organisation listed here is guaranteed to be helpful. The fact is that some of the most worthwhile organisations are seriously overloaded and cannot respond effectively to every request. This is all the more reason to learn everything possible to tackle issues directly, without depending on someone else to save the day.

*** Australia ***

Whistleblowers Australia (WBA) is a national organisation whose members are whistleblowers and their supporters. It encourages self-help and mutual help among whistleblowers and supports campaigns on specific issues such as free speech for employees and whistleblower legislation. It does not undertake formal advocacy on behalf of individuals. Membership is open to anyone who supports its aims. It publishes a newsletter, The Whistle. This entry includes information about the organisation, contacts, copies of newsletters and current actions.

Justice Action
Members are volunteers who "seek to uncover and expose police and penal abuse, misconduct and corruption and to promote reform and meaningful change. We seek to assist those who suffer from the abuses of the system."

*** Britain ***

Freedom to Care (FtC) was a national organisation founded by whistleblowers and run by them and their supporters. It promoted "the right and duty of employees to raise workplace concerns in the public interest and the right of all citizens to open, honest and accountable treatment from large organisations, public or private." It held self-help meetings, provided support to whistleblowers, campaigned on relevant issues, and published a bi-annual bulletin, The Whistle. Membership was open to anyone who supported its aims. FtC is no longer active. Copies of many of the issues of The Whistle, plus other documents, are available here.

Protect is a legal advice centre providing free advice to workers who are unsure whether or how to blow the whistle. It also advises on the scope and application of the UK's Public Interest Disclosure Act. It earns an increasing amount of its income from the training services and toolkits it provides to employers, unions and community groups on creating open cultures.

*** Canada *** 

Anti-Corruption and Accountability Canada is a national grassroots whistleblower group.

*** Germany *** 

Whistleblower-Netzwerk Germany
was formed in about 2006 and has about 50 members, about half whistleblowers. It aims to combine helping individuals with pushing for better legislation.

*** Norway ***

Ad:varsal is a whistleblower site run by Pål Hivand.

*** South Africa ***

Black Sash is a human rights advocacy organisation, focussing on social security issues, offering free paralegal services at offices throughout the country.

*** United States ***

Government Accountability Project (GAP) provides advocacy and legal assistance to whistleblowers. It can provide advice and referrals. However, direct legal representation by GAP attorneys is only possible in a fraction of cases. GAP has developed special expertise in dealing with whistleblower rights, nuclear weapons facility clean-ups, food safety, laws on environmental protection, and national security abuses.

National Whistleblower Center is a non-profit advocacy organisation based in Washington, DC, providing support for whistleblowers in court and before Congress.

Project on Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonprofit organisation that investigates government waste, fraud and abuse, including working with whistleblowers inside the system.

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) is a nonprofit organisation that supports employees in government environmental agencies who are seeking greater protection of the environment.

The Giraffe Heroes Project is a nonprofit organisation that moves people to stick their necks out for the common good and helps them do it better.

revised 1 November 2020