Protection of Whistleblowers at the State and Local Level

Protection of Whistleblowers at the State and Local Level
Whistleblowers conference in Belgrade
USAID Serbia

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

BELGRADE – On Monday, September 9, the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Serbia, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Government Accountability Initiative,  the EU-funded project Prevention and Fight Against Corruption, and the web portal “Pištaljka” organized a one-day conference, “Protection of Whistleblowers at the State and Local Level.”  Representatives of the central and local governments, judges and deputy public prosecutors, experts from the European Union and the United States, and whistleblowers discussed the achievements and challenges of protecting whistleblowers in Serbia.

“Corruption is a persistent problem, one of the greatest obstacles to economic and social development around the world.  It is difficult to tackle, that is why the empowerment and protection of those who take courageous steps to blow the whistle on corruption is essential,” said U.S. Ambassador to Serbia Kyle Scott.  The Embassy is proud of its support to the Government of Serbia to assist in the development of the legal framework for whistleblower protection, Scott added, noting that Serbia’s whistleblower protection framework is now considered an international best practice.  “Through USAID, we helped local governments build their capacity to implement the law and establish structures and procedures to act on whistleblowers reports. We will continue to provide all necessary support to reinforce whistleblower protection,” Scott said.  

Though the Serbian Law on Whistleblower Protection was implemented in 2015, gaps remain, including a lack of general awareness about the importance of whistleblowers and how to protect them. Conference participants offered many suggestions for improvement.  Nonetheless, there has been progress. "The easiest way to assess whether a state wants to eliminate corruption is to look at the treatment of whistleblowers. Over the past four years, dozens of whistleblowers have received legal protection, several officials have been penalized for violating regulations, and important information pertaining to the violation of law has been made pblic,” said Vladimir Radomirović, Editor-in-Chief of “Pištaljka” web portal.

Last updated: September 10, 2019

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