Economic crime and corruption have been on the rise in different governments and corporations over the last 30 years. Surprisingly, despite the significant effects of these crimes, most of the criminal activities remain in the dark and are unprosecuted. The perpetrators slip through the net because of a lack of transparency and accountability. Non-Governmental Organizations have a crucial role in fighting financial crime and corruption, from monitoring public services, denouncing bribery, blowing the whistle on corporate corruption, raising awareness and contributing to international and local implementation of anti-corruption instruments.
Whistleblowers are a crucial part of promoting corporate and government accountability by exposing financial crimes, violations of human rights, fraud, corruption, corporate misdoings and other illegal activities that go against the public interest. One of the NGOs’ significant roles in combating crime is encouraging and protecting whistleblowers by providing legal and advocacy expertise as well as a platform to report concerns safely.
We reviewed the most notable NGOs that promote government and corporate accountability by advocating for whistleblowers and foster transparency.
Government Accountability Project (GAP)
GAP is a leading NGO that ensures corporate accountability by defending whistleblowers in corporations, advocating for free speech in the workplace and conveying verified concerns to journalists, advocacy groups and appropriate officials. GAP helps expose crimes and corruption to the public and represents whistleblowers in legal proceedings. GAP also advocates for the right of free speech for whistleblowers and exposes attempts to undermine the protection of their rights.
Transparency Networks works to enable whistleblowers to come forth and call out corporate misconduct, maximizing the potential of people “blowing the whistle” while minimizing the retaliation which whistleblowers often face. Through an investigative approach, Transparency Networks actively seek out private corporations or governmental institutions who have demonstrated questionable financial behaviors, support whistleblowers and advocate for whistleblower protection laws. Transparency Networks use various means in order to substantiate whistleblower claims: investigative journalism, due diligence, integrity investigations and more.
The National Whistleblower Center (NWC)
The NWC is a non-profit advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. The NWC has supported and protected whistleblowers since 1998 with notable success for government and corporate responsibility, atomic security, government contract extortion, and environmental protection. In partnership with, National Whistleblower Legal Defense and Education Fund (NWLDEF), the NWC also provides legal assistance to whistleblowers.
International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ)
ICIJ is a non-profit based in the U.S. with a network of media organizations and reporters dedicated to investigating economic crimes, corruption and human rights violations. The ICIJ encourages whistleblowers and welcomes leaks and tips of stories that are important to the public. ICIJ’s investigative journalism have exposed major stories that would have otherwise remained in the dark, including the Panama Papers and, most recently, the FinCEN files.
Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP)
The OCCPR is a global network of investigative journalists that exposes crime and corruption by publishing whistleblowers’ stories and promoting public accountability. The OCCPR provides whistleblowers, independent journalists, and media centers with a platform for investigative reporting. In partnership with advocacy groups, OCPR provides the public with the information necessary to demand justice and evidence for law enforcement to act.