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How do you react to lack of transparency, injustice or ‘blurred’ situations?

There are situations where we are particularly called upon to make good use of our entrusted power.

Momo — More Monitoring Action in the EU

If every one of us is responsible for the common good, it is our duty to try to safeguard it as much as possible. Whistleblowers do exactly that: they are those workers who, in the context of their jobs, witness possible wrongdoing and decide to speak up about it. In fact, shady dynamics are not necessarily symptoms of an actual crime, but they nevertheless represent clear signs that something wrong is happening and may possibly lead to collective damages.

Whistleblowers are not heroes nor do they have super-powers: they are ordinary but courageous people who have decided to make use of their entrusted power for collective interests. Reporting these situations, indeed, means safeguarding the common good, since it prevents crimes, injustice and misuse of public money. This choice is not always easy because their jobs and personal security often are at stake.

Nevertheless, witnessing a lack of transparency or a misconduct, but not reacting, is not a neutral act: on the contrary, it benefits those who are acting against the collective interest, since it gives a sort of ‘silent support’.

Whistleblowers should not be left alone. They may need support in improving their reporting, managing anxiety and fear, obtaining legal advice, preventing the risk of subsequent mobbing or other forms of retaliation.

That is why, all over the world, there are independent and civic networks and portals dedicated to providing information and advice to people in such situations



Definition box

Whistleblowers are those workers who, in the context of their job, witness a possible wrongdoing and decide to tell their superiors or the supervisory authorities about it. A whistleblower discloses information about corruption or other wrongdoing which happened in their organisation, to the organisation itself, the relevant authorities, or the public. Whistleblowing is one of the most effective ways to detect and prevent corruption and other malpractice.

Questions for reflection


Ana María Garrido Ramos is a Spanish activist who was an official of the Boadilla del Monte city council in the Community of Madrid. She became a whistleblower and key witness for the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office in the Gürtel case, a political corruption scandal about illegal financing of the Popular Party in Spain. Learn more about the case of Ana Garrido Ramos, whistleblower of corruption in the Gurtel Case in Spain here 

What do you think about this situation?

During 2021, Frances Haugen, a former Facebook worker, denounced, before the United States Senate, the bad practices with which the company that manages said platform “repeatedly misleads” users about the harmful effects of its platforms. Following the statements by the computer expert, both Democrats and Republicans in the Upper House called for an investigation by the country’s regulatory bodies against Mark Zuckerberg’s company (Arciniegas, 2021). Furthermore, Haugen’s disclosures triggered widespread discussions about social media regulation and accountability. Browse the web to learn more about her story. What do you think about this situation?


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> 11 movies about whistleblowing

If you are interested in this topic, Transparency International has selected the 11 best movies about whistleblowing. See the list here

Testimonies of whistleblowing

If you would like to explore this topic further, you can find some testimonies of whistleblowers telling their personal stories here