France: how to better protect whistleblowers?

France's parliament plans to pass a law on November 17 aimed at giving better protection to whistleblowers. The EU parliament hearing of Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen on November 10 and charges by a former nuclear power plant employee accusing energy giant EDF of covering up safety-related incidents have put the issue in the spotlight.

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Le Monde (FR) /

Not only individuals are affected

The new law should also apply to organisations, argue Arnaud Apoteker of Justice Pesticides, Delphine Halgand-Mishra of The Signals Network and Jean-Francois Julliard, head of Greenpeace France, in a guest article in Le Monde:

“The protection of NGOs and trade unions, which play an important role in supporting whistleblowers by passing on their revelations or even publishing them under their name to prevent the whistleblowers' identities from being revealed, is crucial. In order for organisations like The Signals Network and Maison des Lanceurs d'Alerte to continue supporting whistleblowers, associations and trade unions must be afforded adequate and comprehensive protection similar to that afforded to individuals.”

Le Point (FR) /

Regulations needed also at the European level

Le Point calls on the EU to also address the status of whistleblowers:

“Whistleblowers must be recognised both outside and inside their company. It cannot be that an employee risks losing his job simply because he reports problems or misconduct at the workplace to the company. We all remember the case of Timnit Gebru, the computer scientist working in artificial intelligence who was sacked by Google for her work in a study investigating racial bias in the company's algorithms. ... The European Commission is currently drafting a new law on digital services. It will hopefully also strengthen and redefine the status of whistleblowers.”