We owe a lot to whistle blowers. Without them, some of the largest frauds in history would go unreported. Some may eventually get uncovered, but only after much higher losses. Aside from fraud, other cover-ups can involve negligence or safety infractions. Lives are lost and careers ended due to safety non-compliance.
Yet most whistle blowers suffer for their actions. They often risk their careers, reputations and livelihood to do the right thing.
They may be fired, ostracized by their colleagues, threatened or blacklisted. To fight corruption, we need to offer greater protection to people who report fraud. Without it, corruption spreads like a disease, and it hurts all of us in the process.
Whistle blower protection varies widely from country to country. There are many jurisdictions with differing rules and protection. One thing is clear: few if any countries have adequate whistle blower protection.
Transparency International has done some interesting work on whistle blowing. You can read more here. Isn't it time we stopped turning a blind eye to corruption?