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PSPD    People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy

  • Civil-Political
  • 2002.03.15
  • 1131
On the 25th of January, the first day of the enactment of anti-corruption law, the PSPD Whistleblower Support Group (Rep.: Lawyer Kim, Chang-Jun) and the Korean Association of Government Employee's Work Councils (Rep. Cha, Bong-Cheon, KAGEWC hereafter) held a joint news conference to announce the "People's Action to Support Whistleblowers and to Eradicate Corruption", and distributed Clean Cards (Whistleblowers' Action Guidelines)' to civil officials on the street.

At the conference, Kim, Chang-Jun (Representative of the PSPD Whistleblower Support Group) evaluated the enforcement of the Anti-Corruption Law and the launch of the Anti-Corruption Committee's legal action, which was made possible by the six years' legislative campaign of the civic organizations, as the legal/institutional foundation for the protection of whistleblowers. He also commented that whistleblowing is the core method to eradicate power-related corruption. Urging the importance of securing social support for whistleblowing, he suggested a concrete agenda for improving the surroundings and giving actual support to whistleblowers: Securing the system for comprehensive whistleblowing support systems such as gathering lawyers supporting the whistleblowers, conducting education programs for drawing citizens' attention to whistleblowing, forming the "Conscience Support Group", and establishing the Whistleblower Information Center. He also said that the two bodies will go ahead with publishing the "Whistleblowers' Survival Book", administering whistleblower education to civil officials, the cyber campaign via the website http://www.yangsim.org and distributing Clean Card (Whistleblower's Action Guideline).

In the following session, Rep. Ahn, Byung-Sun (KAGEWC Anti-corruption Campaign Headquarter) said, "It is urgent that the civil officials should take the initiative actions to root out corruption in this current situation in which the irregularities and scandals in the public sector are deepening the citizens' discontent towards government employees. He also announced the KAGEWC's action plans including publishing a Whistleblowing White Paper, distributing Clean Cards to officials, establishing a Whistleblower Information Center under the umbrella of the KAGEWC, encouraging suggestions for promoting whistleblowing, conducting an opinion poll on the corruption of the government sector, and carrying out the "offering or taking no bribe" campaign.

The Whistleblower Protection Act and WhistleBlowers' Action Guidelines were announced along with the People's Action to Support Whistleblowers and to Eradicate Corruption. The Whistleblower Protection Act, announced by Lee Mun-Ok, the president of the Conscientious Whistleblowers (a former member of the Board of Audit and Inspection, Korea), contains the 6 articles on whistleblowers' rights, including prohibition of retaliatory action against, rewarding process upon, and protection of the whistleblowers. It also deals with the state and social responsibility to protect them. Whistleblowers' Actions Guidelines, issued by Lee, Ji-Moon (whistleblower on the military absentee votes, Representative of Insider Center), deals with the concrete action or 'survival' plans of whistleblowers, when faced by the illegal actions of the organization or improper requests or orders from the senior officials or managers.

After the conference, about 50 participants carried out the street campaign, distributing Clean Cards (Whistleblowers' Action Guidelines) to the civil officials in the Central Government Complex and emphasizing the importance of whistleblowing for the eradication of wrongdoings in the government.

People's Action to Support Whistleblowers and to Eradicate Corruption

Today, the enforcement of the Anti-Corruption Law has started, which was made possible by the six years' legislative campaign of the civic organizations. The commencement attends the launch of the Anti-Corruption Committee's vigorous action. We regard this as the minimum legal/institutional foundation for protection of whistleblowers.

Citizens are tired of incessant 'gates' and various types of 'power-related scandal'. To escape from the bridle of infamy as the 'Corruption Republic', the legal and institutional apparatus must be secured, such as reform of the prosecution system and revision of the Public Official Ethics Act.

Along with these changes, a social atmosphere that can protect and support whistleblowers should be immediately formed. Whistleblowers are brave people who have witnessed and disclosed the wrongdoings or irregularities in their organization, not keeping silent over the corruption before their eyes. We citizens can discover the vicious chain of corruption inside the black curtain of illegal or immoral organizations. Just one whistleblower would have precluded the catastrophes in Sam-Pung department store, Sung-Su bridge, and C-land juvenile training camp, which shows eloquently the importance of a whistleblower's resolution.

Accordingly, the state and society has the responsibility to protect whistleblowers for the purpose of securing people's safety, lives, and rights and for preventing misappropriation of taxes paid by citizens. But the reality is quite the opposite. The rights of whistleblowers are trampled as can be seen in the situations in which they are isolated due to the biases of marking them as 'squealers'. They are suffering from schemed harassment; sometimes they get arrested by the police.

The People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, which has performed a continuous campaign for the last 7 years, and the Korean Association of Government Employee's Work Councils, which is taking vigorous actions to eradicate the corruption in the government sector, launch the joint campaign as of today to uproot the social bias toward whislteblowing and support whistleblowers. We hope this campaign can cast the light of hope on all the would-be whistleblowers and be a milestone in the process of the anti-corruption campaign.

We look forward to the active participation and support of all public officials and citizens for the campaign.
Transparent Society Campaign
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