Declaration to protect anti-corruption advocates

Bali, 2 February 2008.

The Coalition of Civil Society Friends of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) is gravely concerned about the growing number of illegal killings, imprisonment, harassment, intimidation and persecution of anti-corruption advocates, whistle-blowers, journalists, investigators, officials, elected Representatives, civil servants, and their families, and all others who are involved in the fight against corruption.

Their fundamental rights are enshrined in the 1998 Declaration of Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the UN General Assembly on the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It upholds the significance, legitimacy and shared responsibility of human rights work, and recognizes the need for protection of human rights defenders, including those “advocating…an end to corruption and the abuse of power…”.

In order to uphold the rights of anti-corruption advocates, including whistle-blowers, and protect those who face grave threats and repression, we, the Coalition members, call upon the United Nations to establish a procedure within the UN system, such as the appointment of a Special Rapporteur on the Protection of Anti-Corruption Advocates or a Working Group on the Protection of Anti-Corruption Advocates.

In order to give effect to Articles 13 and 33 of UNCAC, which focus on the work of anti-corruption advocates, the Coalition of Civil Society Friends of the UNCAC urges the States Parties to respect and take action, in accordance with the provisions of these Articles.

Further, we recognize the role of civil society in the protection of anti-corruption advocates and whistle-blowers and, to this end, members of the global anti-corruption community are prepared to establish a solidarity network and response mechanism to protect anti-corruption advocates who face grievous threats and repression.