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Korea celebrates first Whistleblower Day

Whistleblower Day

Pak Un Jong, Chairperson of the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC), announced December 9 as Whistleblower Day designated to appreciate the contributions made by whistleblowers. The announcement was made on December 5 at the ceremony held in Seoul to launch the Anti-Corruption Week.

"The determined and courageous action of whistleblowers has led to a significant change in our society. They are true leaders of our time suggesting the path to justice and security," Chairperson Pak said in her opening remarks.

Her speech was followed by congratulatory video messages from the world’s prestigious organizations dedicated to the protection of whistleblowers.

Michael D. Kohn, President of the National Whistleblower Center, introduced National Whistleblower Day of July 30 that marks the anniversary of the U.S. Continental Congress passing America's first whistleblower law in 1778, and has been celebrated in Washington, D.C. every year since 2014.
* Click to watch the video message.

Mark Worth, Executive Director of the European Center for Whistleblower Rights, said that around the world billions of dollars, countless lives and uncounted environmental and natural resources have been saved as a result of courageous citizens and employees who have come forward to report wrongdoing and public health threats.
* Click to watch the video message.

Tom Devine, Legal Director of Government Accountability Project, said "Whistleblower protection is not just about free speech and human rights. It is the most effective resources that exist to fight corruption."
* Click to watch the video message.

The event also presented various performances to raise awareness of the importance of whistleblowing including an elementary school student's reading of a thank you letter to a whistleblower.

The ceremony was attended by about 200 participants from ministries, local government agencies, the National Assembly, civil society and academia.

On October 31, 2003, the UN General Assembly designated December 9 as International Anti-Corruption Day to raise awareness of corruption and of the role of the United Nations Convention against Corruption in combating and preventing corruption. The ACRC has been organizing various events in December to commemorate this day.