Solomon Islands has become part of a handful of countries that has a Whistleblower Protection Act, one that seeks to protect those that expose corrupt practices in the workplace or in dealings with public officials.
In societies where corruption is deeply entrenched what is needed is the trigger to initiate the undoing of a corrupt scheme - the lone voice, a person who has witnessed an unlawful act, to speak up and be heard.
There was much debate on the clause relating to the Interpretation and Protection from Liability and Victimisation, in itself an indication of the need to do more, particularly in the context of Solomon Islands. Fact is they will face discrimination, harassment, and in extreme cases, threats to their personal safety and that of people close to them.
Like other developing countries that have taken the bold step to fight corruption – Solomon Islands needs strong, accessible whistle-blower protections with broad application to counter the significant disincentives and empower the lone voice to speak up.
This law is new, and its application has not been tested. Institutions and mechnaisms to support the Act has not been establshed, this could be the biggest challenge for government.