Today the National Whistleblowers Center submitted a statement of concern about whistleblower protection in the United States to the United Nations' Commission on Human Rights, Universal Periodic Review (UPR). It alleges that the US falls short of its international obligations by jailing whistleblowers like Bradley Birkenfeld, and by failing to protect whistleblowers in federal employment, the private sector, and internationally. A copy of the submission is available here. With it, I submitted Attachment 1 listing the international obligations to protect whistleblowers, Attachment 2 about the effectiveness of whistleblowers, and Attachment 3, a report of the Ethics Research Center.
The UN's working group will conduct a hearing on the submissions in November or December. In the meantime, the United States Department of State will have time to review and comment on the submissions. Perhaps the State Department will agree that U.S. law falls short on whistleblower protection. Perhaps it will offer some explanation. Perhaps it will ask U.S. Senators to dump the poison pills in S. 372 and adopt H.R. 1507 as the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act. Perhaps it will ask President Obama to pardon Brad Birkenfeld. It is good that the UN has a process in which member states are called to account on ways they can improve their human rights record.