The Covid-19 pandemic proves how important it is that officials and other persons with knowledge of wrongdoing or malpractice within public administrations or private enterprises that will seriously threaten the public interest should report as early as possible.
In normal conditions, reporting internally or to the public authorities should be sufficient however sometimes conditions will require the whistleblower to go directly to the public. People who speak out take considerable risks and need to be protected. Also, their disclosures need to be followed up, investigated and, where the report is shown to have substance, remedial action taken.
Ensuring that people can speak out safely, as early as possible, and easily is the essence of Recommendation CM/Rec(2014)7 on the protection of whistleblowers which was adopted in 2014 by the Council of Europe to encourage its member states to have a national framework that facilitates whistleblowing and protects whistleblowers.