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Protecting Whistleblowers

We commit to provide adequate protection to those who report corruption by strictly applying the ‘Act on anti-corruption and the Establishment and Operation of the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission’ and the ‘Act on the Protection of Public Interest Whistleblowers’.

Country: South Korea

Status: ongoing

Themes: Whistleblower/civil society space protection

Last updated: October 2018

Classification:

Concrete: Concrete | New: Not New | Ambitious: Somewhat Ambitious

Notes:

October 2018 update: ACRC will promulgate the revised Act on the protection of Public interest whistleblowers on April 17. Which introduced a new provision of representative reporting by lawyers. Public interest reporters will become able to submit documents, or make a statement of opinion as well as file a report through lawyers,thereby strengthening the protection of confidentiality of the public interest reporters.

June 2018 update: No change.

July 2017 update: The ACRC provides protection and financial rewards for the persons who report corruption or violation of the public interest including public health and safety, the environment, consumer interests and fair competition under the Act on Anti-Corruption and the Establishment and Operation of the ACRC and the Act on the Protection of Public Interest Whistleblowers. Those who report foreign bribery are also protected under the latter Act. Between March 2008 and March 2017, the ACRC received a total of 28,982 reports of corruption, handled 168 cases of requests for the protection of whistleblowers, and provided a total of KRW 9.8 billion (about USD 9 million) financial rewards for whistleblowers in 314 cases. Between September 2011, when the new whistleblower Act was implemented, and March 2017, the ACRC received a total of 21,844 reports of public interest violations, handled 87 cases of requests for the protection of whistleblowers, and provided a total of KRW 4.2 billion (about USD 4 million) financial rewards for whistleblowers in 5,355 cases. The ACRC is currently seeking to amend the ACRC Act to expand protection for whistleblowers. The amendment bill is being reviewed by the Ministry of Legislation as of May 2017.

South Korea's Commitments
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