Parrhesia

Parrhesia

At a glance

Causes

  • Education
  • Human rights

Other details

Organisation type: 
Charity
Geographical remit: 
National - Britain

Objectives

Parrhesia Inc is focussed on the practice, protection, and promotion of the human rights of whistleblowers in the UK, by producing high-level research that can be used by practitioners and policymakers. 

Our objective is to provide a hub, the Parrhesia Network, to bring together researchers, NGOs, lawyers, policymakers, other charities, business and those with lived experience, into a professional network where stakeholders can:

  • Share their experience and knowledge
  • Share and discuss policies and practices
  • Offer practical advice and solutions
  • Create an online hub for articles on whistleblowing, whistleblower protection, and human rights

Although Parrhesia is focused on the UK, we recognise that whistleblowing is without borders and that is why Parrhesia is open for anyone, across the globe, to join.

Parrhesia is an Ancient Greek term meaning “to speak freely” implying not only freedom of speech, but the obligation to speak the truth for the common good, even at great personal risk. It was viewed as a fundamental tenet of democracy. We believe that parrhesia is a fundamental part of a modern democracy; that without truth, transparency and accountability, democracy dies.

Those who speak truth-to-power have always faced consequences for it. Even today, those who speak-out about corruption, malpractice, incompetence, human trafficking and modern slavery, organised crime, and misconduct in public office, face severe consequences to their employment, health, finances, family and reputation. This retaliation is usually deliberate, public, and meant to undermine, stigmatise, and silence them – serving as a warning to others who might think of doing the same. We believe this retaliation is fundamentally wrong and serves to undermine the fabric of our society. We believe that those who speak in the spirit of parrhesia, the parrhesiastes, should be protected and those who attack them should be held to account and sanctioned.

Activities

We are building an authoritative body of knowledge and evidence, through research on whistleblowers’ human rights issues, to provide technical advice to government and others.  We will monitor abuses of whistleblowers’ human rights, contribute to the sound administration of the law, propose reform where there are demonstrable deficiencies, and comment on proposed legislation.  

We will do this by being a facilitator: a forum for all those working in the field to come together and share best practice and ideas. We will work with others to reduce detriment, collaborate on projects, and seek consensus across the community of practice in order to further our collective purpose.  Our own organisation is made up of the leading academics in the field of whistleblowing research, those at the forefront of professional work with whistleblowers, expert leaders of NGOs, parliamentarians and policy makers, and of course whistleblowers themselves.

To achieve this we will initially focus on the following three aims:

  • Aim 1 to champion evidence-based policy making.
  • Aim 2 to be the consensus builder among the community of practice: bringing people together.
  • Aim 3 to be, and to be seen to be, the respected voice of research evidence. 

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