Hassan Latheef: Whistleblower protection should cover sexual harassment

West Henveyru MP Hassan Latheef. (Photo/People's Majlis)

The Whistleblower Protection Bill should cover sexual harassment at the workplace, and not just acts of corruption, says West Henveyru MP Hassan Latheef.

Speaking at the preliminary debate on the Whistleblower Protection Bill this Wednesday, Hassan Latheef argued that sexual harassment should be clearly stated in the legislature as grounds for protection.

“I have heard so such during the one-and-a-half months at this Parliament. The parliamentary committees now have information as to how sexual harassment and sexual misconduct is widespread and considered a norm in so many institutions. I want it clearly stated in this bill that whistleblowing can be done for sexual harassment and sexual misconduct and that such persons will be given protection under this,” he said.

Whistleblower Protection Bill was submitted to the Parliament on behalf of the Maldivian administration by North Galolhu MP Eva Abdulla. The legislature establishes failure to carry out a legal duty, a human rights violation, corruption, environmental protection violation and misuse or abuse of power as grounds for whistleblowing.

The legislature protects whistleblowers from being terminated, relieved of duties, suspended, or harassed and pressured for disclosure of information.

The legislature also awards anonymity to whistleblowers. The name, address, age and family of whistleblowers must be treated as confidential information. And the whistleblower will be under no legal obligation to prove his or her claim.

Stopping or harassing a person for attempting to or blowing the whistle is stated as a criminal offense punishable by 6 months to 5 years in prison in the legislature.