Dublin, 15 February 2022
Transparency International Ireland (TI Ireland) and the Irish Refugee Council have announced today the launch of a joint project titled ‘Speak Up Safely – Support for Vulnerable Workers’.
The project aims to ensure that vulnerable workers - in particular asylum seekers and migrant workers - who want to speak up about unsafe working conditions can do so with the benefit of guidance on their rights and access to free legal advice.
“The situation in Irish meat factories in 2020 highlighted that more needs to be done to support migrant workers in Ireland who may be unfamiliar with their options if they want to report wrongdoing they have witnessed or experienced at work”, said Stephanie Casey, Programme Manager at TI Ireland.
Guidance will be made available in nine languages through TI Ireland’s Speak Up Helpline and its partner the Transparency Legal Advice Centre (TLAC). The initiative is funded by RTÉ does Comic Relief through the Community Foundation of Ireland allowing for the translation of whistleblowing information into Arabic, Polish, Romanian, Brazilian Portuguese, Lithuanian, Bulgarian, Russian, and Mandarin Chinese.
“These resources will provide essential support to some of the most vulnerable people in society. The provision of free advice and support in multiple languages will make it much easier to weigh up the risks of speaking up against staying silent when confronted with wrongdoing at work”, said Nick Henderson, Chief Executive of the Irish Refugee Council.
The new resources, include subtitled Speak Up Safely videos, and a flyer to be dispersed widely with information about the Speak Up Helpline and useful contacts for migrant workers who are concerned about wrongdoing in their workplace.
The project was developed with input from migrant civil society organisations working in Ireland who gave feedback on the materials and advised on how best to reach migrant workers.
Funding has also been set aside to allow for translation and interpretation services that may be needed to support people with limited English who wish to contact the Speak Up Helpline or engage with TLAC.
TI Ireland operates the Speak Up Helpline for whistleblowers, as well as witnesses and victims of fraud, corruption and other wrongdoing. Access to free legal advice for people making disclosures of wrongdoing is available from the Transparency Legal Advice Centre. The free-phone helpline (1800 844 866) is open from 10am to 6pm Monday to Friday.