UN Rapporteur: Online Violence Against Women

Call for submissions

Ms. Dubravka Šimonović, The Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, is preparing a report on ways to deal with online attacks on women.

She intends to examine the issues of protection, prosecution and redress for a report to the Human Rights Council. While the use of information and communications technologies has contributed to the empowerment of women and girls and a fuller realization of their human rights, Ms Šimonović has noted the need to examine this phenomenon, and the applicability of national laws to violent online attacks.

She will make recommendations for states and non-state actors on ways to fight online violence against women and girls, while respecting freedom of expression and the prohibition of incitement to violence and hatred, in accordance with article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The Special Rapporteur is looking for information on existing good practices on law regulating violence against women and sexual harassment on-line and will receive submission from states, national human rights institutions, NGO’s, and academia, on the following topics:

  • Existing legislative models, criminal or administrative, on prosecuting and punishing various forms of online violence against women;
  • Existing policies that allow identification, reporting and rectification of incidents of harassment or violence against women via the internet services providers;
  • Existing jurisprudence from international, regional, and national courts, on prosecution or administrative proceedings in such cases.

Submission will be received in English, French and Spanish. and should be sent electronically by 30 September 2017 to vaw@ohchr.org using the title: “Submission on online violence against women”.

Please also indicate if you have any objections to your reply being posted on the OHCHR website. Questions or requirement for clarifications concerning this request can be address to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (vaw@ohchr.org).

The final report is due to be presented to the Human Rights Council in June 2018.