Call for submission on online violence against women

In her vision-setting report to the Human Rights Council last year (A/HRC/32/42), the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Ms. Dubravka Šimonović decided to address in her thematic work new challenges brought by online violence against women to prevention, protection, prosecution and redress for such acts. She noted that while the use of information and communications technology has contributed to the empowerment of women and girls and to a fuller realization of their human rights. She also indicated that there was a need to examine this recent phenomenon, and the applicability of national laws to it, and to make recommendations for States and non-State actors 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 seeks to collect existing good practices on law regulating violence against women and sexual harassment on-line. In order to inform her work on the topic, which will culminate in the presentation of a report to the Human Rights Council in June 2018, the Special Rapporteur wishes to secure from different stakeholders, including States, National Human Rights Institutions, Non-governmental organizations, as well as members of academia, input and views 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;E
  • Existing jurisprudence from international, regional, and national courts, on prosecution or administrative proceedings in such cases.

N.B. Please note that the working languages of the Secretariat are English, French and Spanish. You are therefore kindly requested to provide your submissions in one of these languages.

All submissions should be sent electronically by 2 November 2017 to using the title: “Submission on online violence against women”. Please also indicate if you have any objections with regard 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 (