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Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls

Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls, its causes and consequences

Purpose of the mandate

As violence against women continues to impact the lives of women and girls everywhere, the establishment of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls, its causes and consequences, as the first independent human rights mechanism on the elimination of violence against women, represented an important benchmark within the global women’s rights movement. Not only did it recognize violence against women as a human rights violation, but it also tasked the Special Rapporteur with ensuring that violence against women was integrated into the United Nations human rights framework and its mechanisms.

About the mandate

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights appointed a Special Rapporteur on violence against women, including its causes and consequences, on 4 March 1994 (resolution 1994/45). Since March 2006, the Special Rapporteur reports to the Human Rights Council, as per Human Rights Council’s decision 1/102. The mandate was most recently renewed in 2022 by resolution 50/7.

Read more about the mandate

Current mandate holder

Reem Alsalem

Ms. Reem Alsalem (Jordan) is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls, its causes and consequences, since August 2021. She holds a Masters in International Relations from the American University in Cairo, Egypt (2001) and a Masters in Human Rights Law from the University of Oxford, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (2003). She is an independent consultant on gender issues, the rights of refugees and migrants, transitional justice and humanitarian response.

Read Ms. Alsalem's full biography

Key documents

The EDVAW Platform from 2017 to today

This document provides an overview of the journey toward strengthening cooperation among international and regional mechanisms on women's rights.

25 years in review of the Beijing Platform for Action

This booklet looks at the different contributions to the platform made by the 7 independent expert mechanisms mandated to address discrimination and gender-based violence against women and girls. Together they've creating a unified response to the many challenges that remain for the full enjoyment of women's right to a life free from discrimination and violence.

15 years of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its causes and consequences (1994-2009) - a critical review and stock taking

Contact Information

Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls
8-14 Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneve 10, ​
Fax: + 41 22 917 9006
Email: [email protected]

Special Rapporteur on Twitter: @UNSRVAW

Former special rapporteurs

Ms. Dubravka Šimonović (Croatia)
August 2015-July 2021

Ms. Rashida Manjoo (South Africa)
August 2009-July 2015

Dr. Yakin Ertürk (Turkey)
August 2003-July 2009  

Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy (Sri Lanka)


UNODC High-level Side Event to launch the new statistical framework on gender-related killings,
19 May 2022

31st Session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,
19 May 2022

Violence against women during COVID-19 lockdowns, what can governments do?
June 1, 2020
Watch on YouTube

SRVAW-UN Women side event: ending violence against women in politics
8 Oct 2018
Watch on UN Web TV

View more videos