Intersection of two pandemics: COVID-19 and violence against women
Special Rapporteur on violence against women
To the UN General Assembly at its 75th session
In the present report, the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Dubravka Šimonović, analyses the intersection between the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and the pandemic of gender-based violence against women, with a particular focus on domestic violence, while encouraging the “peace in the home” initiative of the Secretary-General.
On 9 April 2020, the Special Rapporteur issued a call for submissions (English |
Español) on COVID-19 and domestic violence against women, including a questionnaire to States, national human rights institutions, international organizations, civil society, academia and other stakeholders, seeking information on:
- the availability of hotlines, shelters or safe places;
- women’s access to justice and court, and access to protection orders;
- women’s access to health-care services, in particular for reproductive health;
- the available data on the increase in violence against women, particularly domestic violence; and
- examples of good practices in the response to the crisis.
The Special Rapporteur is sincerely grateful for the more than 274 submissions received, which have informed the report. See the full responses in the following page.
Related statements and materials on COVID-19 and women
Special Rapporteur on violence against women (SRVAW)
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
All documents can be found on the
CEDAW Committee webpage
Working Group on Discrimination against Women and Girls (WGDAW)
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict
Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Good Idea seeks to create a space of discussion regarding UNHCR's engagement with the human rights mechanisms and it aims to provide a framework to connect and share good practices from UNHCR Operations, developments regarding human rights standards, and upcoming opportunities to engage. The April edition focuses on COVID-19 and its global impact on the human rights of refugees.
World Health Organisation (WHO)
Platform of independent United Nations and regional expert mechanisms on violence against women and women’s rights (EDVAW Platform)
Committee of Experts of the Follow-up Mechanism to the Belém do Pará Convention (MESECVI)
Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence of the Council of Europe (GREVIO)
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and its Rapporteur on the Rights of Women
African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR) and its Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa
Committee of the Parties to the Council of Europe Convention on Prevention and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention)
Organization for Security & Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE)
Women's Rights Committee of the European Parliament
European Women's Lobby
- Group of 101 NGOs, Statement, 8 April 2020: "Europe: European government must ensure safe and timely access to abortion care during COVID-19 pandemic"
- Women's Link Worldwide, Amnesty International and International Planned Parenthood Federation, 15 April 2020: "Guidelines for Protecting the Rights of Women and Girls during the COVID-19 Pandemic"
- Women's Link Worldwide, Amnesty International and International Planned Parenthood Federation, 4 May 2020: "
Guidelines to African States for Protecting the Rights of Women and Girls during the COVID-19 Pandemic"
- Human Rights Watch, "Human Rights Dimensions of COVID-19 response";
section "Address disproportionate impact on women and girls"
- Center for Reproductive Rights, 14 April 2020, "Louisiana's COVID-19 Ban on Abortion Challenged in Court: Center for Reproductive Rights files lawsuit against Louisiana following State actions attempting to stop abortion care during the pandemic"
- International Partnership for Human Rights, 16 April 2020, "Kazakhstan: NGOs call for improved protection of women at risk of domestic violence during the COVID-19 crisis"
The statement notes that efforts must be made by States to coordinate efforts in this global health crisis, and supports the UN General Assembly resolution entitled Global Solidarity to fight COVID-19. It also encourages all governments, the private sector, civil society, philanthropists and others to join in supporting the emergency response, particularly in the most vulnerable countries, and to give full effect to the global commitment to universal access to health care.