Intersection of two pandemics: COVID-19 and  violence against women

24 July 2020
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 | Français | Pусский | 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)

UN System

UN Secretary-General

UN Women

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

Bi-monthly newsletter 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

Inter-Parliamentary Union

Non-Governmental Organisations


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.

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