Report on violence against women journalists

6 May 2020
Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences
To the Human Rights Council at its 44th session


Over the last decade, gender based violence against women journalists has been increasing and continues to form part of the daily routine of women journalists and media workers, who are subjected to intimidation, threats of rape, threats against family, and sexual harassment in the newsroom and in the field. They also are threatened for the type of stories they cover. While the digital era has created new opportunities for women journalists, it has also provided a platform for new forms of online violence including cyberstalking, defamation campaigns, "doxing", "sextortion" and "trolling", as well as the non-consensual distribution of intimate content (or "revenge porn").

In September 2016, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) unanimously adopted Resolution 33/2 on the safety of journalists. This was succeeded in 2017 by the adoption of UN General Assembly Resolution 72/175, on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity. While the UN has highlighted the rights of journalists through its various mechanisms, there has been limited focus on the specific threats faced by women journalists.


In her report, the Special Rapporteur builds on the existing human rights standards  to offer a more holistic approach to addressing the specific challenges faced by women journalists, as well as their causes. The report also builds on the Special Rapporteur’s previous report to the Human Rights Council in 2018, on online violence against women (A/HRC/38/47). The current report seeks to lay the foundation for States to establish an appropriate human rights framework including through the development of policies or strategies to ensure the protection of women journalists. The Special Rapporteur provides recommendations to States and other stakeholders on how to tackle these issues. 

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Special Rapporteur on violence against women
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