Item 3: Nordic-Baltic SR VAW

Item 3: Nordic-Baltic Statement on Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women. Statement, 20 June 2018.

As delivered by Finland. 

Check against delivery.

Mr. President,

This statement is held on behalf of the following countries: Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and my own country Finland.

We congratulate the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women for the excellent work done this year and express our full support to the mandate.

One theme where the Special Rapporteur has been a true trailblazer is the emerging and evolving issue of online violence against women. The transformation of our societies in the digital age has brought about a range of opportunities for women and girls worldwide, unimaginable to previous generations.

However, far too often, women and girls encounter violence, harassment and abuse online and are provided far too little support in protecting themselves from these threats by the authorities who lag behind in their own knowledge and understanding of online tools and spaces.  Instead of being keys to liberation, digital tools are used to constrain the freedom of expression of many women and girls who face a torrent of cyber harassment and abuse when they express opinions and challenge existing power structures. The sharing of private sexual content without the consent of the women and girls depicted in the material is used to intimidate and install fear in women and girls worldwide. .

In closing, let me express our deepest respect for the girls and young women from all corners of the globe who defy the threats and abuse and tirelessly strive to take ownership and control of online spaces and tools. As States, it is our responsibility to keep up with the change to be able to support these efforts.

Madam special rapporteur, what are the key recommendations that you would address to States, on their own or in cooperation with other stakeholders, to tackle online violence against women and girls?