Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences

Purpose of the mandate

As violence against women continues to destroy the lives of women and girls everywhere, the establishment of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and its 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 2019 by resolution 41/17. Read more about the mandate.  

Current mandate holder

Dubravka Šimonović, Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its causes and consequences © OHCHRMs. Dubravka Šimonovic (Croatia) is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, since June 2015. She holds a PhD in family law from the University of Zagreb. From 2002 to 2014, she served on the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in various capacities, including as Chairperson and follow-up Rapporteur. Read Ms. Šimonovic'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.
PDF: English

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.
PDF: English

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

Latest thematic reports

Violence against women journalists:  In this 2020 report to the 44th session of the Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur builds on existing human rights standards to offer a more holistic approach to addressing challenges faced by women journalists, and provides recommendations to States and other stakeholders on how to tackle these issues. View report page | View document A/HRC/44/52

COVID-19 and the increase of domestic violence against women:  This 2020 report to the General Assembly's 75th session looks at the intersection between two pandemics—gender-based violence against women and the coronavirus. The Special Rapporteur focuses on domestic violence and the “peace in the home” initiative. View report page | View document A/75/144

Twenty-five years of the mandate: The Special Rapporteur analyses the evolution of the mandate, current challenges and the way forward in this 2019 report presented at the Human Rights Council's 41st session. View report page | View document A/HRC/41/42

Mistreatment and violence against women in reproductive health services: This 2019 report to the General Assembly's 74th session is the first human rights report by a special procedure dedicated to violence and mistreatment experienced by women in the context of facility-based childbirth. View report page | View document A/74/137

Latest country reports

Mission to Bulgaria (14 to 21 October 2019)
View document A/HRC/44/52/Add.1

Mission to Ecuador (29 November to 9 December 2019)
View document A/HRC/44/52/Add.2

Latest news:

More press releases and statements

Archived news
(over 3 years old)

Calls for input

Report on femicide
(Français | Español)
Deadline: 30 April 2021

Femicide Watch 2020 (Français | Español)
Closed: submissions available online

Rape as a grave and systematic human rights violation and a form of gender-based violence against women
Closed: submissions available online


Leading human rights experts call for overdue implementation of the UN Bangkok Rules a decade after they were adopted, 10 December 2020

Statement on online violence against women and girls, 2020

Statement to the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, New York, 9 October 2020

Statement to the high-level meeting on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women, 1 October 2020

Joint statement on Covid-19 and the increase in violence and discrimination against women, 14 July 2020

View more activities


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

Former Special Rapporteurs

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

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

Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy (Sri Lanka)