Cyber Harassment Cases in Pakistan are Increasing at An Alarming Pace

According to the latest report revealed by Digital Rights Foundation (DRF), the cyber harassment cases are increasing at an alarming pace in Pakistan. The helpline has received 11,681 cases in the last five years. Moreover, in 2021 alone the Cyber Harassment Helpline received 4,441 cases with an average of 370 a month.

The report also revealed that during the last five years 68 per cent of the complaints received were by women. Whereas, 30 per cent were received by men and 1 per cent by gender minorities.

Cyber Harassment Cases in Pakistan are Increasing at An Alarming Pace

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It is worth mentioning here that the cyber harassment helpline was launched on December 1, 2016. It is the region’s first dedicated helpline addressing online violence with gender-sensitive, confidential and free services. The toll-free number ‘080039393’ is available from Monday to Sunday, 9 am till 5 pm and extends its services over email and DRF’s social media platforms.

The Executive Director of DRF, Nighat Dad, also highlighted that the cases of cyber harassment are increasing at an alarming pace. There is a need for a wake-up call to take necessary action to make the internet a safe place for everyone.

The report also highlighted that WhatsApp and Facebook are the most frequently mentioned platforms in case of harassment. Moreover, the report also revealed that 893 complaints received on the helpline in the year 2021 were of blackmailing. Among them, 727 cases on the helpline were of the non-consensual use of images.

The report includes a set of recommendations for policymakers and LEAs regarding online violence and its reporting in the country. Moreover, it also recommends decriminalizing online defamation by repealing Section 20 PECA which is regularly used to silence survivors of harassment and assault.

Check Also: Imran Khan agrees to the withdrawal of the controversial ordinance in PECA Law

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Onsa Mustafa

Onsa is a Software Engineer and a tech blogger who focuses on providing the latest information regarding the innovations happening in the IT world. She likes reading, photography, travelling and exploring nature.

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