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April 17, 2024 - Comments Off on March 2024 Newsletter: Digital Rights Foundation attends the 3rd Summit for Democracy in Seoul, South Korea

March 2024 Newsletter: Digital Rights Foundation attends the 3rd Summit for Democracy in Seoul, South Korea

Digital Rights Foundation participated in Seoul for the 3rd Summit For Democracy  to bring Pakistan's perspective from the recent elections. The primary focus was on fostering democracy for future generations. Around 300 delegates including government officials, representatives from international organizations, academia, and civil society, gathered in Korea to discuss policy enhancements and strategic pathways to shape a better future for future generations.

In S4D3’s session 'Upholding Information Integrity Online to Reinforce Democracy and Human Rights' in Seoul, DRF's Senior Project Manager Hyra Basit, spoke about how Pakistan's 2024 General Elections highlighted the dark side of online discourse. DRF’s social media monitoring and intensive research during the election period were also highlighted. 


Policy Initiatives: 

International Women’s Day 2024

DRF’s team shared heartfelt stories about the remarkable women who have inspired them in celebration of International Women's Day 2024


In celebration of International Women’s Day, Privacy International sparked a meaningful dialogue that resonated deeply with us. They highlighted the remarkable women who are leading the charge in safeguarding privacy rights and fostering a more just world.

As part of this conversation, they asked the DRF team to share our reflections on the significance of privacy for women. It was an opportunity for us to explore and celebrate the unique perspectives and contributions of women in this vital field. Our comments are below: 

Maya Ki Kahani | 16 Days of Activism

DRF launched an animated video telling the story of Maya. Maya is a trans woman who works in a department store to make a living. Maya is constantly harassed at work because customers take her photos and videos without her consent. Maya's images are then used to mock her online and spread around the internet. Why is Maya being ridiculed online for simply doing her job? Is Maya being attacked online because of her identity? Does the law protect Maya from this type of abuse?


You can watch the entire video here:


In the video, we aimed to educate the audience about important sections of the Prevention of Electronics Crimes Act (PECA) 2016 relating to Section 24 on taking pictures and videos without the consent of a natural person. The video also had information about section 20 of PECA around the dignity of a natural person and sharing content on social media containing false information and violating the privacy of a user.


DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline Guide

Have you or someone you know experienced any of the following?


  • Your personal or private picture was uploaded online without your consent
  • Your face was edited onto an inappropriate image
  • Your information, such as your picture, phone number, or home address, was shared online to harass you
  • A fake profile was created using your identity
  • Your Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp account was hacked


If your answer is yes, and you're in need of assistance, please contact the Cyber Harassment Helpline at 0800-39393, and find out how we can help you.


DRF’s WhatsApp Disinformation Tipline

During election days, memes, videos, posts, and messages circulate widely on social media. Mithu is conducting research and he needs your help. If you come across any content spreading false or misleading information, especially regarding female or transgender politicians, please share it with Mithu via WhatsApp.


To send a message, click on the WhatsApp button on our Instagram and Facebook profiles or go to this link:

Alternatively, you can directly send a WhatsApp message to this number: 

0301 3249539


How to use ‘Ab Aur Nahin’

We launched a tutorial on how to use ‘Ab Aur Nahin’, DRF’s confidential legal and counselor support service specifically designed for survivors of harassment. You can easily access legal counsel and support tailored to your area through this user-friendly platform. 

Click, connect, and take charge of your rights today. You are not alone, and you do not need to fight alone!


You can access the website here:


Press Coverage: 

Nighat Dad on X shutdown on Geo News

DRF’s Executive Director Nighat Dad spoke with Geo News about the X shutdown in Pakistan. Nighat emphasized the importance of transparency in these actions, in accordance with international standards. And our local laws should address online disinformation and defamation without jeopardizing free speech. She went on to say that we need to work on improving existing laws as well as addressing the misuse of Generative AI right away.


Watch the entire interview here:


A session with Suno FM Radio 89.4-96 ( Aao Bat Krain ) 

Anmol Sajjad delivered a virtual session on online harassment on 6th March 2024, with Suno FM Radio 89.4-96 with Bushra Iqbal. The session focused on online harassment in the digital era, and I also covered its legal aspects. It was focused on online harassment, its common forms, and its impact on physiological and social life. The prevention of online harassment and digital security was also discussed during the session. 


Watch the entire interview here:


Nighat Dad speaks about the Resolution to Ban Social Media | Bol News

DRF's Executive Director, Nighat Dad spoke with Bol TV about the resolution in the Senate to ban social media in Pakistan. She expressed her frustration with this way of thinking and how these actions damage Pakistan's image on the international stage. She went on to say that a blanket ban on social media or even internet shutdowns will not stop online disinformation; instead, we must identify the root of the problem and address it structurally, as well as reform our society's thinking that allows people to cause harm through online platforms.


Watch the entire interview here:


DRF in Press


Independent Urdu پاکستان میں سوشل میڈیا پر پابندی کی قرارداد ’آئین کا مذاق‘
Dawn Amid X outage, ban sought on all social media
Deccan Herald Pakistan Senate to take up resolution seeking permanent ban on social media sites
Pi News Senator calls for total ban on social media sites in Pakistan
The Nation Digital Regression
DND Civil Society voices concern on continued internet shutdowns & social media platform blocking in Pakistan
Arab News 28 civil society organizations demand immediate restoration of X in Pakistan
Context Pakistan's WhatsApp death sentence case spotlights blasphemy law
Index on Censorship The journalists being threatened with artificial intelligence
Asia Network News X already banned when new government took over: Pakistan’s Information Minister
Cryptopolitan Is AI Cyber Harassment Endangering Press Freedom in Pakistan?
Soch Fact Check Ataullah Tarar falsely claims X is not blocked in Pakistan
Geo News Meta asked to end blanket ban of word 'shaheed'
Global Village Space Meta's oversight board advises to lift ban on the word shaheed
Pakistan Today Meta’s content moderation board advises company to loosen restrictions on word ‘shaheed’
Al Jazeera Meta’s oversight board urges Facebook, Instagram to lift ban on ‘shaheed’



Synthetic Elections: are we prepared for generative AI in 2024? 

Organized by Demos and the UCL Digital Speech Lab, the event provided valuable perspectives on safeguarding democratic integrity amidst technological advancements. Nighat Dad shared her insights on navigating Generative AI in election cycles. The discussion centered around the impact of Generative AI, which has rapidly become a global concern. Policymakers, industry leaders, and the public convened to address the challenges posed by its exponential growth. Notable examples, such as AI-generated political audio and chatbot misinformation during elections, highlighted the urgency of the issue. She cautioned against overreacting to AI developments, emphasizing the need for balanced responses. 


Watch the entire discussion here:


Nighat Dad on a panel at HRC55 of UNHRC 

At #HRC55 of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Nighat Dad spoke on a panel ‘A Guiding Compass for the Global Digital Compact’ and she highlighted how human rights should be addressed in the framework of the Global Digital Compact. The Global Digital Compact is an initiative proposed in the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres's Common Agenda. 


Read more here:


South and Southeast Asia Regional Stakeholders Forum on Cyber Sexual and Gender-Based Violence 

DRF also participated in the conference held by the Caught in the Web entitled ‘South and Southeast Asia Regional Stakeholders Forum on Cyber Sexual and Gender-Based Violence’ held in Colombo, Sri Lanka. During this, DRF’s Legal Manager, Irum Shujah, spoke in an “ Understanding the Perspective and Prospects of the Legal Sector” session and provided a Pakistani perspective to the participants. Overall Focus during the sessions was on sharing experiences, tools, lessons learned, and challenges of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) engaged in addressing Cyber Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (CSGBV) and Online Gender-Based Harassment (OGHS) in South Asian countries, with a focus on discussing and disseminating these insights to facilitate learning and integration within their respective countries and across the region.


DRF at Global Partnership for Action on Gender-Based Online Harassment and Abuse’s Conference in Kenya


DRF also participated in the conference held by the Global Partnership entitled ‘Preventing and disrupting the spread of gendered disinformation in the context of electoral processes and democratic rollback’ held in Nairobi, Kenya. DRF’s participation provided the perspective on gendered disinformation used to target vulnerable identities including journalists, and the use of AI, the abuse of which was heightened during the recent elections, and what DRF is doing to counter such threats to safe online spaces and democratic processes. 


Legal Clinic (Live on Instagram)

DRF conducted a live legal clinic on Instagram, creating an interactive space for public engagement. Both the Legal team and Helpline team participated and addressed the queries shared by the audience through comments. The clinic primarily focused on the nature of cases received by the Helpline Team at DRF and the subsequent process of DRF’s legal team processing these cases. The live clinic catered to questions asked by the audience, ranging from ideas about handling evidence to a discussion about the form of online harassment faced by the public at large.


Digital Literacy sessions in schools

This month DRF held four schools in Lahore with their Digital Citizens program. 735 students (females and males) and 44 teachers were informed about ways of staying safe in online spaces and reporting mechanisms in case of harassment or bullying. The participants were given gift bags with online safety resources and stationary.


A Session with Inspiring Women Pakistan 

DRF delivered a virtual session on 31st March 2024. The session focused on online harassment in the digital era, and we covered its legal aspects as well. There were a total of 30 participants in the session; 15 girls were from Pakistan, and 15 were from South America. We focused on online harassment, its common forms, and its impact on physiological and social life. The prevention of online harassment and digital security was also discussed during the session. 


A workshop on Perpetrator Data and Evaluating OGBV Tools

DRF attended an online session organized by the World Wide Web, focusing on Perpetrator Data and Evaluating OGBV Tools. The workshop centered on assessing the effectiveness of the emerging research roadmap in real-world scenarios and gathering feedback for refinement. 


International Conference on Transformative Potential of Generative Artificial Intelligence, Law and Legal Education

Minahil Farooq from DRF’s Legal team participated in a two-day International Conference on the Transformative Potential of Generative Artificial Intelligence, organized by the University of Central Punjab. The sessions delve into valuable insights at the intersection of Artificial Intelligence and Legal education. The conference's objective was to explore strategies for integrating AI into legal education, providing a comprehensive understanding of its transformative potential. 


Webinar on Navigating Gender Rights in the Judiciary in the Era of Artificial Intelligence
On 14 March 2024, DRF attended a webinar titled “Breaking Barriers: Navigating Gender Rights in the Judiciary in the Era of Artificial Intelligence” organized by National Law University Delhi, co hosted it with UNESCO and Lawyer's Hub on Artificial Intelligence in the Judiciary. In light of the rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI), this webinar included a panel discussion consisting of a retired senior judge, a policy analyst, and stakeholders from civil society. The webinar started with a discussion on the scope of AI, its role, and its implications within judicial systems. The discussion led to the European Ethical Charter for AI, highlighting its five core principles emphasizing respect for fundamental rights, non-discrimination, quality and security, transparency, impartiality, fairness, and user control. Insight was also provided about the inherent risks of AI-generated outcomes, particularly considering the situations when algorithms do not have adequate training, potentially leading to severe human rights violations. During the webinar, recommendations were also outlined, stressing the recognition of human biases in AI tools, understanding tool development purposes, maintaining system testing and feedback mechanisms, and promotion of awareness through training. 


DRF Updates: 

Cyber Harassment Helpline 

The Cyber Harassment Helpline received 317 complaints in total in March 2024. 50 of these complaints were about NCUI, or Non Consensual Use of Information, which may include images, name, phone number etc. Our helpline prioritizes helping women and transgender individuals. 


If you’re encountering a problem online, you can reach out to our helpline at 0800-39393, email us at [email protected] or reach out to us on our social media accounts. We’re available for assistance from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Sunday.

IWF Portal

DRF in collaboration with Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and the Global Fund to End Violence Against Children launched a portal to combat children’s online safety in Pakistan. The new portal allows internet users in Pakistan to anonymously report child sexual abuse material in three different languages- English, Urdu, and Pashto.

Meta along with Revenge Porn Helpline (RPH) has launched a portal to support victims of Non-Consensual Intimate Image Abuse (NCII). NCII is a free portal for reporting cases of sensitive or sexual content existing online. Once you report a case, the necessary steps will be taken to block the images from the platform.

April 5, 2024 - Comments Off on ڈیجیٹل رائٹس فاؤنڈیشن کی ہیلپ لائن پاکستان میں 2023 میں ٹیکنالوجی کی مدد سے جنسی بنیاد پر موجودہ واقعات (ٹی ایف جی بی وی) میں اضافہ دیکھ رہی ہے، تقریباً 2500 تک پہنچ گیا۔     

ڈیجیٹل رائٹس فاؤنڈیشن کی ہیلپ لائن پاکستان میں 2023 میں ٹیکنالوجی کی مدد سے جنسی بنیاد پر موجودہ واقعات (ٹی ایف جی بی وی) میں اضافہ دیکھ رہی ہے، تقریباً 2500 تک پہنچ گیا۔     

5 اپریل 2024

ڈیجیٹل رائٹس فاؤنڈیشن نے 2023 کے لیے اپنی ساتویں سالانہ سائبر ہراسمنٹ ہیلپ لائن رپورٹ جاری کی ہے۔ ہیلپ لائن نے دسمبر 2016 میں اپنے آغاز کے بعد سے آپریشن کے سات سال مکمل کیے ہیں اور اسے پاکستان بھر سے کل 16,849 شکایات موصول ہوئی ہیں۔ . صرف 2023 میں ہیلپ لائن پر کل 2473 نئی شکایات موصول ہوئیں جن میں ہر ماہ اوسطاً 206 نئی شکایات موصول ہوئیں اور فروری 2023 میں سال میں سب سے زیادہ شکایات موصول ہوئیں۔

ہیلپ لائن رپورٹ پیر سے اتوار، صبح 9 بجے سے شام 5 بجے تک ٹول فری نمبر، ای میل اور سوشل میڈیا پلیٹ فارمز کے ذریعے موصول ہونے والی شکایات کے اعداد و شمار کا مجموعہ ہے۔ یہ رپورٹ کیس اسٹڈیز ، ہیلپ لائن کال کرنے والوں کے تاثرات اور پالیسی سازوں اور قانون نافذ کرنے والے اداروں کے لیے سفارشات پر مشتمل ہے۔

سائبر ہراسمنٹ ہیلپ لائن خطے کی پہلی مخصوص ہیلپ لائن ہے جو ٹیکنالوجی کی مدد سے صنفی بنیاد پرآن لا ئن تشدد سے نمٹنے کے لیے  صنفی حساسایت کے ساتھ رازدارانہ اور مفت خدمات فراہم کرتا ہے۔ یہ قانونی مشورہ، ڈیجیٹل مدد، اور بنیادی نفسیاتی مدد فراہم کرتا ہے اور ایک مناسب ریفرل میکانزم پیش کرتا ہے۔ ہفتے کے آخر میں درخواستوں کی بڑھتی ہوئی تعداد کو پورا کرنے کے لیے ہیلپ لائن ہفتے میں 7 دن کام کرتی ہے۔

ڈیجیٹل رائٹس فاؤنڈیشن کی ایگزیکٹو ڈائریکٹر نگہت داد نے نوٹ کیا، "سال 2023 میں خواتین اور پسماندہ گروہوں کے خلاف ٹیکنالوجی کی مدد سے صنفی بنیاد پر‎ آن لائن تشدد سے متعلق شکایات میں نمایاں اضافہ ہوا ہے۔ تشدد کے یہ واقعات ان گروہوں کے لیے ممکنہ آف لائن تشدد میں اضافے کا باعث بھی بن رہے ہیں۔ ایک اور تشویشناک چیز جو ہم نے انتخابات کے قریب ہیلپ لائن کے ذریعے نوٹ کی وہ عوامی حلقوں میں خواتین کے خلاف اور خاص طور پر خواتین صحافیوں کے خلاف آن لائن تشدد کو بڑھاوا دینے کے لیے اے آئی (AI) جنریٹیو مواد کا استعمال تھی۔ یہ بڑھتی ہوئی تعداد تشویشناک ہے ۔اور یہ تعداد ظاہر کرتی ہے کہ کس طرح آن لائن جگہوں پر خواتین اور پسماندہ گروہوں کو شناخت کی بنیاد پرنشانہ بنایا جا رہا ہے۔ ملک کے اندر ریاستی اداروں کی مکمل حمایت کے ساتھ ٹیکنالوجی کی مدد سے صنفی بنیاد پر ‎ئن تشدد کا سامنا کرنے والے پسماندگان کے فوری ازالے اور تحفظ کی ضرورت ہے۔"

2023 میں خواتین آن لائن ہراسانی کا سب سے زیادہ شکار ہوئیں جو کہ ہیلپ لائن پرموصول ہونے والی 58.5 فیصد شکایت کنندگان ہیں۔ ہیلپ لائن نے یہ بھی نوٹ کیا کہ پچھلے سال کی طرح اس سال بھی ٹرانس جینڈر کمیونٹی کو ایک منظم آن لائن نفرت انگیز مہم کا نشانہ بنایا گیا اور یہ شکایات موصول ہونے والی شکایات کا تقریباً 1.6 فیصد ہیں۔ پچھلے سال کے اسی طرح کے حملوں کے نتائج کے باوجود سوشل میڈیا پلیٹ فارمز کے ردعمل اور اقدامات ایک جیسے رہے ہیں۔  ہیلپ لائن کی مینیجر، حرا باسط نے کہا کہ، "ا س سال، ہم نے دیکھا ہے کہ کس طرح ٹیکنالوجی کی مدد سے صنفی بنیاد پرآن لا‎ئن تشدد، غیر منظم ایپس کے ذریعے خواتین کی پرائیویسی کی خلاف ورزیوں کی بڑھتی ہوئی شکایات کے ساتھ ، اور غیر متفقہ مباشرت تصاویر بنانے کے لیے جدید ایڈیٹنگ اور جنریٹیواے آئی کے استعمال کے ساتھ، پچھلے برسوں کے مقابلے میں ذیادہ ہوا ہے۔"

رپورٹ میں مذید بتایا گیا ہے کہ 2023 میں سب سے زیادہ شکایات پنجاب (1724) سے موصول ہوئیں، اس کے بعد سندھ (261) اور کے پی (112) ہیں۔ ڈیٹا کی یہ جغرافیائی تقسیم قانون نافذ کرنے والے اداروں اور دیگر وسائل کی رسائی کی نقشہ سازی میں مدد کرے گی۔ ایف آئی اے، جو کہ پریوینشن الیکٹرانک کرائمز ایکٹ (PECA) کے تحت قانون نافذ کرنے والا نامزد ادارہ ہے، اس کے صرف 15 شہروں میں سائبر کرائم ونگز ہیں۔ جبکہ رپورٹیں ان کی ہیلپ لائن اور آن لائن شکایت فارم کے ذریعے جمع کرائی جا سکتی ہیں، متعدد شکایت کنندگان کے تاثرات سے پتہ چلتا ہے کہ یہ طریقے ناقابل اعتبار ہیں اور شکایت جمع کرانے کا سب سے موثر طریقہ ذاتی شکایات کے ذریعے ہے۔ مزید برآں، ہیلپ لائن کو کبھی کبھار پاکستان سے باہر کے لوگوں سے شکایات موصول ہوتی ہیں جن کی تعداد 2023 میں 58 تھی، اور یہ پاکستانی اور غیر پاکستانی شہریوں پر مشتمل ہے، جہاں

ایف آئی اے کے پاس مقدمہ درج کرنے کے لیے ملک کے اندر موجودگی یا نمائندگی کی کمی ایک مسئلہ ہو سکتی ہے۔

اس کےعلاوہ رپورٹ میں پالیسی سازوں اورقانون نافذ کرنے والے اداروں کے لیے ملک میں آن لائن ہراساں کیے جانے کے معاملات سے متعلق سفارشات کا ایک مجموعہ بھی شامل ہے۔  یہ رپورٹ پالیسی سازوں کے لیے تجویز کرتی ہے کہ سکولی نصاب میں ڈیجیٹل خواندگی اور آن لائن حفاظت کو ضم کرنے کے لیے سکولوں اور تعلیمی اداروں میں صنفی حساسیت کی ورکشاپس کا انعقاد کیا جائے۔ اس کے علاوہ خواتین کے لیے انٹرنیٹ اور ڈیوائس تک رسائی کی راہ میں حائل رکاوٹوں کو دور کرکے ڈیجیٹل صنفی تقسیم کو دور کرنے، قانون سازی کے لیے صنف سے متعلق سول سوسائٹی کی تنظیموں کے ساتھ تعاون کی سفارش کرتا ہے۔  ڈیجیٹل پرائیویسی اور تحفظ سے متعلق انسانی حقوق کے مطابق قانون سازی، اور ڈیجیٹل حقوق اور صنفی مساوات پر کام کرنے والی سول سوسائٹی کی تنظیموں کی مدد کرنا۔ قانون نافذ کرنے والے اداروں کے لیے سفارشات میں وسائل کی تقسیم میں اضافہ، غیر ملکی دائرہ اختیار میں مقدمات سے نمٹنے کے لیے طریقہ کار کا قیام، آن لائن شکایتی پورٹلز کی فعالیت کو بڑھانا، پولیس کے ساتھ ہم آہنگی کے لیے پروٹوکول تیار کرنا، سائبر ہراساں کیے جانے کے کیسز پر صنفی طور پر الگ الگ ڈیٹا اکٹھا کرنا، سائبر ہراسمنٹ کے لیے مخصوص ڈیسک کا قیام شامل ہیں۔ سائبر کرائم ونگز، برانچوں کے درمیان ہم آہنگی کو بہتر بنانا، متاثرین کے لیے نفسیاتی خدمات فراہم کرنا، کیس مینجمنٹ اور ٹریکنگ سسٹم کا نفاذ، تکنیکی مہارت کو بڑھانا، اور سائبر کرائم قانون، انٹرنیٹ گورننس، اور آن لائن ہراساں کرنے کے بارے میں ججوں کو تربیت فراہم کرنا تاکہ متعلقہ کیسوں کا مؤثر طریقے سے فیصلہ کرنے کی صلاحیت کو بہتر بنایا جا سکے۔

یجیٹل رائٹس فاؤنڈیشن پاکستان میں ایک رجسٹرڈ تحقیق پر مبنی این جی او ہے۔ 2012 میں قائم کیا گیا، ڈی آر ایف انسانی حقوق، جامعیت، جمہوری عمل، اور ڈیجیٹل گورننس کی حمایت کے لیے ICT پر توجہ مرکوز کرتا ہے۔ ڈی آر ایف آن لائن آزادانہ رائے دہی، رازداری، ڈیٹا کے تحفظ اور خواتین کے خلاف آن لائن تشدد کے مسائل پر کام کرتا ہے۔






For more information log on:







Nighat Dad

[email protected]

Hyra Basit

[email protected]


For press/media inquiries: [email protected]






April 5, 2024 - Comments Off on Digital Rights Foundation’s Helpline Records Surge in cases of Technology-Facilitated Gender-Based Violence (TFGBV) in Pakistan reaching nearly 2500 in 2023

Digital Rights Foundation’s Helpline Records Surge in cases of Technology-Facilitated Gender-Based Violence (TFGBV) in Pakistan reaching nearly 2500 in 2023

April 5, 2023: The Digital Rights Foundation (DRF) has released its seventh annual Cyber Harassment Helpline Report for 2023. The Helpline has completed seven years of operations since its launch in December 2016 and has received a total number of 16,849 complaints from across Pakistan. In 2023 alone a total of 2473 new complaints were received on the helpline with an average number of 206 new complaints received each month and February 2023 having the most complaints in the year.


The helpline report is a compilation of the data from complaints received by the Helpline through its toll-free number (0800-39393), email and DRF’s social media platforms from Monday to Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm. The report also contains case studies and feedback from Helpline callers and recommendations for policymakers and law enforcement agencies (LEAs).


The Cyber Harassment Helpline is the region's first dedicated helpline addressing tech-facilitated gender-based violence (TFGBV) with gender-sensitive, confidential and free services. It provides legal advice, digital assistance, and basic psychological assistance and offers a proper referral mechanism. The helpline operates 7 days a week to cater to a growing number of requests over the weekend.  Nighat Dad, Executive Director of DRF, noted, “There’s been a significant rise of complaints relating to technology-facilitated gender-based violence (TFGBV) against women and marginalized groups in the year 2023. These instances of violence are also leading to a rise in potential offline violence for these groups. Another alarming thing that we noted through the helpline near the elections was the use of generative AI content being used to exacerbate violence against women in the public sphere, particularly women journalists. These growing numbers are alarming and grow to show how online spaces are perpetuating identity-based attacks on women and marginalized groups. There is a need for urgent redressal and protection for survivors facing TFGBV with holistic support from state institutions within the country.”


In 2023 Women were the highest reported victims of online harassment constituting 58.5% of complainants. The Helpline also noted that like the previous year this year the transgender community was subjected to an orchestrated online hate campaign and these complaints made up to approximately 1.6% .. Despite last year’s findings of similar attacks, responses and actions taken by social media platforms have been the same. Hyra Basit, the helpline manager stated, ‘This year, we have seen how the manifestation of TFGBV has evolved over years, with rising complaints of incredible privacy violations of women via unregulated apps, and the use of modern editing and generative AI to produce non-consensual intimate images (NCII)'


Moreover, the report highlights that the highest number of complaints received in 2023 were from Punjab (1724), followed by Sindh (261) and KP (112). This geographical breakdown of data will help in mapping the accessibility of law enforcement agencies and other remedial resources. The FIA, which is the designated law enforcement agency under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA), has cybercrime wings in only 15 cities. While reports can be submitted through their helpline and online complaint form, feedback from multiple complainants shows that these methods are unreliable and the most efficient way to submit a complaint is through in-person complaints. Furthermore, the Helpline occasionally receives complaints from people outside Pakistan which was 58 in 2023, and comprised Pakistani and non-Pakistani citizens, where the lack of physical presence or representation within the country to file a case with the FIA can be a challenge.


Additionally, the report also includes a set of recommendations for policymakers and LEAs regarding online harassment cases in the country. For policymakers, it recommends collaboration with gender-specific civil society organizations for conducting gender sensitization workshops in schools and education institutions, integrating digital literacy and safety into school curriculums, addressing the digital gender divide by removing barriers to internet and device access for women, enacting human rights-compliant legislation on digital privacy and protection, and supporting civil society organizations working on digital rights and gender equality. Recommendations for law enforcement include increasing resource allocation, establishing mechanisms for handling cases in foreign jurisdictions, enhancing the functionality of online complaint portals, developing protocols for coordination with police, collecting gender-disaggregated data on cyber harassment cases, establishing dedicated desks for cyber harassment within cybercrime wings, improving coordination between branches, providing psychological services for victims, implementing a case management and tracking system, enhancing technical expertise, and providing training for judges on cybercrime law, internet governance, and online harassment to improve their ability to adjudicate related cases effectively.

Digital Rights Foundation is a registered research-based NGO in Pakistan. Founded in 2012, DRF focuses on ICTs to support human rights, inclusiveness, democratic processes, and digital governance. DRF works on issues of online free speech, privacy, data protection and online violence against women.


For more information log on:







Nighat Dad

[email protected]

Hyra Basit

[email protected]


For press/media inquiries: [email protected]