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June 9, 2023 - Comments Off on DRF launched the Cyber Harassment Helpline Annual Report 2022

DRF launched the Cyber Harassment Helpline Annual Report 2022

DRF launched its Cyber Harassment Helpline Annual Report 2022. The Helpline reports over 2500 Cases of Digital Harassment in 2022 and a total of 14,376 cases reported in the last six years.

Click here to read the report:


Online Campaigns:

World Press Freedom Day #WPFD2023

3rd May marks World Press Freedom Day and today we pledge to make our spaces more inclusive, safe and free for journalists and the press. DRF initiated an online campaign to mark the day and held a Twitter space with renowned women journalists to discuss pressing issues that journalists face in this day and age.

This World Press Freedom Day DRF held a Twitter Space with Asma Shirazi, Afia Salam and Mehmal Sarfraz on this year’s theme of #WPFD2023 on Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of Expression as a driver for all other Human Rights.

You can tune into the conversation here:


DRF joined Free Press Unlimited in a #CensorshipAwareness campaign to mark the #WPFD2023 under which a custom font #Erased erases 363 words, one for every imprisoned journalist across the globe. We stand up for journalists & highlight the importance of free press because we can’t read what is never published.

Policy Initiatives:


CSOs from the Asia Pacific are highly alarmed by the newly proposed guidelines by UNESCO on regulating digital platforms. We ask for a review of these guidelines keeping in mind the human rights framework. #PushbackUNESCO

Press Coverage:

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline Annual Report 2022

The Cyber Harassment Helpline Report 2022 has been extensively covered by media outlets in the country.


Express Tribune:

Samaa English:


The News:

Daily Times:

The News editorial:

Tribune editorial:

Tribune editorial 2:

Dawn editorial:

DRF on Dawn News

DRF's Nighat Dad spoke to Dawn News about whether our devices are secure and highlighted if WhatsApp is really secure and what other alternative options are available.

DRF at Geo Pakistan

DRF's Nighat Dad spoke to Geo Pakistan about the need to use social media platforms in a responsible manner.

Appearance on ‘Suno Pakistan’

DRF was invited to Suno News’ morning show ‘Suno Pakistan’ to talk about its Helpline report, digital safety tips and responsible digital citizenship.

The news segment can be accessed here:


Stockholm Internet Forum:

DRF was invited to participate in SIF’23 held in Stockholm, Sweden from 30-31 May. The first panel held on Day 1 was titled ‘Disinformation and everyday surveillance: lessons from locally-led responses to democratic crises, natural disasters, and conflicts’ where DRF highlighted three ways in which disinformation manifests in Pakistan currently, including attacks on women journalists and the transgender community, and how it affects democracy. On Day 2, Nighat Dad spoke on the panel titled ‘Internet shutdowns; Weaponizing of access’, where she underscored the different ways in which an internet shutdown can take place other than just blanket bans, and the massive economic burden of the shutdowns in Pakistan.

Palestine Digital Activism Forum

DRF’s Nighat Dad spoke on the Palestine Digital RigHTS Forum on a fireside talk around how Meta moderates content in Arabic and Hebrew with 7amleh.

Training at Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on cybercrime and redressal pathways

Nighat Dad delivered a training workshop to participants on May 19 from across Pakistan on digital harassment and gender-based violence for first responders. The workshop entailed appraising participants of ways to address cases relating to digital spaces keeping in mind gender-sensivity, consent and data privacy of survivors.

Training with journalists during Workshop on ‘The International Human Rights System and its Uses for the Safety of Journalists in Pakistan’

Organised by OHCHR, PCHR and PFUJ, DRF delivered a session on online challenges faced by journalists in Pakistan on May 19 in Lahore. The workshop focused on digital safety and disinformation as major reasons digital insecurity of journalists and media practitioners in Pakistan.

GNMI Consultation on GBV Literature

Zainab Durrani and Zoya Dawar from the Digital Rights Foundation attended a multi-stakeholder consultation conducted by the Global Neighbourhood for Media Innovation (GNMI) on Thursday the 25th of May, 2023. The consultation included members of the civil society, NGO representatives, journalists and human rights activists who were gathered by GNMI to offer feedback and validation to the 3 recent publications that have been published by them under their Gen-J (Gender Justice) project.

The literature was well-researched and put together as a tool for journalists and GBV survivors both, and included reporting and referral mechanisms and a directory of relevant laws. Ms. Durrani commented on the need for focusing on tech-facilitated GBV (TFGBV) in digital spaces and calling for platform accountability, as a core avenue for advocacy, to strengthen the much-needed work GNMI is doing around GBV in Pakistan.

Ms. Dawar shared how streamlining issues faced by a survivor can be streamlined by introducing a collective which keeps a survivor updated with the tools and practices that they can facilitate the process of receiving justice. It was also discussed how DRF facilitates this through their helpline for cyber harassment cases. Contact information and the number of the helpline was shared with different shelter homes, journalists and NGOs which were present at the meeting.


DRF participated in the Digital Rights Asia-Pacific Assembly (DRAPAC) organized by EngageMedia and held in Chiang Mai, Thailand from 22-26 May. Four sessions were hosted by the DRF team during the intensive week, including ‘Investigating VPN censorship with Open Data: landscape survey and research questions’, ‘Technology exacerbated new forms of online gender-based violence (OGBV)’, ‘Decolonizing Data for Data Justice’, ‘Defaming criticism: the use of defamation laws to silence voices’. The DRF team members were also asked to speak on two other panels: ‘Building Momentum on Digital Rights’ and ‘Internet Shutdown: Risks, Needs and Challenges’. The week was full of insightful conversations, and eye-opening learnings with the opportunity to connect with peers working in digital rights spaces from the Asia Pacific region.

Peace Connects Consultation on Youth-Centred Digital Peacebuilding in South and Southeast Asia


DRF participated in Peace Connects Consultation arranged by UNDP in Bangkok. Amongst the multiple sessions conducted during this 2-day consultation - DRF representative, Ms. Irum Shujah spoke about the digital harms in the context of Pakistan and DRF’s role in actively engaging with those online ills.

The session brought together individuals from various backgrounds and explored ways to employ comprehensive analytical frameworks to tackle digital harm effectively. The key takeaway from the session was starting the dialogue about the need to identify a "hateful environment" on the internet and the much-required sensitization of everyday internet users. The panel discussion also shed light on the fundamental imbalance of accountability within the tech industry.

Justice Project Pakistan organized a Consultative dialogue with UN OHCHR's Ms. Christine Chung

On 17 May 2023, DRF’s Shafia and Aqsa joined a consultative dialogue arranged by Justice Project Pakistan in Lahore titled “Consultative dialogue with UN OHCHR's Ms. Christine Chung” which included a panel consisting of lawyers, human rights activists, and stakeholders from the civil society. This consultation was held in light of the upcoming pre-session of Pakistan's review by the Human Rights Committee, as well as the ongoing international accreditation process of the National Commission for Human Rights under the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions, and the role of civil society in these matters. During this consultation, issues encountered by NGOs during the registration procedure, and challenges pertaining to human rights enforcement were discussed. The objective was to collaboratively devise a plan to address these challenges effectively.

ICRC and RSIL Diplomacy Law and Policy Roundtable on Cyber Security and Law

On May 17th 2023, DRF’s Senior Research Associate, Noor Waheed, was invited to a roundtable discussion on Cyber Security and the Law hosted by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Research Society of International Law (RSIL) in Islamabad as part of their Diplomacy, Law and Policy (DLP) initiative. The roundtable featured experts in the field of technology, policy,  human rights, security and international law that weighed in on the applicability of international humanitarian law on cyber-warfare and the effectiveness of Pakistan’s cyber-security legal and infrastructural framework.

Online Awareness Session in collaboration with Forman Christian College University (FCCU) on laws dealing with domestic violence in Pakistan

DRF participated in a session on domestic violence in Pakistan arranged by FCCU society in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Ms. Aqsa Javed and Ms. Shafia Imran Lati spoke to FCCU students and the female participants from a local village on the Punjab Protection of Women against Violence Act, 2016, and the relevant provisions of the Pakistan Penal Code. The speakers elaborated upon the relevant procedure and the basics of domestic violence. The overall session revolved around the discussion on how to change the behaviour of individuals toward domestic violence. Ms. Shafia and Aqsa also addressed the queries raised by women related to their cases and their personal circumstances.

DRF Updates:

Cyber Harassment Helpline

The Cyber Harassment Helpline received 182 complaints in April, with most cases being around financial fraud. 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.

DRF NCHR Complaint Cell for Journalists

DRF and NCHR are operating a Complaint Cell to support journalists that have been the target of human rights abuses. The contact information for the Journalist Complaint Cell is available on the NCHR website at

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.



Published by: Digital Rights Foundation in Newsletter

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