Bosnia and Herzegovina
A desk review of BH TELECOM’s policies (Bosnia and Herzegovina) by the country research team revealed that all registered users have the ‘privilege’ of their phone numbers and street addresses being entered into the company’s public phone directory. As a result, perpetrators have easy access to not only their target’s phone numbers, but also an exact location of where they live.
The armed conflict that has torn the country for more than five decades has made women more vulnerable to the depredations of legal and illegal armed groups. One of the cases documented by the country research a women's organisation began receiving threats through email from paramilitary groups. They were all well aware that such threats could turn into sexual violence and murder, and they reported the threats to the prosecutor, as well as requested precautionary measures before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. To date, the investigation has not been successful and the case remains unresolved.
The Democratic Republic of Congo
Violence against women is a serious societal problem in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In all three of the cases studied documented by the local team, the survivors were victim to multiple acts of violence, either by the same person or different people who, for the most part, were in better control of the technology than the victims.
Of the seven countries, Kenya is one of two who have recognised ICT-related offences in their laws. However, these laws are cyber crime laws. For the most part they are oriented towards commercial offences and concerned with attacks on the integrity of computer systems and data – rather than on people. There is no mention of cyber-harrasment and bullying as an offence yet this is the most common offences in cyberspace.
Mexico is a country of contradictions. On the one hand, several laws and treaties protecting the rights of women have been signed and ratified, whereas on the other hand, women’s rights are violated across all sections of society. The women’s stories collected as part of the country research evidence how technology was central to increased and consistent aggression from attackers, thus giving them greater power over women.
The Pakistan country research highlights that, incidents of violence against women online are carried on with full impunity and often result in a spillage of violence in the offline sphere. The report talks of the specific context in Pakistan, where charges of blasphemy, of being an Indian or American agent or other such labels are usually evoked to target victims of hate speech.
Despite the fact that laws in the Philippines penal code cover crimes across digital media, enforcing them is problematic when the perpetrator’s identity is unknown. In the documented case studies involving adult women, the survivors could not file charges against the people who uploaded the content.