The “bodyright” campaign, modeled after the global campaign, which is implemented by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in cooperation with the Office of the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, under the slogan “Your body is yours! Both on the net and in the real world!”, officially began with a conference held at the Yugoslav Cinematheque.
Gender-based violence perpetrated through technology is a relatively recent phenomenon, but it is very widespread. Polls conducted in Serbia showed that 78 percent of respondents do not feel safe on the Internet, even though they spend more than three hours a day online.
“Digital violence is real and should be treated as such, even though it takes place in virtual space and has different forms. Part of the problem is that people who find themselves in this situation do not know whom to turn to. As part of the campaign, with the slogan “Confide to the Commissioner”, we invite these cases to be reported to us and we refer them to the competent authorities”, said Brankica Janković, Commissioner for the Protection of Equality. She stated that more than 74 percent of girls in Serbia stated that they had never been part of any awareness campaign about gender-based violence through technology.
The “bodyright” campaign aims to raise awareness in society about widespread gender-based violence in the digital sphere and its consequences.
The participants of the conference emphasized the need to improve the normative framework at the global level regarding the regulation of human rights in the online space and called on technology companies to get involved and contribute.
“Our bodies are less protected online than music, film, or even corporate logos. For this reason, today we promoted the new symbol ⓑ, the trademark of the “bodyright” campaign on a global level, which will be used in Serbia as of today, and signifies the new copyright for the human body. With the campaign, we are also raising awareness of various forms of violence that are perpetrated through technology, which are essentially violations of human rights and bodily autonomy, even though they take place in the digital space,” said UNFPA Country Director for Serbia, John Kennedy Mosoti.
To raise awareness about different forms of gender-based violence in the online space, a localized “Glossary of gender-based violence perpetrated through technology” was presented at the conference, providing an overview of different forms of violence in the digital world and the possible consequences of such violence.
The head of the EU delegation in Serbia, Emanuele Giaufret, also spoke about the importance of this campaign and the prevention of digital violence.