OSCE PA Special Representative on Gender Issues and Secretary General speak at Vienna event on human rights, gender and surveillance



130324 roberto montellaOSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Teresa Ribeiro and OSCE PA Secretary General Roberto Montella, Vienna, 13 March 2024VIENNA, 13 March 2024 – Today, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Special Representative on Gender Issues Hedy Fry (Canada) and OSCE PA Secretary General Roberto Montella addressed the topic of gendered surveillance at the event “Under the Watchful Eye: Human Rights, Gender and Surveillance,” organized jointly by the High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM), the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the Representative on Freedom of the Media (RFoM) and the OSCE PA, together with the 2024 OSCE Maltese Chairpersonship-in-Office

Joining the high-level panel along with OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Teresa Ribeiro, ODIHR Director Matteo Mecacci and HCNM Director Marek Szczygiel, OSCE PA Secretary General Montella spoke about the importance of co-operation between the OSCE institutions in addressing the issues related to human rights and surveillance and stressed the role of parliamentarians in this aspect as key decision-makers and legislators.

“In these complex times, it is of vital importance to harmonize efforts of all OSCE structures, including when it comes to addressing the issue of human rights, gender and surveillance,” Montella said. “It is also truly important to include parliamentarians in these discussions and in the work of the governmental side of the OSCE, because they are the ones who, at the end of the day, draft national policies and legislation and make sure that they are implemented.”

130324 hedy fry 2Special Representative on Gender Issues Hedy Fry addresses the Vienna event, 13 March 2024Joining remotely, Special Representative Fry talked about the impact of surveillance and online violence on women politicians, giving recommendations on how governments can better regulate surveillance not to infringe on human rights.

“When directed towards women working in the public sphere, including women politicians, journalists and human rights defenders, online violence and digital surveillance threaten the safety of women and endangers society and democracy,” Dr. Fry said. “Parliaments have a role to play in regulating the use of surveillance technologies to protect women.”

The event was organized by the OSCE institutions and with the support of the OSCE Chairpersonship of Malta to mark International Women’s Day 2024 and examine the intersection of gender and digital surveillance. In bringing together diplomats and experts in the field with the three dimensions of the OSCE, the event aimed to explore the gendered aspects of the surveillance landscape within the broader context of comprehensive security.

For more information about the event and to watch the livestream of the event, please click here.

More information about the work of the OSCE PA Special Representative on Gender Issues can be found here.



Nat Parry

Head of Communications and Press

Office: +45 33 37 80 55
Mobile: +45 60 10 81 77
Email: [email protected]

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