Introducing
a new copyright
for the human body

Your body,
your bodyright

The Internet can be a hateful, hostile place, particularly for women, girls, racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+ and other marginalized communities who are more likely to have their images abused online.

Such sexualized abuse includes non-consensual sharing of intimate images (also known as “revenge porn,” an objectionable term that suggests a survivor deserved retribution or consented to making pornography), deepfakes (manipulation of imagery using machine learning/AI) and upskirting (taking non-consensual images up a skirt or dress.)

All are forms of digital violence, which is prevalent, repetitive, perpetual and pervasive. The consequences of these violations of a person's privacy, dignity, autonomy and rights are devastating.

Make no mistake: Even when such violence is perpetrated in the virtual world, the fear, anxiety, loss of self-esteem and sense of powerlessness are very real and enduring.

Online misogyny and violence is a widespread human rights violation, yet tech companies and policymakers place greater value and protections on copyright than on the rights of human beings online.

Those who infringe copyright face legal penalties and swift removal of content by digital platforms, while survivors of online violence face barriers and have few legal rights.

This is why UNFPA is launching bodyright, a brand new “copyright” for the human body. It demands that images of our bodies are given the same respect and protection online as copyright gives to music, film and even corporate logos.

Claim your bodyright...and let’s end online violence.

85%
of women globally have experienced or witnessed digital violence against other women.
SOURCE: Economist Intelligence Unit, 2020, Study only surveyed 18+
57%
of women have had their videos or images online abused or misused.
SOURCE: EIU stat
96%
of online deepfake videos are pornography, all of women.
SOURCE: Sensity AI, a research company

Demand change

Online violence is a human rights violation. We call on policymakers, tech companies and social media platforms to take image-based abuse, the devaluation of human beings and online misogyny as seriously as they take copyright infringement. Sign the petition and be part of the movement to end digital violence.

Sign the petition now

bodyright your images

Join the movement to stop online violence by adding the bodyright symbol when you share your images online.

The “b” symbol, which is at the heart of bodyright, should be placed on skin in images of the human body.

There are three ways you can add the symbol:

#bodyright gallery

Perpetrators have weaponized technology and women’s sexuality against survivors. The message to women whose images have been abused online is: You don’t own your bodies online.

We’re saying you should. Humiliating and degrading bodies against someone’s will in cyberspace is an act of violence that must end. Join others who, in claiming their bodyright, stand for a world – virtual, real – where women and girls live free. Because when it comes to digital violence, the virtual is real.


FAQs

What is bodyright?

bodyright is a new ‘copyright’ mark to assert and demand protection from digital violence. The core of this online and social media campaign from UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, is the bodyright symbol.

This symbol can be added to any image of a human body directly on social media or any other digital content -sharing platform. The aim is to drive tech companies and policymakers to take the violation of human rights and protecting bodily autonomy online as seriously as they take copyright infringement.

bodyright is a social movement that asks us all to take gender-based online violence seriously. We all need to understand our role in it and work together to drive real change and online protections for every girl, woman and young person, everywhere.

Why do we need bodyright?

Violence against women and girls is a violation of human rights and bodily automony. It is a pressing global public health issue. Gender-based violence is rooted in misogyny, and it is increasing online. Digital violence is typically highly sexualized and takes many forms including cyberharassment, hate speech, doxxing and non-consensual use of images and video, such as deepfakes.

Images are being used and abused online. People are targeted with slurs, including references to rape, based on gender, race, LGBTQ+ status, body type and other identifiers and their images are subjected to demeaning non-consensual sexual acts. Globally, 85% of women reported witnessing digital violence, and nearly 40% have experienced it personally*.

Women, girls, racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+ and other marginalized communities are the most likely to have their images abused online. It causes long-term psychological, emotional and physical distress. Yet, digital violence is not taken seriously by tech companies and policymakers who seem to be looking the other way.

*Source: all data referenced is taken from Economist Intelligence Unit, 2020: Study only surveyed 18+

How can I get involved and support bodyright?

  • Add the bodyright symbol to an image of yourself and post it to social media with the #bodyright hashtag.
  • Re-post campaign content or images we share on social media.
  • Share a link to the campaign video and/or other assets including this website.
  • Talk about the issue online and offline.
  • Sign the UNFPA + Global Citizen petition and encourage your followers to do the same.

What is the bodyright petition?

As part of the bodyright campaign, UNFPA has launched a petition, hosted by Global Citizen, demanding tangible action to put a stop to digital violence and abuse. We are asking people to sign it and demand that policymakers, companies and digital platforms take online abuse as seriously as they do copyright infringements.

What is digital violence?

Digital violence is typically highly sexualized and takes many forms including cyberbullying, cyberflashing, doxxing, hate speech and non-consensual use of images and video, such as deepfakes. People are targeted with slurs, including references to rape, based on gender, race, LGBTQ+ status, body type and other identifiers and their images are subjected to demeaning non-consensual sexual acts.

Globally, 85% of women reported witnessing digital violence, and nearly 40% have experienced it personally*.

*Source: all data referenced is taken from Economist Intelligence Unit, 2020: Study only surveyed 18+

Why is online abuse a problem?

This misogynist hate and devaluation of women online causes long-term psychological, emotional and physical distress. Nine out of ten women (92%) report online violence harms their sense of well-being and over a third (35%) have experienced mental health issues due to online violence. It also inhibits authentic self-expression and adversely impacts professional and economic livelihoods of people who depend on online and social media spaces.

What is bodily autonomy?

Bodily autonomy is the right of every individual to choose what they do with their bodies and to live free of fear and violence. This principle should apply both online and offline.

What is gender-based violence?

Gender-based violence is harmful and damaging acts directed against individuals or groups based on their gender. It is often violence against women and girls and includes everything from sexual violence in the real world to online sexual harassment, cyberbullying, doxxing and malicious manipulation of images, such as deepfakes.

Why doesn’t the law protect me against online abuse and digital violence?

Laws in this area have not kept pace with the technology and they need to catch up fast. In 64 of 86 countries, law enforcement agencies and courts appear to be failing to take appropriate corrective actions to address online violence against women.

Even where countries do have legal remedies, they are often not consistent across states, districts or provinces. This must change. Seeking justice should not have to be another traumatizing experience. We must push for a world where everyone is protected from online abuse by consistent and effective legal measures.

What can policymakers do to help combat digital violence?

Governments need to step up. Laws in this area have not kept pace with the technology and they need to catch up fast. Even where countries do have legal remedies, they are often not consistent across states, districts or provinces.

The non-consensual use, misuse or abuse of people’s images should be criminalized and tech companies and social media platforms should be legally obligated to put effective moderation and reporting systems in place.

What can tech companies do to help combat digital violence?

Tech companies need to step up. Digital and social media platforms, online forums and content sites should provide women and girls the same protection as copyrighted materials.

UNFPA joined the World Wide Web Foundation in its call to Facebook, Google, TikTok and Twitter to prioritize the safety of women online, holding them to the pledges made during the 2021 Generation Equality Forum in Paris. Women need to have more control over who can interact with them online and who can access their content, along with having better ways to report abuse.

Tech companies need to create innovative solutions to prevent digital violence and improve online safety. Tech companies must be more responsive to victims seeking help in taking down posts that violate their rights and privacy and address perpetrators appropriately.


Share the campaign

Share on social to inspire support for the bodyright campaign.

16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual, international campaign, which runs from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, until 10 December, Human Rights Day. Throughout these 16 days and beyond, UNFPA invites everyone to claim their bodyright.

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