Non-Consensual Intimate Image Distribution: The Legal Landscape in Kenya, Chile and South Africa

Supporting a Safer Internet Paper No. 2

June 14, 2021

The non-consensual distribution of intimate images, colloquially referred to as “revenge pornography” or “image-based sexual abuse,” is an unforgiving reality that continues to plague the lives of many within the current digital landscape. It alludes to the non-consensual distribution of photos or videos depicting nudity, partial nudity or sexually explicit acts. This paper provides an overview of the state of the law, both existing and proposed, in three countries in the Global South — Kenya, Chile and South Africa — as it relates to the non-consensual distribution of intimate images. It was prepared under the overall coordination of CIGI’s Kailee Hilt and Emma Monteiro, who also wrote the introduction and conclusion. The three case studies were written by leading experts from Kenya, Chile and South Africa. The authors discuss current and proposed legislation in response to non-consensual intimate image distribution, while also sharing recommendations for further action to address this growing form of gender-based violence within the digital sphere. On June 24, 2021, CIGI held a panel discussion on this topic moderated by Ruhiya Seward, senior program officer at the International Development Research Centre. Grace Mutung’u, Michelle Bordachar and Nonhlanhla Chanza, experts who contributed the case studies in the paper, spoke about this issue as it pertains to Kenya, Chile and South Africa, respectively, and offered recommendations and road maps for further action within the existing landscape.

Part of Series

Supporting a Safer Internet

Supporting a Safer Internet: Global Survey of Gender-Based Violence Online is a two-year research project, in partnership with the International Development Research Centre and Ipsos. This project explores the prevalence of online gender-based violence experienced by women and LGBTQ+ individuals in the Global South.

About the Authors

Michelle Bordachar is a public policy analyst at Derechos Digitales in Chile.  

Nonhlanhla Chanza is a parliamentary liaison officer at the Law Society of South Africa.

Kailee Hilt is a program manager and research associate at CIGI. She focuses on public policy issues tied to emerging technology, privacy and cybersecurity.

J. Carlos Lara is the research and policy director at Derechos Digitales in Chile.

Emma Monteiro is CIGI’s associate general counsel.

Grace Mutung’u is a research fellow at the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law at Strathmore University in Kenya.