Giselle Portenier is an acclaimed
documentary filmmaker and journalist who
has consistently focused on human rights,
especially the human rights of women and
children. Her groundbreaking films have
received numerous international awards
including two Peabody awards, and have
been instrumental in changing minds,
changing lives, and changing laws.
She started her career as a reporter and anchor at BCTV News in
Vancouver, and worked as foreign editor for ABC News and as an
Associate Producer for CBS 60 Minutes in London, England, before joining
the BBC in 1986. During her time there, she produced and directed dozens
of documentaries, including Murder in Purdah about honour killings in
Pakistan; Condemned to Live, about torture and rape during the Rwandan
genocide; The Slave Children, about child slavery in West Africa; The
Disposables, about the murder of homeless people, petty thieves, and
homosexuals in Colombia; Dying for Sex, about sex trafficking in Thailand,
and Let Her Die, about the murder of baby girls and the huge numbers of
female fetuses aborted in India.
Most recently she wrote about the plight of
thousands of survivors of FGM (female genital mutilation) living in Canada.
She was the first CanWest Global visiting professor at the School of
Journalism at the University of British Columbia and in 2014, received an
honorary Doctor of Laws from Carleton University. Portenier is on the
Board of the Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma. She
regularly speaks about journalism and human rights, and lives in Vancouver
with her husband, Chris Browne.