is a committed journalist and filmmaker, with a passion for human rights journalism. Much of her career was spent at the BBC in England. She has written articles and made television and radio documentaries about Child Slavery in West Africa, Honor Killings in Pakistan, the murder of baby girls and the abortion of the female foetus in India, Sex Trafficking in Thailand, the Baby Trade in Paraguay, the horrific effects of war on children in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the climate of violence and murder of women in Guatemala, the trade in human organs in India and China, and the terrible sexual violence perpetrated on women during Rwanda's Genocide. Most recently, she has been writing a series of articles on female genital mutilation (FGM), highlighting the plight of thousands of women and girls in Canada who are survivors of Female Genital Mutilation/FGM.
She was the first CanWest Global visiting professor at the University of British Coumbia, spent a year in Cambodia for the BBC running a mass media health campaign to combat HIV Aids and improving Maternal and Child Health, and is currently on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma.
Through the Forum, Portenier sponsors the annual Portenier Human Rights Bursary to enable a human rights journalist attend a hostile environments course which will help them stay safe while doing their job.
She regularly speaks about human rights, gender issues, the media, and more.
In June 2014 she received an honorary doctorate from Carleton University, in Ottawa.
She lives in Vancouver with her husband, Chris Browne.