7 March 2003
So-called “honour crimes”
Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men
Rapporteuse: Mrs Cryer, United Kingdom, SOC
The concept of so-called “honour crimes” is a complex issue but may be defined as a crime that is, or has been, justified or explained (or mitigated) by the perpetrator of that crime on the grounds that it was committed as a consequence of the need to defend or protect the honour of the family. The increase in particular of “honour killings”, committed in Europe and other countries, raises the concern of the international community.
Most of the reported cases of so-called “honour crimes” within Europe have been amongst Muslim or migrant Muslim communities. The paradox is that Islam itself does not support the death penalty for misconduct related to honour and many Islamic leaders have condemned this practice on the grounds that it has no religious basis.
The State should not tolerate so-called “honour crimes”, which are a violation of the internationally recognised rights of women for whose respect the State bears responsibility.
Therefore, the Assembly calls on the member states of the Council of Europe to amend national asylum and immigration law in order to ensure that immigration policy acknowledges that a woman has the right to a residence permit or even to asylum in order to escape from so-called “honour crimes” and is relieved of the threat of deportation or removal if there is, or has been, any actual threat of a “crime of honour”.
It also requests member countries to provide support to the victims of failed so-called “honour crimes” and also to potential victims, including personal protection, legal aid and psychological rehabilitation.
I. Draft resolution
1. The Assembly is very concerned by the increase of so-called “honour crimes”, crimes against women committed in the name of honour, which constitute a flagrant violation of human rights, based on unjust cultures and traditions.
2. The Assembly recalls the European Convention on Human Rights, which safeguards the right to life and the right not to be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
3. It also refers to its Recommendations 1450 (2000) and 1582 (2002) concerning violence against women in Europe which condemn all “honour crimes” and to Recommendation 1247 (2001) on, more specifically, female genital mutilation and which stresses the importance and urgency of making a distinction between the need to protect minority cultures and turning a blind eye to unacceptable customs that amount to torture and/or a breach of human rights.
4. The Assembly notes that, whilst “crimes of honour” emanate from cultural and not religious roots and can be found worldwide (in mainly patriarchal societies or communities), the majority of reported cases within Europe have been amongst Muslim or migrant Muslim communities. (However, Islam itself does not support the death penalty for honour related misdemeanours.)
5. The Assembly welcomes the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the Resolution on Working towards the Elimination of Crimes against Women Committed in the Name of Honour, which invites the international community to support efforts of all countries, at their request, aimed at strengthening institutional capacity for preventing crimes against women committed in the name of honour and in addressing their root causes.
6. The Assembly also recalls the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and its Optional Protocol which make the state responsible for failures to implement the provisions of the Convention concerning the ill-treatment of women, including crimes committed in the name of honour. It appeals to member States of the Council of Europe to ratify the Convention and especially its Optional Protocol.
7. The Assembly notes that some states use case-law as a tool to defend so-called “honour crimes” and deplores the inaction in the countries where they are justified by the traditions and customs of minorities.
8. The Assembly is concerned by the insufficiency of adequate data recording the occurrence of so-called “honour crimes” and the policies of some states which do not disclose such information. It considers that member states of the Council of Europe should make public all information relevant to these crimes in order to facilitate the efforts to combat such forms of violence and increase awareness of their occurrence.
9. The Assembly welcomes the measures taken by some European countries aimed at the prevention and elimination of so-called “crimes of honour”, including amendments to national legislation and granting residence permits or even asylum status to women who have been subject to so-called “crimes of honour”.
10. Therefore the Assembly calls on the member states of the Council of Europe to:
-A: adopt the following legal measures regarding prevention and prosecution of so-called “honour crimes”:
i. amend national asylum and immigration law in order to ensure that immigration policy acknowledges that a woman has the right to a residence permit or even to asylum in order to escape from “crimes of honour”, and is relieved of the threat of deportation or removal if there is, or has been, any actual threat of a “crime of honour”;
ii. enforce the legislation more effectively to penalise all crimes committed in the name of honour and ensure that allegations of violence and abuse are treated as serious criminal complaints;
iii. ensure that such crimes are effectively (and sensitively) investigated and prosecuted. The Judiciary should not accept honour in mitigation, or as a justifiable motive, of the crime;
iv. take the necessary measures to implement the laws related to these crimes and to better understand the causes and consequences of such crimes among policy-makers, the police and the judiciary;
v. ensure a stronger female presence in the judicial bodies and the police.
-B: adopt the following preventative measures:
i. launch national awareness campaigns through the media, in schools, universities and religious institutions in order to discourage and prevent “crimes of honour”;
ii. provide special educational programmes for women and men who come from communities where such crimes happen, to make them aware of the rights of women;
iii. ensure that all children are made aware of gender equality from an early age;
iv. encourage the collation and dissemination of statistical information on the occurrence of so-called “honour crimes”;
v. provide gender equality training to law enforcement and judicial staff to enable them impartially to address complaints of violence in the name of honour.
-C: adopt the following protective measures:
i. provide support in asylum-related issues to the victims of failed so-called “honour crimes” and potential victims;
ii. provide support to the victims of failed so-called “honour crimes” and potential victims, including personal protection, legal aid and psychological rehabilitation;
iii. create conditions for people to report such crimes in a safe and confidential environment;
iv. support NGOs and women’s associations which combat these practices and provide a safe refuge.
II. Explanatory memorandum by Mrs Cryer
1. The concept of so-called “honour crimes” is a complex issue but may be defined as a crime that is, or has been, justified or explained (or mitigated) by the perpetrator of that crime on the grounds that it was committed as a consequence of the need to defend or protect the honour of the family.
2. Falling within the "umbrella" of so-called “honour crimes” one will encounter "honour killings", forced marriages, domestic violence, female genital mutilation or blood feuds. For the purposes of this report, the emphasis will be placed on "honour killings" with some reference to forced marriages and domestic violence.
3. The so-called “honour crimes” should not be confused with the concept of "crimes of passion". Whereas the latter is normally limited to a crime that is committed by one partner (or husband and wife) in a relationship on the other as a spontaneous (emotional or passionate) reply (often citing a defence of "sexual provocation"), the former may involve the abuse or murder of (usually) women by one or more close family members (including partners) in the name of individual or family honour.
4. The use of the term "honour" in this regard should be treated with considerable scepticism as it is the perpetrator of a particular crime who is allowed to define the meaning of honour. This shifts the emphasis from the fact that a crime has been committed against the victim and may allow the perpetrator of the crime to "manufacture" a relationship so as to construct a defence for the crime and suppress real motives.
5. The concept of honour may be resumed in an individual's own feeling of self-worth; or in an assessment of that worth in the eyes of others; or by the actual opinion of the individual by others; or by a complex interaction of all three. According to this comprehension of honour is the all too often held view that female and male honour differ: female honour being enshrined around the concepts of virginity, modesty or selfless love whereas male honour is viewed by the capacity to defend the honour of the female.
6. The so-called “honour crimes” are an ancient practice sanctioned by culture rather than religion, rooted in a complex code that allows a man to kill or abuse a female relative or partner for suspected or actual "immoral behaviour".
7. This "immoral behaviour" (a mere allegation will be enough) may take the form of marital infidelity, refusing to submit to an arranged marriage, demanding a divorce, flirting with or receiving telephone calls from men, failing to serve a meal on time or "allowing herself" to be raped. A woman subjected to rape brings shame to the community and dishonours her family just as she would when engaging in a consensual sexual relationship.
8. The common denominator for any so-called honour crime is, however, the abuse, infringement of human rights or murder of, normally, women in the name of honour or perceived honour as defined by the perpetrator(s) of the crime.
9. The so-called “honour crimes” occur and affect a whole spectrum of cultures, communities, religions and ethnicities in a wide range of countries around the world including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Peru, the United States of America, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Germany etc.
I. The so-called “honour crimes”
10. “Honour killings” refer to the murder of a woman by a close family member or partner as a result of (suspected or alleged) shame being brought on a family by the action (a suspicion or allegation will be enough) of the woman.
11. According to Asma Jahangir, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-judicial, Summary and Arbitrary Executions, some 5,000 women fall victim to "honour killings" around the world every year.
12. However, it is virtually impossible to accurately quantify the number of so-called “honour crimes”. The whole question of shame and threats within the community (coupled with the fact that victims of domestic violence often do not speak up for a lack of awareness that a crime has occurred and, given the fact that they are emotionally and economically dependent on the abuser they often hold the mistaken view that they "deserve" the punishment) ensures that witnesses are never forthcoming and the deaths are usually registered as either accidental or as suicide. Indeed, of the 183 women reported to have died of burn injuries allegedly caused in cooking accidents in Lahore in 1998, only 21 complaints were registered with the Police and only 3 people arrested.
13. However this is hardly surprising given the fact that Section 300(1) of the Pakistani Penal Code - until it was repealed in 1990 stated: "Culpable homicide is not murder if the offender, whilst deprived of the powers of self-control by grave and sudden provocation, causes the death of the person who gave the provocation."
14. General Pervez Musharraf, in April 2000, stated: "Such acts do not find a place in our religion or law...Killing in the name of honour is murder, and will be treated as such." Despite such reassurance from the Pakistani President, the horrific stories of the murder of women continue. Indeed, in January 2001, Dr Shaheen Sardar Ali, Chair of the National Committee on the Status of Women in Pakistan, said that "honour killings" were: "based on traditions and customs involving the honour of rural, feudal and tribal families. It will not stop unless people stop thinking of women as their personal property." However, as it was reported by the country’s independent Human Rights Commission in the year 2002, 372 women were killed in Pakistan as a result of so-called “honour crimes”.
15. Most of the so-called “honour crimes” occur in Muslim countries or amongst migrant Muslim communities. The paradox is that Islam itself does not support the death penalty for honour related misdemeanours and many Islamic leaders have condemned this practice on the grounds that it has no religious basis.
16. However, whilst condemning the practice of so-called “honour crimes” as un-Islamic, the same leaders (depending on their views) may condone the imposition of "classical" interpretations and penalties of Islamic jurisprudence (Sharia Law) enforced by the State for sex outside of marriage (such as the Hadd or Zina Ordinances in Pakistan, Sudan or Northern Nigeria). For example, on the 12th January 2002 Safya Husseini Tungar Fudu, a 35-year-old Nigerian woman, was sentenced to be buried alive up to the chest and then stoned to death for having borne a child out of wedlock. She was the victim of rape. Thankfully, following considerable international pressure (including members from the Equal Opportunities Committee of the Council of Europe), the Sokoto Sharia Court of Appeal allowed Safya's appeal.
17. The use of case-law as a tool of mitigation in the defence of "honour killings" is widespread. In March 1991 the State Court of Parana in Brazil acquitted Joao Lopes of the murder of his allegedly adulterous wife, accepting his argument of the defence of honour. This "honour" defence orginates from Portuguese Colonial Law. Similar legal defences in Venezuela, Argentina, etc, are derived from Spanish Colonial Law.
18. Inaction in dealing with so-called “honour crimes” can be seen in countries where they are justified by the traditions and customs of minorities (as in the case of, for example, the UK or Sweden) or the majority (Lebanon, Pakistan, Jordan etc). In June 2001, Mr Faqir Mohammed returned home (in Manchester, UK) from prayer to find the secret boyfriend of his 24-year-old daughter, Shahida Parveen Mohammed, lying (fully clothed) on her bed. Mr Faqir grabbed his daughter in a headlock and repeatedly stabbed her in the head and stomach. Mr Faqir, in his defence, argued that he had been "provoked into murdering his daughter" through shame. Implicit in the defence was the argument that Mr Faqir was acting in accordance with custom and tradition.
19. According to the Turkish Criminal Code, the punishment for first degree murder is 24 years. Moreover, if murder is committed by a family member, the punishment can be as severe as life imprisonment without parole. However, the so-called “honour crimes” are considered to be crimes of extreme provocation, and sentences are often minimal. Indeed, the Turkish Penal Code can allow for a reduction in sentence when the killing is carried out in order to purify the honour of the family. Article 453 permits a reduction in any sentence when an illegitimate baby is killed immediately after birth. Article 463 reduces imprisonment by 1/8 when a killing was carried out immediately before, during or immediately after a situation of anticipated adultery or fornication.
20. Attempts to mitigate a so-called honour crime on the grounds of custom and tradition serve only to perpetuate the crime in exactly the same way that a State's case-law may cater for such a defence. The perpetrator of the crime is allowed to define the meaning of honour thus allowing this concept to become the focus of legal argument rather than the central, material fact that a woman has been abused and/or murdered. When the State fails to punish - or when it sees domestic violence or abuse as an excusable offence - it signals that private justice is acceptable. Moreover, it "allows" perpetrators of crimes to manufacture relationships so as to produce a legal defence - for example in the case of men who wish to be rid of their wife so that they can marry again or male family members trying to hide the rape of their own female relatives. The "excuse" of the defence of honour has also been used as an instrument of settling land disputes in both India (centring around payments of dowry) and Pakistan.
21. In April 2001 the European Union (through the Swedish envoy to Geneva, Johan Molander) said before the UN Human Rights Commission at Geneva that: "....social, cultural and religious factors could not be invoked as a justification for violating the human rights of women and girls." The UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, said on the 25th November 2000: "there has been worldwide mobilization against harmful traditional practices such as so-called “honour crimes” - which I prefer to call 'shame killings'".
II. Cases of so-called “honour crimes” in Europe
22. In Western European countries the majority of so-called “honour crimes” occur among the immigrant communities.
23. Many immigrant or refugee women in Europe feel isolated and marginalised from the host community. Often unable to speak the language of the host country, they are vulnerable to violence and abuse and are unlikely to be able to access legal or State support or be aware of their rights. The threat of deportation as a result of non-compliance with immigration laws adds another complicated dimension to their plight.
24. On November 11, 1999 a 34 old Kurd shot and killed himself in front of police officers after massacring seven members of a Kurdish family. The Police said that the reason was a "wounded sense of honour" because the family had refused to let the killer take their 19 year old daughter as his second wife.
25. In Uppsala in January 2002 a Kurdish immigrant killed his daughter Fadime Sahindal as she refused to accept Kurdish traditions of arranged marriage and had a relationship with a Swedish man. Her murder also raised questions about the death of her boyfriend, which had initially been treated as a car accident. Before her murder, Fadime had spoken in the Swedish Parliament on the difficulties which immigrant girls can face when wishing to adopt a more European lifestyle. Fadimes' father was sentenced to life imprisonment.
26. In 1999 an Iraqi Kurdish refugee family living in Sweden returned to Iraqi Kurdistan on holiday to marry off their daughter - a 19-year-old secondary school pupil from Stockholm - to an Iraqi man. When she refused, she was murdered by her uncle.
27. The ideology of "family honour" is a barrier to the integration of women into Swedish society. Kurdish females are not allowed by their families to have boyfriends whilst the same parents often tolerate their sons having a girlfriend.
The United Kingdom
28. In May 1999, the Nottingham Crown Court sentenced a Pakistani woman and her son to life imprisonment for murdering the woman's daughter, Rukhsana Naz (a British citizen and pregnant mother of two). Rukhsana was perceived to have brought shame on the family by having a sexual relationship outside of marriage. Her brother strangled Rukhsana while her mother held her down.
29. In February 1999 the case of Jack and Zena Briggs, from Bradford, was raised in the House of Commons. The only crime they committed was that of loving each other. Zena, however, was promised by her parents to a first cousin in Pakistan - a man she despised. Zena's family condemned them to death employing private detectives, bounty hunters and hit men. Fortunately without success. However this couple endured years of distress and difficulties due to being constantly on the run and in hiding.
30. Within the last five years there have been at least 20 deaths in the United Kingdom that are linked to so-called “honour crimes”.
31. In April 2001 two sisters aged 12 and 14 and their 17-year-old cousin were allegedly shot dead by male relatives because they were seen socialising with boys.
32. Abdullah Karadeve cut his pregnant wife's throat with a knife because he suspected that she was having an affair.
33. A woman was murdered because a song was dedicated to her on the radio and her suspicious family assumed she had a lover.
34. Cezvet Murat killed two of his sisters, Ayten Murat and Gulten Solylemez, because they came home late and he decided that they were prostitutes.
35. 28-year-old Salih Esmer killed his sister Semra Esmer for dating men. He subsequently killed his mother for not educating his sister.
III. Cases of so-called “honour crimes” in the United States of America
36. In March 1993, the Supreme Court of Missouri heard the case of a Brazilian Roman Catholic mother and her Palestinian Muslim husband who were found guilty of the first degree murder of their 16- year-old daughter, Palestina Isa who had acquired an after-school-job against her parents' wishes and began dating an Afro-American man. Whilst her mother held her down, her father stabbed Palestina at least 16 times.
37. In 1992, Lubaina Bhatti was persuaded to agree to an arranged marriage with Nawaz Bhatti. Over the next few years, Lubaina filed domestic violence charges against her husband but decided not to pursue them, fearing that her husband would abduct their son to Pakistan. In February 1999, she finally filed for divorce. On the 11th September 1999, Nawaz Bhatti shot dead his wife, her sister, her father and her niece (whom he believed had helped her) in defence of his "honour", tarnished (in his view) by the actions of a disloyal wife.
IV. State responsibility for so-called “honour crimes”
38. The UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women classifies the so-called “honour crimes” against women as a form of domestic violence, ie violence against women in the family or community. Based on the division of private and public spheres, domestic violence was in the past perceived as a private family matter and not as an issue of civil and political rights. The United Nations has explicitly recognised violence against women as a human rights issue involving state responsibility. The Special Rapporteur has stated: "At its most complex, domestic violence exists as a powerful tool of oppression. Violence against women in general, and domestic violence in particular, serve as essential components in societies which oppress women, since violence against women not only derives from but also sustains the dominant gender stereotypes and is used to control women in the one space traditionally dominated by women, the home."
39. In some countries the view is often held that customs and traditions must be respected as genuine manifestations of a nation's or community's culture and should not, therefore, be subjected to scrutiny from the perspective of rights contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The World Conference on Human Rights adopted the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (1993) which says in Article 5: "All human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent and interrelated...While the significance of national and regional peculiarities and various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds must be borne in mind, it is the duty of States, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems, to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms." The United Nations General Assembly in December 1993 adopted the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women which urges States not to "invoke custom, tradition or religious consideration to avoid their obligation to eliminate discriminatory treatment of women."
40. Reference is made to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (ratified by every state but two, one of which the USA). Article 19(1) of the Convention obliges states to protect children from violence, injury or abuse inflicted in the private realm, including by parents, legal guardians or other persons who have care of a child. "State parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child."
41. Article 18 of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action of The World Conference on Human Rights in 1993 states that: "...Gender based violence and all forms of sexual harassment and exploitation, including those resulting from cultural prejudice...are incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human person, and must be eliminated. This can be achieved by legal measures and through national action and international co-operation in such fields as economic and social development, education...and social support." As the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women has pointed out: "States have an affirmative obligation to confront those cultural practises of the community which result in violence against women and which degrade and humiliate women, thereby denying them the full enjoyment of their rights. International standards require that there be concerted State policy to eradicate practices even if their proponents argue that they have their roots in religious beliefs and rituals."
42. The State should not tolerate so-called “honour crimes” which are violations of internationally recognised human rights of women for which the State bears responsibility.
43. The responsibility of States to take action against human rights abuses by individuals is enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, among others. For European countries, the European Convention on Human Rights and the case-law of its organs safeguards, inter alia, the right to life and the right not to be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the right to liberty and security and the right to a fair trial.
44. Should a State fail to act with due diligence to investigate, prevent and punish abuses, including violence against women in the name of honour, it is responsible under international human rights law.
45. In November 2000, the UN General Assembly's Third Committee adopted a Resolution entitled "The Elimination of All Forms of Violence against Women including Crimes identified in the Outcome of Beijing +5". This represents the first time in the history of the UN that the subject of so-called “honour crimes” had been discussed by a UN body. The issue had been raised by the delegation of the Netherlands on the agenda of the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee under the heading of "Advancement for Women". The resolution calls on all countries to oppose crimes of this kind (and, indeed, all forms of violence against women) and acknowledges that this is likely to require fundamental changes in societal attitudes and the use of legislative, educational, social and other awareness-raising measures. It was passed by 120 votes in favour with 25 abstentions (mostly coming from Islamic nations but also including Russia, China and El Salvador). In choosing to abstain, they argued that the motivation of the resolution's sponsors was to "target a culture", simplistic in its understanding of the nature of "honour crimes" and selective in its advocacy of eliminating one particular type of violence against women.
46. States should not only limit their efforts to legislative measures, but should work out a comprehensive policy including training of state personnel (eg lawyers, judges, police, health authorities, social services, housing authorities, immigration officials etc), education of immigrants (in language and in their rights) and gender awareness raising programmes (such as the UK's Home Office document, published in June 1999 "Living Without Fear: an integrated approach to tackling violence against women"). The implementation of such steps is one indicator for measuring the exercise of due diligence.
V. European legal efforts in the protection of migrant women
47. The Refugee Convention of 1951 only contains 5 grounds for recognising someone as a refugee. If she is: "a person with a well founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion." There have been suggestions that a sixth ground - gender - should be added. But case law from around the world provides ample evidence that gender related claims can be handled within the framework of the existing text. Gender based persecution, such as "honour crimes", has emerged from the shadows.
48. Some European countries, led by Germany, still argue that for an individual to be recognised as a refugee, the persecution feared must be perpetrated by the State (or by an agent of the State). But UNHCR insists that what is important is not who perpetrates the harm but whether the State is willing and able to protect the victim.
49. In April 2001, the European Commission submitted for discussion a proposal for a Council Directive laying down minimum standards on the reception of applicants for asylum in Member States. The Commission recommended that the interests of some asylum seekers should be taken into account, in particular "the victims of rapes and other forms of gender based violence" (article 20), and that those victims "should be accommodated in special centres for traumatised persons or have access to special rehabilitation programmes" (article 26).
50. In September 2001, the Commission submitted a draft proposal of the Directive on minimum standards for the qualification of third country nationals and stateless persons as refugees or as persons who otherwise need international protection. It states in particular: "that the concept of 'membership of a particular social group' may be defined by fundamental characteristics such as gender..." (article 12); and that "the fear of being persecuted may also be founded where the risk of it emanates from non-State actors where the State is unable or unwilling to provide effective protection." (article 9).
VI. Positive action of European Countries
51. The case of Fadime Sahindal generated a heated debate in Sweden regarding the difficulties experienced by immigrants in adapting to life in Sweden.
52. Since the murder the government has acted to protect girls of immigrant and ethnic background. More secure housing was created for girls who need protection.
53. Moreover, the law on marriage in Sweden has been refined so that the non-Swedish living in the country are also subject to legislation barring marriage before the age of 18.
54. In the United Kingdom, much work has been done regarding forced marriages. A joint Committee was established by the Home and Foreign Offices in 1999 - "The Working Group on Forced Marriages". More recently, the police have been given clear guidelines to deal with forced marriages, educating the police as to the extent of the violence and abuse to which women are often subjected. Although there is no substantive evidence (other than hearsay) to demonstrate a clear link between forced marriage and the so-called “honour crimes”, anecdotal evidence suggests that the spectre of a so-called honour crime may persuade a woman to agree to the terms of a marriage against her will.
55. Governments should acknowledge "honour crimes" as crimes and as a form of violence against women.
56. The member states of the Council of Europe should take urgent measures in three main areas: legal; preventative; and protective;
57. Legal measures:
· Ensure that immigration policy acknowledges that a woman has the right of asylum in order to escape from violence (whoever is the perpetrator) and is relieved of the threat of deportation or removal if there is, or has been, any actual or threat of violence or abuse;
. Ensure that allegations of violence and abuse are treated as serious criminal complaints and are thoroughly investigated in a sensitive manner;
· Ensure that a crime is indeed prosecuted as such without allowing the perpetrators of so-called “honour crimes” to use family pride or honour in mitigation of such abuse or murder. They should rather face the full severity of criminal law. Providing, at the very least, a deterrent to others;
· To take all necessary steps to increase knowledge of the causes and consequences of such crimes amongst policy makers, law enforcement agencies and the judiciary;
· Ensure a female presence on judicial bodies dealing with such cases.
58. Preventive Measures:
· Launch national awareness-raising campaigns involving the media, the educational system, religious institutions, etc;
· Provide special educational programmes regarding their human rights for women coming from communities where so-called “honour crimes” occur ;
· Provide training to law enforcement officers, the judiciary and social workers to enable them to address effectively complaints of violence in the name of honour;
· Ensure that children, and boys in particular, are made aware of gender equality from an early age (as advocated in the UK Home Office document, 1999, "Living Without Fear").
59. Protective Measures:
· Provide support to the actual victims of failed so-called “honour crimes” and potential victims, including personal protection, legal aid and psychological rehabilitation;
. Create conditions for people to report such crimes in a safe and confidential environment;
. Support financially and in any other way NGOs and women's associations that combat these practises.
Reporting committee: Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men
Reference to Committee: Doc 9166, reference N° 2644 of 25 September 2001
Draft resolution unanimously adopted by the Committee on 24 February 2003.
Members of the Committee: Mrs Err (Chairperson), Mrs Aguiar (1st Vice-Chairperson), Mrs Mikutiene (2nd Vice-Chairperson), Mr Baburin, Mrs Bauer, Mrs Biga-Friganovic, Mrs Bilgehan, Ms Castro (alternate: Mrs Lopez Gonzalez), Mrs Cliveti, Mrs Cryer (alternate: Mr Etherington), Ms Curdova, Mr Dalgaard, Ms Fogler, Mrs Frimannsdóttir, Mr Gaburro, Mr Goldberg, Ms Hadjiyeva, Mrs Hägg, Mr Juri, Mrs Katseli, Mrs Kestelijn-Sierens, Ms Konglevoll, Mrs Korhonen, Mrs Kosa-Kovacs, Mrs Kryemadhi, Mrs Labucka, Mr Mahmood, Mr Mooney, Mrs Paoletti Tangheroni, Mrs Patarkalishvili, Ms Patereu, Mr Pavlov, Ms Pericleous-Papadopoulos, Mrs Petrova-Mitevska, Mr Pintat (alternate: Mr Branger), Mr Pullicino Orlando, Mr Riccardi, Mrs Roth, Mrs Rupprecht, Mrs Schicker, Mrs Yarygina, Mrs Zapfl-Helbling, Mrs Zwerver.
N.B. The names of the members who took part in the meeting are printed in italics.
Secretaries of the Committee: Mrs Nollinger, Mrs Kleinsorge, Ms Kostenko