Doc. 10753

5 December 2005

Abduction and “re-education” of Muslim women and children who have become too "Western-minded"

Motion for a resolution

presented by Mrs Bousakla and others

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only the members who have signed it

1.       More and more Muslim women and children living in West-European countries are abducted to their country of origin (e.g. countries of the Mahgreb, Turkey, Syria, Iran,…) by their male family members because they have become too Western-minded, too modern and too emancipated, or because they started a relationship with a non-Muslim man.

2.       Under the cloak of the yearly family holiday during the summer months, the westernised Muslim women and girls are lured by their parents or husbands to their country of origin, where they are “left behind” with the local family for re-education or for a forced marriage.

3.       In the Moroccan community in Belgium for instance, these kind of abductions to the North-Moroccan Province of Nador, the region of origin of most of the Belgian Moroccans, occur on a frequent scale. The women victims are trapped and can not return to their West-European country, as their families don’t give them any money and have confiscated their travel documents.

4.       The purpose of these abductions is to give the women victims in their country of origin a “re-education” in the way a “real” Muslim woman should live: obediently, submissively and indoors.

5.       The main reason for these practises of “re-education” has to be found in the great pressure prevailing in the “allochtone” Muslim community where the “saving” of the family honour is of the utmost importance. Needless to say, the phenomenon has a paralysing impact on the integration and emancipation process of Muslim women in the Western world.

6.       The Parliamentary Assembly resolves to start an investigation into these abduction cases, and recommends solutions to the governments of the Member states to keep these abductions from happening. A beginning of solution for this phenomenon would be to conclude bilateral treaties with the concerned countries, e.g. Morocco and Turkey.

7.       At European level, a strong political message needs to be sent out that these practices, which violate the basic human rights of the women and girls involved, will not be tolerated.

Signed (see overleaf)

Signed 1:

BOUSAKLA, Mimount, Belgium, SOC

ATANASOVA, Aneliya, Bulgaria, ALDE

AUSTIN, John, United Kingdom, SOC

ČURDOVÁ, Anna, Czech Republic, SOC

DAMANAKI, Maria, Greece, SOC

FAUTRIER, Catherine, Monaco, EPP/CD

LAXTON, Bob, United Kingdom, SOC

LUCYGA, Christine, Germany, SOC

STANTCHEVA, Darinka, Bulgaria, ALDE

VERMOT-MANGOLD, Ruth-Gaby, Switzerland, SOC

ZAPFL-HELBLING, Rosmarie, Switzerland, EPP/CD


1        SOC: Socialist Group

      EPP/CD: Group of the European People’s Party

      ALDE: Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe

      EDG: European Democratic Group

      UEL: Group of the Unified European Left

      NR: not registered in a group