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Strengthening the fight against so-called 'honour' crimes

Strongly condemning so-called “honour” crimes, the Equality Committee called on member States to ratify and implement the Istanbul Convention, recalling that the convention clearly states that custom, tradition, culture, religion or so-called “honour” cannot justify violence. It said that no mitigating circumstance on grounds of so-called “honour” may be enshrined in national law or tolerated in judgments.

The report by Beatrice Fresko-Rolfo (Monaco, ALDE) approved by the committee also addresses the vulnerability of LGBTI persons to so-called “honour crimes”. It underlines that these crimes are most often perpetrated by members of the victim’s family, who do not accept a gender identity, sexual orientation, lifestyle, a desire for emancipation or refusal of a marriage. They may take the form of murder, sequestration, abduction, torture, mutilation, burning, forced suicide, forced marriage, or conversion therapy.

The committee called on member States to punish any public statements inciting violence against women, domestic violence and violence against LGBTI people, including in the name of so-called “honour” and to condemn a system of oppression based on it.

In order to strengthen the fight against these crimes, it proposed to the States a set of measures concerning the protection of and assistance to victims, and in the area of prevention. The committee recommends, in particular, opening telephone helplines in several languages; guaranteeing a sufficient number of places in reception facilities with adequate funding; offering support to victims of this violence who have fled their country, in reception centres for asylum seekers; and conducting prevention and awareness-raising campaigns.

It also advocated making data collection a priority, supporting NGOs for the protection of women's rights and the rights of LGBTI people and adopting an intersectional approach in the fight against discrimination, violence against women, domestic violence and violence against LGBTI people.