Green Party Women

Green MEP calls for EU hearing on 'honour' crimes

11 November 2010

Jean Lambert, Green MEP for London, hosted a strategic meeting of fellow MEPs and activists to discuss what needs to be done to raise awareness about ‘honour’ crimes at both an EU and Member State level yesterday.

Key speakers at the event included prominent women’s rights campaigner Jasvinder Sanghera from Karma Nirvana [1] in the UK and Ahmad Mansour, from Germany, who proposed setting up a UK branch of his charity Heroes [2].

Jean said: “Violence enacted in the name of ‘honour’ can take many forms, be it physical, psychological, sexual or emotional. It is not confined to one religion or one community and affects thousands of people every day.

“This meeting was about encouraging an open and frank discussion on a taboo subject. We heard from some truly inspiring people and must take their lead in raising awareness at both an EU and Member State level, which is why I am calling for a public hearing in the European Parliament.

“The EU can also add value through the sharing of best practice, as demonstrated by some of the organizations represented at this meeting. But funding for resources, education and support remains key, and this falls largely to individual Member States, who must not turn a blind eye to this often silent problem.

“We need to work together to challenge the attitudes that consider such heinous crimes to be acceptable. This is an issue of universal human rights and individual freedom people cannot hide behind culture, belief or practice: culture can change.”



[1] Jasvinder Sanghera is a survivor of a forced marriage, a best-selling author and the founder of Karma Nirvana, a charity supporting all victims of honour-based abuse and forced wedlock.

[2] The Heroes project in Berlin is designed to help boys from Muslims families to break with traditional patriarchal behaviour patterns and stand up against honour being used as a means of suppression.

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