Occasional Paper 12: Roundtable on Strategies to Address 'Crimes of Honour' summary report

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November 2001
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A Roundtable on Strategies to Address ‘Honour Crimes’ was held in London from 12-13 November 1999. It was jointly organised by the Centre for Islamic and Middle Eastern Law (CIMEL) at the School of Oriental and African Studies at London University and by INTERIGHTS, the International Centre for the Legal Protection of Human Rights, under the auspices of the CIMEL/INTERIGHTS ‘Honour Crimes’ Project.

Participants included some twenty scholars, lawyers, journalists and human rights advocates, working domestically in the UK and countries of South Asia and the Middle East, and/or internationally.

This report was compiled on the basis of discussions at the Roundtable and edited for publication by Lynn Welchman.

The Project was initiated in response to the reports of the murders of Samia Sarwar in Pakistan and Rukhsana Naz in the UK in early 1999 and the explicit articulation of an ‘honour’-based defence by the alleged perpetrators in each case.3 The Project is premised on a loose definition of ‘honour crimes’ as patterns of conduct cutting across communities, cultures, religions and nations and manifested in a range of forms of violence directed, in the majority of cases, against women, including murder (‘honour killings’) and forced marriage.