Governmental and Non-Governmental Response to "Honor" Killings and Crimes

Last updated November 2008

Many of the actions taken by national governments and intergovernmental organizations to address the issue of killings committed in the name of "honor' have been spurred by the advocacy of non-governmental organizations. The U.N. General Assembly recognized the importance of this work in its resolution on "honor" killings, calling upon states “[t]o continue to support the work of civil society, including non-governmental organizations, in addressing this issue and to strengthen cooperation with intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.”

The Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women!, coordinated by Women Living Under Muslim Laws, disputes the validity of using religion and culture to justify practices like "honor" killing and sentencing women to death by stoning for perceived violations of social norms of sexuality. The Campaign draws connections between legal sanctions like stoning or whipping and extrajudicial "honor" killings, explaining that all of these laws and customs discriminatorily assign more guilt to women than to men for supposedly violating sexual norms. The Campaign encourages letter-writing and bringing publicity to particular cases as well as the overall issue, and urges individuals to try to focus the attention of their own governments and the United Nations system on these forms of violence against women.

The International Campaign Against Honour Killings seeks to raise awareness of the issue and build a network among those working to end crimes committed in the name of "honor" and other forms of violence against women. On its website, this Campaign publishes daily updates on "honor" killings that have taken place around the world, as well as other forms of violence against women, such as forced and early marriages, and the actions taken by governments and intergovernmental organizations to address them.

The “Honour Crimes” Project, jointly coordinated by CIMEL (Centre of Islamic and Middle Eastern Laws) at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University and INTERIGHTS (International Centre for the Legal Protection of Human Rights), has created an annotated bibliography, case summaries, and a directory of individuals and groups addressing the issue of "honor" killings around the world.