Nadler Bill Condemns Practice of So-Called "Honor Killings"

Oct 7, 2003

Washington, DC—To help the thousands of foreign women who are burned, maimed, or killed in so called "honor killings," Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) today introduced a resolution calling for an end to such crimes. The resolution calls on the President to work with other nations to end the practice of "honor killings," and promotes foreign assistance to rescue and rehabilitate victims of such violence.

"The practice of 'honor killings' is a horrid remnant of ancient cultures that placed no value on the lives of women. This legislation calls on the United States government to use its considerable resources to reduce the incidence of these crimes. An individual 'honor' crime is not just an attack on one woman. It is an attack on an entire gender, and a violation of the most basic of human rights: the right to exist as a person," said Nadler.

The term "honor killings" refers to the horrific crimes committed against women in some countries by members of their own family because the family holds the perception that the woman somehow "offended" her family's honor. In some countries, women are attacked with acid and whipped if they are merely suspected of a moral indiscretion. Women who are suspected of adultery are threatened with death by stoning.

Because these nations have no laws to punish those who commit "honor killings," the assailants are often given reduced sentences or are completely exonerated. The United Nations has documented tens of thousands of "honor killings" in the past year, and the trend continues.

To put a stop to this appalling trend, Nadler's legislation calls for the President to work with his counterparts worldwide to end the practice of "honor killings"; calls for an increased investment of U.S. foreign assistance in programs designed to rescue and rehabilitate victims of such violence, and in developing laws designed to ensure perpetrators are brought to justice; and requires the Secretary of State to include information on honor killings in the yearly State Department human rights report, and to issue a report detailing U.S. humanitarian and diplomatic efforts to end honor violence and help victims.