Honor Killing Never Justified in the Name of Religion or Tradition

“Honour killing is murder and murder is never justified in the interpretation of religion or tradition. On the contrary, religions and traditions play a constructive role to build peaceful societies,” said  Reverend Dr. Hans Ucko, Co-Chair of the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children. Reverend Ucko was a member of the Declaration drafting committee for the “Family and Violence" conference organised by the Women’s Platform of the “The Journalists and Writers Foundation” in Istanbul, Turkey 24-26 November 2012. Mr. Umit Goker, World Day Council member and a staff member of the Foundation invited Dr. Ucko to represent the World Day at the conference which produced the following Declaration:

International Family Conference II – Family and Violence Final Declaration 24-26 November 2012, Istanbul

At a time when violence is becoming more and more common in every area of social life. The Journalists and Writers Foundation Women’s Platform organized the International Family Conference II – Family and Violence with the contributions of 30 speakers from 15 different countries. Following is the final declaration:

1. Family is the most important institution of society. The emergence of violence in society is threatening family as well. We believe that family can be the primary institution to prevent violence, and so it must be supported.

2. To protect the structure of family and in order for the family to carry out its functions, the state must play an active role. No time should be wasted to take measures in both preventive, deterrent and interventionist ways.

3. Among these measures are; the mandatory psychological therapy and support of  the perpetrators of violence, opening both public and private centers of therapy and counseling, dissemination of family ombudsmanship system, employing the experts (preferably female) on family matters in the police and military police offices which are the first places to go in cases that are of crucial importance.

4. In this regard we support the sensitivities and efforts of Non-Governmental Organizations and we believe the cooperation among NGOs and between NGOs and relevant state institutions will create immense efficiency and effectiveness to prevent violence.

5. We don’t only see the family in terms of unity but we also acknowledge that every individual in the family has rights and these rights must be protected.

6. Domestic violence must be given specific importance due to its veiled nature and approached in systematic and continuous ways due to its destructive effects on the personality of the individuals.

7. Media plays an important role in violence becoming common and widespread. So it can and must play an active and constructive way to prevent it.

8. In every stage of education, especially in the early stages, behaviours and codes of conduct must be taught to students to prevent proliferation of violence and promote peaceful solutions. The education programs and curriculums must be updated in this regard.

9. Honour killing is murder and any murder cannot be justified in the rhetoric or interpretation of religion or tradition. On the contrary religions and traditions can play a constructive role to build peaceful societies, and these roles must be identified and put in to fore.

10. Violence and abuse are violations of human rights and cannot be reconciled with human dignity. Awareness and sensitivity must be promoted in society and efforts for the promotion of a mental transformation must be supported.

We share these points with respect.

The Committee of Final Declaration:
Abdulhakim Yüce, PhD
Mahinur Özdemir
Beylü Dikeçligil, PhD
Hans Ucko, PhD
Hilal Evler, PhD

Visit the Journalists and Writers Foundation website.

Click here to read the declaration on the Foundation website.