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Honour-based Violence

Volume 608: debated on Tuesday 12 April 2016

Tackling violence against women and girls—including so-called honour killings—and the promotion of women’s rights remain central to UK foreign policy objectives. We work closely with the most affected countries, including with the Governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

I support the work that the UK Government have done with the Government of Cameroon in tackling the abhorrent practice of breast ironing. Does the Minister agree that unless we seek to find ways for these so-called honour-based crimes to be prosecuted in their country of origin, we will struggle to pursue prosecutions here in the United Kingdom?

I pay huge tribute to my hon. Friend for the work that he does in this area. He has called debates in Westminster Hall and in other forums to ensure that we recognise the important role that Britain and the international community must play in relation to female genital mutilation and breast ironing. As he says, those are abhorrent crimes, and we are working with other Governments in countries where such practices exist.

Karma Nirvana based in Headingley in my constituency does amazing work highlighting this so-called honour-based violence, which is a scandalous practice. It trains police officers. Will the Minister tell me what he is doing to work with foreign Government to ensure that they are also training their police forces?

We have doubled our commitment to human rights and increased the Magna Carta Fund to promote better understanding of these issues. What we find is that states have the laws in position, but they do not apply them. That is where we need to work closely with Governments to make sure that they follow through the laws that are already in existence.