Specialists from Bulgaria, Romania, Norway, UK, Italy and Germany met on February 18 during the online final conference of "Social and Legal Action to Combat Honor Related Abuses" project to talk about honor related issues.

Child marriages are emerging as a major manifestation of this type of act on the old continent. They are typical not only for closed minority groups, but also for migrants arriving here from countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan. For the representatives of the various institutions and non-governmental organizations working on the topic, dealing with these cultural differences proves to be a real challenge, but there are also good practices. These were presented by Marte Taylor and Minela Kosuta from Norway.

Based in an expert analyses made under "Social and Legal Action to Combat Honor Related Abuses" project together with our colleagues from UNICEF Bulgaria we looked for possible solutions in our country, and the expert Anna Chiritou presented us a research perspective on the topic at European level. Maria Nikolova  from the Department of Law and Anthropology at the Max Planck Institute in Halle, Germany had an extremely interesting presentation about the crossroads between anthropology and law when it comes to this crimes. According to many experts, the main problem with honor related abuses is that tradition prevails over the law and even over the health and economic risks for minors, and the preventive function of the law is greatly overestimated.

And how do we work on the consequences of such violence?

Teodora Nikolova and Ani Raykov from the Mission of the International Organization for Migration in Bulgaria, who work with migrants and refugees, victims of honor related abuses in their countries of origin, told us about this. There are such not only in our country, but also in UK. Musurut Zia has been working on the subject in the UK for many years and also shared her experience. Experience not only in practice with the victims, but also to overcome the stigma in the public space to speak freely on the topic. The concept is unknown and in our country the main credit for this goes to the media. Velina Barova, a Bluelink journalist covering such topics, explained how talking about honor related abuses is like stepping on thin ice, because you have to identify the perpetrators and try not to inflame already raging conflicts in society regarding highly marginalized groups.

However, there are culprits

The second part of the conference focused on the legal aspect of the problem. Lawyer? Elka Porominska presented a study of such crimes in Bulgaria and outlined the main problems in combating them. How could we deal with these deficits - Judge Radoslava Yordanova from the Ihtiman District Court, who has a long experience in resolving cases of this type, shared her experience. Maria Gancheva – a lawyer from Italy, spoke about the methods of prevention and protection in the country where she works. She believes that trust in institutions is crucial for success.

In connection with the effective administration of justice in crimes of this nature, the project team has prepared a Petition for changes in legislation and policies, which can be found on this site. It was presented at the final conference and approved by the experts participating in it, we will be happy if you also support us!

Video from the conference you can find here !

You can download all presentations from the event here:

1. Social and Legal Action to Combat Honor Related Abuses - Diana Georgieva - Download in PDF
2. Honor Related Violence - Norwegian Expert approach - Marte Tayler - Download in PDF
3. Research approach towards early marriages on European level - Ana Chiritoiu - Download in PDF
4. Providing a place for cultural diversity Maria Nikolova, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology - Download in PDF
5. Child Marriages - problem and possible solutions - Lyubomir Krilchev, UNICEF Bulgaria - Download in PDF
6. Honor related Violence in migrant and refugee communities - Teodora Nikolova, Ani Raykov, IOM - Download in PDF
7. Institutional response to honor related violence in Norway - Download in PDF
8. Defining honor related violence - Mussurut Zia - Download in PDF
9. Honor related crimes - desk research - Elka Porominska - Download in PDF
10. Honor related abuses - good practices from Italy - Maria Gancheva - Download in PDF
11. Petition for changes in policies and legislation in Bulgaria - Brigita Kostova - Download in PDF


Follow the project website for more information about the project or follow

This article was created with the financial support of the Active Citizens Fund Bulgaria under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area. The responsibility for the content of the document lies with the Center for Sustainable Communities Development and under no circumstances can it be assumed that this document reflects the official opinion of the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism and the Operator of the Active Citizens Fund Bulgaria