Minister of the Interior Ohisalo and NGOs met at round table to discuss tackling honour-related violence

Ministry of the Interior 17.10.2019 13.26 | Published in English on 18.10.2019 at 10.39
Press release 81/2019
Maria Ohisalo

Minister of the Interior Maria Ohisalo invited representatives of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the authorities to discuss honour-related violence and other restrictions on girls’ lives. Much has already been done to prevent honour-related violence, but the work must continue. Raising awareness and continuous training and cooperation among professionals are among the most important means of tackling the problem.

Ohisalo says that we must take seriously the pressure women experience and the threat of honour-based violence against them. Across Finland, many girls and women, especially those with migrant backgrounds, are finding their lives restricted by their families and relatives for the sake of preserving the family honour. It is important to bear in mind that honour-related violence and other restrictions affect the whole family and that all family members need information and support to fully address the matter.

"Having their lives restricted prevents girls and women from enjoying their fundamental rights. Everyone has the right to a safe society. We all have a responsibility to prevent honour-related violence and other restrictions on the lives of girls and women. It is cross-sectoral work where NGOs play a significant role," says Minister Ohisalo.

Awareness of honour-related violence has improved over the past 20 years. Authorities and NGOs have done much good work to eradicate the phenomenon by means of training and various support measures, among others. However, it is clear that much remains to be done.

Government Programme aims to strengthen people’s sense of security

The safety and security of citizens, and their sense of security, are at the heart of Finnish democracy and welfare state. Prime Minister Rinne's Government Programme aims to strengthen people’s sense of security. Actors across society need to pull together to increase people’s security and their sense of security.

"The Government Programme includes a number of measures to prevent crimes against life and health and especially crimes against women and children. However, the Government Programme does not have all the answers, and we need to consult experts to tackle difficult issues such as honour-related violence and restrictions. The round table discussion paved the way for further work to strengthen the safety and security of people in Finland," says Minister Ohisalo.

Experts from around 20 NGOs attended the round table event organised by the Ministry of the Interior.

Read more about ‘honour’ related violence (Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare)

Inquiries:

Miia Lehtinen, Chief Superintendent, tel. +358 295 488 686, [email protected]

Jarno Lappalainen, Special Adviser to the Minister, tel. +358 400 536 973, [email protected]