ISLAMABAD - Building on its previous 2019 campaign, the European Union (EU) Delegation to Pakistan, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Law and Justice, and Social Enterprise BETI yesterday launched #TimeForRealHonour phase II programme to create awareness around the existing legislative framework regarding honour-based killings.

Under the TimeForRealHonour phase II partnership, BETI organisation developed a toolkit for the police officials as the first respondents, holding training sessions for them in Karachi and Islamabad. The toolkit provides comprehensive information for the first responders and duty bearers within police and other criminal justice actors such as the judiciary and the parliamentarians. It also explains the legal framework and specific provisions which make honour killings, a criminal offence. The toolkit reflects on the context in which honour killings take place and which makes it challenging to implement the law. Most importantly, it defines the roles of all officials and stakeholders and elaborates their responsibilities according to the Pakistani law and the international obligations.

The project was supported in parallel by a robust digital media campaign that was very well received. The concluding event also marks the International Women’s Day, celebrated globally on 8th March each year. Time for honour project also reflects on the commitment of the European Union, the Law Ministry and organisation BETI to the safety for all women and girls in Pakistan. Addressing the programme’s concluding event at the National Police Academy Islamabad, the Ambassador of the European Union to Pakistan Androulla Kaminara said: “Violence against women in any form including killing in the name of honour should never be acceptable. Protection of the rights of women and the physical security of all individuals, regardless of their gender, religion or social status will ensure healthier and progressive societies.

Complete implementation of the existing laws reflecting international legal obligations is the need of the hour to end existing impunity against honour killing.”

Honour killing is murder and perpetuated by the gender inequality existing in the country. The heinous crime is punishable by Law and condemnable by every civic sense. The practice puts large number of women and young girls at risk.