Understanding Honour Killing and Honour-Related Violence in the Immigration Context
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Anna C. Korteweg
Journal article

Korteweg, A. C. (2012). Understanding Honour Killing and Honour-Related Violence in the Immigration Context: Implications for the Legal Profession and Beyond. Canadian Criminal Law Review, 16(2), 135–160. Retrieved from 



“Over the past two decades, Western immigrant-receiving countries have been confronted with honour killings and other forms of honour-related violence. To understand this violence, I first turn to its politicization: By reifying culture, debates regarding honour killing and honour-related violence stigmatize and racialized immigrant communities within which this form of violence occurs, creating a barrier to accessing the rights to protection and prevention open to majority society members who face intimate partner or familial violence. Yet, culture is an important element in expressions of (and responses to) violence, and by approaching culture as a meaning-making process, I argue for an understanding of honour-related violence and honour killing as forms of the gendered violence that affects all societies. From this vantage point, I outline the social patterns associated with honour killing and analyze policy efforts in countries like Germany, the Netherlands, and Britain that aim at prevention and protection, bringing those to bear on a Canadian con- text largely devoid of systematic policy approaches. To address prosecution, I give a brief account of the legal processes attending this violence in both immigrant- sending and immigrant-receiving states. Finally, I turn to three case studies to illustrate this approach to analyzing honour killing.”


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