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Repealing defence for honour crimes in Afghanistan

A key pillar of our work is to equip lawyers and civil society to lobby for law reform.

Statistics report that about 5000 women are heinously murdered every year for dishonouring their community. The unreported figure is less clear. In Afghanistan, honour crimes go unpunished because the law allows men the defence of honour when they murder a female member of their family for bringing dishonour.

In reality, apart from bringing dishonour, honour crimes are also committed for ulterior motives such as to:

  • Retain property rights

  • Settle a personal vendetta

  • Prevent women from claiming their rights of inheritance; and

  • Hide the commission of incest.

To expose the abuse of the honour defence and ultimately push for its repeal in the Afghanistan Penal Code, we are drafting arguments for the Penal Law Reform Committee for use in negotiating amendments to the law. We also disseminating them to lawyers and the civil society in Afghanistan.

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