Indian Canadian expert says 'honour killings' should not be treated as taboo

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Toronto, July 13 (ANI): An Indian Canadian social worker is spearheading a campaign to keep the issue of "honour killings" alive, and not let it slip into oblivion out of political correctness over fears that a particular ethnic or cultural group could be targetted.

According to the Globe and Mail, Aruna Pratap is of the view that this is the wrong approach, and that immigrant communities, particularly South Asians, must not remain silent, especially on the issue of domestic violence against women.

Papp, who has specialized in domestic violence, recently released a report for the Frontier Centre for Public Policy that highlighted the rise in honour killings in Canada.

There have been 12 honour killings in Canada since 2002, said Papp, who defines them as "murders carried out in order to cleanse the family name and restore the family honour."hough most South Asian men are not abusers, she said that aspects of the cultures, such as glorifying "self-sacrifice in girls and women," contribute to violence.

Despite this, she said, most "shy away from challenging immigrant communities" for fear of being viewed as racist or stereotyping.

Rona Ambrose, Minister for the Status of Women, spoke at the event Monday, condemning honour killings and calling on women's groups and local communities to work together with the government to combat the "heinous abuses of power."

When asked if the government might create a special definition or enhanced sentencing in the Criminal Code around honour killings, Ambrose said that laws are already in place to address violence and murder.

Still, she said, "it's something that we're looking at."

A spokesperson for Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, however, said that there currently are no plans in place to amend the Criminal Code in regard to honour killings.

Papp's report concludes with 14 policy recommendations that she said could help to deter future violence against women. (ANI)

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