Preliminary Examination of so-called "Honour Killings" in Canada

Preliminary Examination of so-called "Honour Killings" in Canada The views expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Justice Canada. This paper examines three questions – what is an “honour killing”, in order to establish the definition used in the paper; where does it occur, looking at reported incidents in Canada; and why does it occur, examining the psychopathology involved in such criminal acts committed in the present day. Many studies have documented a perception among some families in communities outside of Canada that, in order to restore the family’s honour, a family member must kill the person who allegedly brought shame or dishonour to the family vis-à-vis the larger community. Although the term “honour-based killing” is widely recognized, it should be noted at the outset that the term is also controversial. This paper will provide a preliminary overview of the apparent incidence of honour-related killings in Canada through a summary of reported case law and media reports. Honour killings are not associated with particular religions or religious practice: they have been recorded across Christian, Jewish, Sikh, Hindu and Muslim communities. Often, honour killings are not a religiously motivated crime, but are based on personal agendas, personal ego and personal mindset. In some cases, there are psychological connotations, as studies have shown that some perpetrators have undiagnosed mental illness and psychopathic traits or disorders. Gaining a better understanding of the individual, familial, community and cultural factors at play in honour killings is important for Canadian professionals who come into contact with potential victims, accomplices or offenders. From the literature review and media reports, it is evident that honour killings do occasionally occur in Canada. So far, over the past decade in Canada there have been at least a dozen reported homicides which appear to have been honour killings. 2022-02-22 Department of Justice Canada open_Government@justice.gc.ca LawPersonsSociety and CultureDepartment of JusticeAccess to InformationCanada's System of JusticeCriminal LawVictims of CrimeJustice Canada PublicationsFamily Law Preliminary Examination of so-called "Honour Killings" in CanadaHTML https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/cj-jp/fv-vf/hk-ch/toc-tdm.html Preliminary Examination of so-called "Honour Killings" in CanadaPDF https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/cj-jp/fv-vf/hk-ch/hk_eng.pdf Preliminary Examination of so-called "Honour Killings" in CanadaHTML https://www.justice.gc.ca/fra/pr-rp/jp-cj/vf-fv/ch-hk/tdm-toc.html Preliminary Examination of so-called "Honour Killings" in CanadaPDF https://www.justice.gc.ca/fra/pr-rp/jp-cj/vf-fv/ch-hk/ch_fra.pdf

The views expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Justice Canada.

This paper examines three questions – what is an “honour killing”, in order to establish the definition used in the paper; where does it occur, looking at reported incidents in Canada; and why does it occur, examining the psychopathology involved in such criminal acts committed in the present day.

Many studies have documented a perception among some families in communities outside of Canada that, in order to restore the family’s honour, a family member must kill the person who allegedly brought shame or dishonour to the family vis-à-vis the larger community. Although the term “honour-based killing” is widely recognized, it should be noted at the outset that the term is also controversial.

This paper will provide a preliminary overview of the apparent incidence of honour-related killings in Canada through a summary of reported case law and media reports. Honour killings are not associated with particular religions or religious practice: they have been recorded across Christian, Jewish, Sikh, Hindu and Muslim communities. Often, honour killings are not a religiously motivated crime, but are based on personal agendas, personal ego and personal mindset. In some cases, there are psychological connotations, as studies have shown that some perpetrators have undiagnosed mental illness and psychopathic traits or disorders.

Gaining a better understanding of the individual, familial, community and cultural factors at play in honour killings is important for Canadian professionals who come into contact with potential victims, accomplices or offenders. From the literature review and media reports, it is evident that honour killings do occasionally occur in Canada. So far, over the past decade in Canada there have been at least a dozen reported homicides which appear to have been honour killings.

  • Publisher - Current Organization Name: Department of Justice Canada
  • Publisher - Organization Name at Publication: Department of Justice
  • Licence: Open Government Licence - Canada

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