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Masterclass: The Honour Dimension to Conflicts

31st May 2023 @ 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

The purpose of this online seminar is to:

  • Raise awareness of the terms ‘izzat’, ‘namus’ or ‘honour’ and the influence of this concept on those from ‘honour’ communities
  • Identify some of the signs of honour based abuse and violence (HBA/HBV) – when mediation may not be appropriate
  • Consider circumstances when honour is present but where mediation could be possible

In June 2022, Sweden made honour based violence (HBV) and honour based abuse (HBA) a specific crime. In Scotland, there is no such specific crime. HBA is a form of gender-based violence and according to Police Scotland: “The term Honour Based Abuse (HBA) embraces a variety of incidents or crimes including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, abduction, forced marriage, imprisonment and murder (not an exhaustive list), where the individual, their family or community is punished for actually, or allegedly, undermining what the family or community believes to be the correct code of behaviour and which could bring shame to the family or community.”

It is more common to hear and associate the term ‘honour’ in the context of ‘honour’ killing and violence. However, the so-called notion of ‘honour’ is complex – and its influence on attitudes, behaviour and relationships can have far reaching consequences. ‘Honour’ codes are more prevalent among some Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities. In 2014, a survey of 300 BAME residents in Edinburgh found that more than 52% said honour would prevent them from reporting a crime and 63% said honour was part of their family belief system (This survey was conducted by Edinburgh and Lothian Equality Council).

In light of the above, there is a real potential that ‘honour’ could be present in cases that mediators handle. To preclude mediation in all cases when there is an element of honour to the conflict denies the individuals and communities of this effective means of conflict resolution. Mindful of how quickly risks can escalate, this seminar provides an opportunity to discuss and consider circumstances where mediation could be undertaken, safely.

Githathevi Kanisin bio:

Githa’s early career was in legal practice, with an LLM from University of Cambridge. For the last 20 years she has worked primarily with ethnic minority communities and vulnerable groups in Scotland, delivering services that increase capacity for positive relationships and conflict handling skills.

Githa also completed a PhD in the field of conflict resolution, at the Richardson Institute, Lancaster University. She is passionate about improving access to mediation and mediation skills to hard-to-reach and vulnerable community groups.

Tickets – £40 members & £80 non-members

To book this event please click HERE

Zoom link to be sent nearer the time.


Scottish Mediation
0131 556 1221
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