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Draft regulation for ‘honour crime’ victims’ shelter ready — Social Development Ministry

By Rana Husseini - Aug 21,2017 - Last updated at Aug 21,2017

AMMAN — The Ministry of Social Development said it has finalised a regulation draft that will govern the operation of a shelter for women whose lives are in danger due to reasons related to “family honour”, official sources said.

“We have finished preparing the regulations that will govern how the shelter will be operating in cooperation with our partners from the governmental and non-governmental organisations,” the ministry’s spokesperson Fawaz Ratrout said.

The next step is to hold a workshop on Thursday with the ministry’s partner Mizan Law Group to “discuss the regulations and make sure that all matters related to the shelter are covered from a legal perspective as well as other services that are expected to be offered in the facility,” the official noted.

“The shelter is an important project and we are working on all aspects to open it, including locating the appropriate building soon,” Ratrout told The Jordan Times in a previous interview.

Currently, any woman whose life is in danger for reasons related to so-called family honour, and whose case is known to the authorities, is placed at the women’s correctional facility by the administrative governor in what is termed as “protective custody”.

Many of these women spend indefinite periods in the centre, sometimes exceeding 10 years, without any charges levelled against them. The women cannot leave the facility without the administrative governor’s permission, according to activists.

Around 30 women are believed to be imprisoned according to official figures, but activists have expressed doubt about these numbers.

In some cases, women are bailed out by male relatives, only to be killed “to cleanse the family’s honour”, activists added.

Activists have been urging the government for years to open a special facility to house these women and provide them with safety and freedom.

Ministry officials have told The Jordan Times in recent interviews that the shelter is expected to have a capacity of around 50 people.

The facility will be managed by the Ministry of Social Development, in cooperation with the administrative governor and the Family Protection Department affiliated with the Public Security Department, according to officials.

Officials stated that one of the main reasons for opening the shelter was the “Kingdom’s commitment to human rights conventions and clauses that stipulate finding an alternative protection method for women whose lives are in danger”.

 

Around 20 women are murdered annually for reasons related to so-called family honour in Jordan.  

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