Social and legal action to combat honor related abuse

Project facts

Project promoter:
Center for Development of Sustainable Communities
Project Number:
In implementation
Initial project cost:
Donor Project Partners
KUN Center for Equality and Diversity
Other Project Partners
Women Lawyers Association


The Bulgarian legislation does not have a definition of honour abuse or violence and a data collection system which leads to impunity for offenders and inadequate protection for victims. Abuse can be in the form of early/arranged/forced marriages, acid attacks, dowry murders, genital mutilation, etc. The problem is acknowledged in part only by some Roma communities, mainly with regard to early marriages resulting in teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, school dropping out and consequent permanent marginalization. With the inflow of immigrants into the country, other forms of abuse have spread but they have not been acknowledged by interested parties involved professionally. These forms are much more alarming because they are encouraged by the family and community and women are also involved in the planning of abuse. The project sets out to carry out a national representative study of the issue among the various ethnic groups of Roma, Jews, Turks and Bulgarian as well as among asylum seekers who have been granted international protection (direct users), drawing comparison with the situation and good practices from Norway, analyze Bulgarians’ awareness and attitude to the issue, develop and submit to the public institutions (a main target group) recommendations for changes to the policies and legislation to prevent and solve such cases effectively. The advocacy campaign includes 13 public consultations to generate recommendations with at least 130 people across the country classified by ethnicity, profession and religion and 5 regional round tables attended by 200 members of the general public (end users) to sign a petition to support the drafted recommendations. Training materials targeted at various professionals will be developed. A 20-minute-long film with real stories and a broad communication campaign ending with a national conference will contribute to imposing public pressure on public institutions.