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.
Summary of project results
The goals set in the project have been achieved – an in-depth analysis of the case law has been made and a review of the published analyzes and materials on the topic of violence in the name of honor. A nationally representative survey was conducted; the legislative framework in Norway was described; good practices have been shared, recommendations for changes in policies and legislation have been made in the form of a Petition, which has been sent to the responsible public institutions in Bulgaria.
Stakeholders were actively involved in expressing positions during the advocacy campaign.
Good partnership has been established with the Women Lawyers Association in Bulgaria. Expertise has been gained from our work with KUN, Norway regarding the institutional response to various forms of gender-based violence; more active contacts have been established with lawyers in different regions of the country; The project also contributed to the development of capacity in the team and in terms of organizing events in online format and the development of analytical skills as a result of the cabinet and nationally representative survey. There was a good partnership with sociologists - members of the partner who conducted the nationally representative survey.
Summary of bilateral results
The Norwegian partner contributed to conducting a desk study of legislative practice and good practical decisions at institutional level; to conducting expert interviews; with coordination and translation of the manual into Norwegian. The partner took an active part in the final conference of the project, in the sharing of good practices from Norway and in the implementation of the communication objectives of the project.