Summary: This report aims at providing a comparative analysis of the ways in which forced marriages and honour killings are framed in the laws and practices taking place across the different Member States of the EU as well as in a selection of neighbouring countries. While statistical data on forced marriages and honour killings is often scarce, this report shows that these practices can be indeed found in a number of countries. At times of carrying the comparative analysis the legal context requires specific attention, not least for defining forced marriages but also for looking at the various steps which are taken to counter this phenomenon. Forcing someone to marry is a specific crime only in few EU Member States legal systems. Protection against forced marriage is however provided in a number of Member States by a broad range of activities including marriage law, immigration law, counselling, media presence and cooperation with civil society. When looking at the circumstances surrounding forced marriages, it appears that forced marriage has roots in traditional-patriarchical family structures, low-income situations and lack of education not in a specific culture or religion. Further, existing data suggest that forced marriage can some times result in honour killings. The report also addresses the ways in which these domains are being addressed at EU level, as well as the limits and potential for future EU action.
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