Freedom from Negative Social Control and Honour Based Violence (2021-2024)

The freedom to decide over one’s own life is fundamental in our society. Nevertheless, we see repeated examples of how this freedom is being curtailed. There is a need for an active policy to combat attitudes and actions that impede an individual’s opportunities to both succeed and live a free and safe life. Combating negative social control, honour based violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation has consequently long been a high priority for the Government. These efforts involve safeguarding fundamental rights, ensuring freedom and equality for all, combating violence and abuse, preventing social exclusion and health problems and ensuring equal public services for the entire population.

Long-term efforts have yielded results and put important questions on the agenda. Cross sectoral collaboration has been established to meet complex challenges. The threshold for seeking help has been lowered. An increased number of victims and people at risk are being identified and receive help.

Negative social control and honour based violence are persistent challenges, and with the action plan Freedom from Negative Social Control and Honour Based Violence (2021–2024), the Government will advance and strengthen its efforts. The plan is a follow-up of the Government’s strategy Integration through Knowledge 2019–2022, where ”The Right to Live a Free Life” is one of four priority areas. Combating negative social control and honour based violence is also seen in connection with the Government’s Strategy for strengthening the role of civil society in the field of integration (2021–2024).

The action plan is part of Norway’s implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on reventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention). It is also seen in the context of the Escalation Plan against Violence and Abuse (2017–2021) and the forthcoming action plans Freedom from Violence (2021–2024) and Safety, diversity and openness – The Norwegian Government’s action plan against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and gender characteristics 2021–2024.

Seven ministries and their subordinate agencies are collaborating on the action plan. Voluntary organisations also play an important role locally and nationally by providing information and dialoguing with parents and young people. Many young people have themselves called for action and are actively participating in the public debate. 

Many have contributed to this action plan. We have received good input from a wide range of actors in the public sector, academia, organisations and from individuals. We would like to take this opportunity to extend our gratitude to everyone.