Listhaug considers passport retention and travelling bans

Sylvi ListhaugImmigration and Integration Minister Sylvi Listhaug (Progress Party).Photo: Audun Braastad / NTB scanpix

Retaining passports and prevention from travelling outside the Schengen  area are two of the measures being considered by the government to counteract social control and the Honour culture.

“Social control and the Honour culture is one of today’s greatest integration challenges,” said Immigration and Integration Minister Sylvi Listhaug (Frp) in the Storting on Tuesday.

In an interpellation debate raised by Aps Jan Bøhler, she concluded that it was a culture that “directly violates the Norwegian and Western values ​​of freedom, equality and the right to live as one would like.”

“That parents send young people who have grown up in Norway to Koran schools where physical punishment is used if they do not repeat the Koran verses, is simply incomprehensible to me and everyone else who has children,” said Listhaug.

Various measures
The Frp minister says the government is considering a number of measures to counteract the phenomenon, which has been highlighted in particular by a series of reports by NRK this autumn.

“The government will look at the possibility of retaining passports, so parents cannot bring their children abroad when the purpose is harmful,” said Listhaug.

She will also investigate whether electronic border control can prevent them leaving the Schengen area, by including information about child protection decisions that will prohibit such departure.

“Furthermore, we will review individual cases where young people have been sent to their home country and have returned, to get a better understanding of what Norwegian authorities have done right and where it fails,” said Listhaug.

The debate followed Jan Bøhle’s interpellation, where he wanted to know what measures the government will take against social control and ‘Honour’ violence in Norway.

“We are still receiving serious warnings from the police and testimonies from girls and boys affected, saying that social control and physical and psychological Honour violence are common in some environments in Norway.

We see repeated cases of threats, coercion, harassment, kidnapping and gross acts of violence that may even lead to death, says Bøhler.

He points out that the government has over several years introduced measures against forced marriages and genital mutilation, but lacks a grasp of what he describes as the lack of acceptance of women’s freedom and gender equality.

“I can assure all that the government is continuing to look into whether there is a need for legislative changes or other measures to reinforce efforts towards the Honour culture and social control,” said Listhaug.