Taking a taxi can be a security risk for young immigrant women in Norway, Gunnar Svensson of the Oslo police told the Norwegian news agency NRK in a recent interview.
Svensson, who works to combat violence perpetrated in the name of family honor, said that many immigrant women are afraid to take a taxi, because of relatives who work in the taxi business. If these women are seen in the city alone, the news can be reported back to the family, which can lead to violence.
Svensson noted that in cases where women are already threatened by honor-related violence, it would be a "security risk" for them to take a taxi and they are advised not to do so. The Islamist Watch blog cited this earlier this month.
In August, the Guardian reported about a taxi driver living in Bradford who "would track down women and girls who had run away from home to escape a forced marriage" for £5,000.
Taxi drivers played a role in the infamous honor killing case of Pakistani-Danish woman Ghazala Khan in September, 2005. Khan was murdered by her brother after she married against the will of her family. Six members of her families were jailed in June, 2006, after they were all found guilty of playing a role in her murder. Some relatives, including Khan's father who ordered the killing, were taxi drivers. Khan and her husband were located with the help of taxi cabs hunting them down.
A report released this year by the UK-based Centre for Social Cohesion revealed that networks of taxi drivers are involved in tracking down and returning women who try to escape their families from honor killings or honor related violence.
"We have a huge problem with the taxi drivers here. We just can't trust them," said Jasvinder Sanghera, founder of the Karma Nirvana, a British organization that helps victims of forced marriage and honor based violence. "This can be a matter of life and death for these girls. If they get in the wrong taxi, they might just take them straight back home; straight back to the place that they've just escaped from."
An average of 10 to 12 women die in honor-related violence each year in the UK, the Social Cohesion report said.