UN urges Pakistan to take action on forced conversions & marriages



On January 16, the United Nations (UN) consultants expressed grave concern concerning the alarming rise in coerced marriages, kidnappings and forced conversions of minor women belonging to spiritual minority communities in Pakistan.

The UN consultants had known as for rapid action to guarantee justice for the minor victims. They emphasised, “We urge the Government to take immediate steps to prevent and thoroughly investigate these acts objectively and in line with domestic legislation and international human rights commitments.”

“Perpetrators must be held fully accountable…We are deeply troubled to hear that girl as young as 13 are being kidnapped from their families, trafficked to locations far from their homes, made to marry men sometimes twice their age, and coerced to convert to Islam, all in violation of international human rights law,” UN consultants added.

“We are very concerned that such marriages and conversions take place under threat of violence to these girls and women or their families,” the UN consultants identified. They additionally expressed concern concerning the “lack of access to justice for victims and their families.”
“Family members say that victims’ complaints are rarely taken seriously by the police, either refusing to register these reports or arguing that no crime has been committed by labelling these abductions as love marriages,” the UN consultants mentioned.

They additional added, “Abductors force their victims to sign documents which falsely attest to their being of legal age for marriage as well as marrying and converting of free will. These documents are cited by the police as evidence that no crime has occurred.”

“Pakistani authorities must adopt and enforce legislation prohibiting forced conversions, forced and child marriages, kidnapping, and trafficking, and abide by their international human rights commitments to combat slavery and human trafficking and uphold the rights of women and children,” the UN consultants mentioned.

The UN consultants included Nazila Ghanea, Fernand de Varennes, Siobhán Mullally, Tomoya Obokata, Mama Fatima Singhateh, Reem Alsalem, Dorothy Estrada-Tanck, Ivana Radačić, Meskerem Geset Techane, Elizabeth Broderick, and Melissa Upreti.

However, there was no rapid reply from the Pakistani Government to the UN assertion.

Human rights teams say that forced conversion and marriage of younger girls from minority neighborhood is a rising drawback in Pakistan.

According to a report on over 1000 underage women belonging to the minority Hindu, Christian and Sikh communities are kidnapped and forcefully transformed to Islam yearly subjected to rape and forcibly married to previous males in Pakistan.

Forced conversion and kidnapping of Hindu women, their forced marriage to previous Muslim males are primarily within the Sindh province, which hosts about 90 per cent of the minority neighborhood (Hindu and Sikh).

Notably, Systemic persecution of minorities, together with Christians, Ahmadiya, Sikhs, Hindus by Draconian blasphemy legal guidelines, forced conversions and marriages and extrajudicial killings, has change into a daily phenomenon in Pakistan. Attacks on Holy and historic websites of non secular minorities in Pakistan can also be a serious difficulty.

More than 6,700 girls and women have been kidnapped within the Islamic nation’s Punjab province within the first half of 2021. Out of that, 1,890 girls have been raped, 3,721 have been tortured and 752 women have been raped, Duniya News reported.


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