UN Warns Pakistan on Forced Marriage, Religious Conversions, Ask Authorities to Take Urgent Steps

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Last Updated: January 17, 2023, 17:13 IST

UN experts suggested that Pakistani authorities adopt and enforce legislation prohibiting forced conversions, child marriages and trafficking, and follow the international human rights laws to uphold the rights of women and children. (Reuters File Photo)

UN consultants steered that Pakistani authorities undertake and implement laws prohibiting pressured conversions, baby marriages and trafficking, and observe the worldwide human rights legal guidelines to uphold the rights of girls and kids. (Reuters File Photo)

The UN consultants deplored the dearth of entry to justice to the victims in Pakistan and mentioned their households really feel the police hardly take them severely

The United Nations consultants have raised alarm on the rising charge of abductions, pressured marriages and conversions of underage women and younger girls from non secular minorities in Pakistan.

According to studies, the so-called marriages and conversions happen with the involvement of non secular authorities.

“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,” the experts said as quoted by news agency ANI.

Courts have on occasion misused interpretations of religious law to justify victims remaining with their abusers.

“We are deeply troubled to hear those girls 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,” in accordance to UN Human Rights Office assertion.

The experts deplored the lack of access to justice to the victims in Pakistan and said their families feel the police hardly take them seriously.

Abductors forcefully ask families to sign papers. The courts enable these offences by accepting fraudulent evidence from perpetrators regarding victim’s age, voluntary marriage and conversion, according to reports. The courts have misused the religious law to justify abuse on the victims.

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

The experts suggested that Pakistani authorities adopt and enforce legislation prohibiting forced conversions, child marriages, kidnapping and trafficking, and follow the international human rights laws to uphold the rights of women and children.

Special Rapporteurs and other independent experts are part of the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council.

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