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Pakistan: Forced Marriage

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL5968, tabled on 22 June 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of Pakistan about tackling forced conversions and marriages of religious minority girls and women in Pakistan; and what plans they have to raise forced conversion, forced marriages, abductions and abuse of religious minority women and girls at the next Universal Periodic Review of Pakistan and in other relevant forums.

Answered on

29 June 2020

We remain concerned about the human rights situation in Pakistan, including reports of abuses and violence directed against women and children. We are concerned about ongoing reports of forced marriage and forced conversion of Hindu, Christian and Sikh women and girls. The British Government strongly condemns the forced marriage and forced conversion of women and girls from religious minorities in Pakistan. We regularly raise our concerns about the protection of minority communities, including religious minorities, with the Pakistani Government at a senior level. Most recently, I raised our concerns about Freedom of Religion or Belief with Pakistan's Minister for Human Rights, Dr Shireen Mazari, on 5 June. The British High Commissioner to Pakistan met Pakistan's Minister for Human Rights on 8 June and raised our concerns about Freedom of Religion or Belief in Pakistan.

The UK raised concerns about Freedom of Religion or Belief at Pakistan's UN Universal Periodic Review of human rights in November 2017 and pressed Pakistan to strengthen its protection of minorities. We will continue to urge the Government of Pakistan to guarantee the rights of all people in Pakistan, particularly the most vulnerable, including women, minorities and children, as laid down in the Constitution of Pakistan and in accordance with international standards.