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Pakistan: Religious Freedom

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN HL9613, tabled on 27 October 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to raise (1) forced conversion, (2) forced marriages, (3) abductions, and (4) abuse, of religious minority women and girls at international fora dealing with human rights.

Answered on

9 November 2020

The UK Government strongly condemns forced marriages, forced conversions, abductions and abuse of women and girls from religious minorities around the world. The UK is a world-leader in the fight to stamp out the practice of forced marriage, with our dedicated Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) leading efforts to combat it both at home and abroad. The FCDO also tackles child marriage through a range of other programmes, including on women and girls' empowerment and girls' education. Making progress on ending child marriage will remain a key focus, including as part of our work to deliver the Prime Minister's commitment to champion 12 years of quality education for girls.

We recognise that women and girls from religious minorities can often suffer because of both their gender and their faith. That is why we ensure that our human rights policy work considers the intersectionality of human rights, for example the importance of addressing the specific difficulties experienced by women from religious minority communities. One example of our work in this area is related to the UK's commitment to Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, which I lead on as the Prime Minister's Special Representative. We are working with international faith and belief leaders to issue a 'Declaration of Humanity' which calls for the end of sexual violence in conflict and to tackle the stigma so often faced by survivors. We will continue to raise these issues with our international partners and in multilateral fora such as the UN.