Skip to main content

India: Forced Marriage and Religious Freedom

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 13207, tabled on 6 June 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with her Indian counterpart on (a) abductions, (b) forced conversions and (c) forced marriages of women and girls in India; and what steps she is taking to help support that Government in ending those practices.

Answered on

13 June 2022

We engage with India on a range of human rights matters, including at Ministerial level, working with Union and State Governments and with Non-Governmental Organisations. Reports of human rights abuses or discrimination against religious minorities are matters for the Indian police and local legal system and should be investigated thoroughly, promptly, and transparently.

The UK Government works through UN partners UNFPA and UNICEF to support the actions by the Indian Government and civil society to end child marriage. The first phase of the UK's support to the UN Global Programme to End Child Marriage (2015-20) helped five Indian states to implement evidence-based action plans, provided over four million girls with life skills training, and nine million community members to explore alternatives to child marriage. In November 2021, the UK announced £18 million of new funding to prevent child marriage across 12 focus countries, including India.