Pakistan: Human Rights

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 25th September 2020.

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Photo of Stephen Kinnock Stephen Kinnock Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department's policy is that abduction, forced conversions and forced marriages of religious minorities girls in Pakistan constitutes sexual slavery; and what representations he has made to his counterpart in Pakistan on preventing such practices.

Photo of Nigel Adams Nigel Adams Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office recognises forced marriages and sexual exploitation as an element of modern slavery. The UK Government is committed to the eradication of all forms of modern slavery, forced labour and human trafficking (SDG 8.7) by 2030, as unanimously adopted at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in 2015.

The UK Government strongly condemns the forced marriage and forced conversion of women and girls from religious minorities in Pakistan. We regularly raise our concerns about Freedom of Religion or Belief, women and girls' rights and gender equality with the Government of Pakistan at a senior level. Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon last raised our human rights concerns with Pakistan's Minister for Human Rights, Dr Shireen Mazari, on 27 August. On 8 September, Lord Ahmad discussed our concerns regarding Freedom of Religion or Belief with the Governor of Punjab.

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