Pakistan: Forced Marriage

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 30th November 2020.

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Photo of Brendan O'Hara Brendan O'Hara Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Inclusive Society), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Government of Pakistan on the recent spate of kidnappings of young and underage Christian and Hindu girls who have been forced to convert to Islam and marry their abductor.

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

We are concerned about women's and girls' rights in Pakistan and ongoing reports of forced marriage and forced conversion of Hindu, Christian and Sikh women and girls. 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. On 19 October, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for South Asia and Minister responsible for Human Rights, raised our concerns about child, early and forced marriage and forced conversion of women and girls, including those of religious minorities, with Pakistan's Minister for Human Rights, Dr Shireen Mazari. In addition, Lord Ahmad raised our concerns about Freedom of Religion or Belief with Dr Mazari on 16 November.

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