Mozambique: Religious Freedom

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 15th March 2022.

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Photo of Marco Longhi Marco Longhi Conservative, Dudley North

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps her Department is taking in response to reports that in Mozambique girls are being forced to convert to Islam or become slaves.

Photo of Marco Longhi Marco Longhi Conservative, Dudley North

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether her Department has made a recent assessment of the treatment of women in captivity in Mozambique.

Photo of Vicky Ford Vicky Ford Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

We are deeply concerned by the threat from extremist groups in north-eastern Mozambique, including the impact of the conflict on women and girls who are very vulnerable in this region. The UK is committed to working with the Government of Mozambique to tackle the insurgency and its underlying drivers. We work in partnership with key stakeholders, including local civil society organisations working in the North of Mozambique, ensuring that their work draws on recent analyses and assessments, including a report by the Observatory for Rural Environment from 2021 on the impact of the conflict on women and girls. The UK is also supporting implementation of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights in Mozambique, working with government, civil society, security actors and the private sector, in order to reduce the risk of abuses and promote respect for human rights.

In addition to promoting girls' access to education in Mozambique through the UK's contribution to the Global Partnership for Education, the UK is addressing the challenges around child marriage in Mozambique through our support to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)-Unicef Global Programme to End Child Marriage, which includes work to promote child protection in Cabo Delgado.

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