Pakistan: Females

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

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Photo of Marie Rimmer Marie Rimmer Labour, St Helens South and Whiston

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to help end abductions, forced conversions and forced marriages of women and girls in Pakistan.

Photo of Marie Rimmer Marie Rimmer Labour, St Helens South and Whiston

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will make representations to her counterpart in Pakistan on ending abductions, forced conversions and forced marriages of women and girls in that country.

Photo of Marie Rimmer Marie Rimmer Labour, St Helens South and Whiston

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the (a) case of Maira Shahbaz and (b) potential for safe resettlement for her in the UK.

Photo of James Cleverly James Cleverly Minister of State (Minister for Europe)

The UK condemns forced marriage and the forced conversion of women and girls. We regularly raise the issue of Freedom of Religion or Belief and women and girls' rights at a senior level with the Government of Pakistan. During his visit to Pakistan on 23 and 24 June 2021, Lord Ahmad met Prime Minister Khan, as well as other senior government ministers, and discussed the issue. He met interfaith leaders in order to better understand the situation of Pakistani minorities, particularly the issue of forced conversion and marriage. Most recently, he discussed the need to promote respect for all religions with Governor of Punjab Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar on 28 November. The FCDO funds programmes in Pakistan that directly address early and forced marriages and gender-based violence. The UK government has supported the Government of Pakistan in setting up eight child courts to provide child-sensitive justice to children who come in contact with the law, including victims of child abuse, trafficking and child marriage.

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