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Pakistan Must Act to End Forced Child Marriage

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Pakistan Must Act to End Forced Child Marriage

(CTN News) – On Monday, UN rights experts expressed their regret over the alleged increase in forced Child marriage, abductions, and conversions of girls from Pakistan’s religious minority and urged the government to immediately end such actions.

The experts expressed their “great concern” at the reports of girls as young as 13 being taken from their families, trafficked to regions distant from their homes, forced to marry men who are frequently twice their age, and forced to convert to Islam.

The fact that such weddings and conversions occur under the prospect of harm coming to these girls, women, or their families “raises serious concerns for us.”

The experts requested that “urgent actions be taken to avoid and fully examine these activities” by the Pakistani government.

Learn more about ending child marriage.

The United Nations’ special rapporteurs on modern forms of slavery, violence against women, the sale and sexual exploitation of minors, and minority concerns are among the twelve independent United Nations rights experts.

Such inquiries, it said, have to be conducted “objectively and by national law and international human rights obligations.”

 

The experts, who are chosen by the UN Human Rights Council but do not comment on its behalf, cited findings showing that Pakistan’s judicial system supports crimes against young women and girls belonging to religious minorities “by accepting, without critical investigation, fake evidence.”

The police, according to family members, “rarely take victims’ complaints seriously, either refusing to record these reports or claiming that no crime has been done by labeling these abductions as ‘love marriages,'” they said in their statement.

According to the experts, kidnappers often “have their victims sign papers that fraudulently testify to their being of legal age for marriage as well as for marrying and converting of free choice.”

The police have used these records as proof that no crime has been committed.

The experts emphasized how important it was for all victims to have access to justice and equal protection under the law, regardless of their religious background.

Authorities in the nation “must pass and implement laws against forced Child marriage, forced marriages, abduction, and trafficking,” they said.

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