United Nations’ Human Rights expert expressed concern about the situation of the minorities in Pakistan !

New York (US) – UN experts* today expressed alarm at the reported rise in abductions, forced marriages and conversions of underage girls and young women from religious minorities in Pakistan and called for immediate efforts to curtail the practices and ensure justice for victims.

“We urge the Government to take immediate steps to prevent and thoroughly investigate these acts objectively and in line with domestic legislation and international human rights commitments. Perpetrators must be held fully accountable,” the experts said.

“We are deeply troubled to hear that girls as young as 13 are being kidnapped from their families, trafficked to locations far from their homes, made to marry men sometimes twice their age, and coerced to convert to Islam, all in violation of international human rights law,” the experts said.  “We are very concerned that such marriages and conversions take place under threat of violence to these girls and women or their families.”

“Family members say that victims’ complaints are rarely taken seriously by the police, either refusing to register these reports or arguing that no crime has been committed by labelling these abductions as “love marriages,” the experts said.

“Abductors force their victims to sign documents which falsely attest to their being of legal age for marriage as well as marrying and converting of free will. These documents are cited by the police as evidence that no crime has occurred.”

The experts said it was imperative that all victims, regardless of religious background, are afforded access to justice and equal protection under the law.

(Credit : Hindustan Times)

“Pakistani authorities must adopt and enforce legislation prohibiting forced conversions, forced and child marriages, kidnapping, and trafficking, and abide by their international human rights commitments to combat slavery and human trafficking and uphold the rights of women and children,” they said.

Editorial viewpoints

  • No point in just expressing concern. It is necessary that the UN finds concrete solutions to this problem. Else it will become clear that the UN is just an ineffective body for display !
  • India should pressurise the human rights organisation of the United Nations to take action against Pakistan !