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Monday, January 30, 2023
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EditorialNot safe for a lesser lot

Not safe for a lesser lot

In Pakistan, heinous atrocities against children are still being perpetuated. A dozen impartial UN specialists recently revealed an increase in cases of abductions, forced marriages, and conversions of religious minority females. They have also deplored that law-enforcing organizations, together with courts, enable such violations to be carried out through fake evidence. As a result, the problem goes unnoticed, perpetrators flee, and mafias continue to thrive.

Despite the passing of legislation to end such activities, the government’s attempts to outlaw kidnapping, forced marriages, and conversions of young girls and women from religious minorities in Pakistan are not well received by the international community. UN human rights experts have demanded immediate action to stop these patterns of behaviour and protect the rights of victims in light of the purported rise in crimes against women and people of colour. It is alarming that such marriages and conversions occur in the face of abuse against these girls, women, or their families, as the statement illustrates that laws alone are ineffective to prevent criminality and cultural assaults.

What undermines laws and government efforts is the court system, which accepts false evidence from offenders about consenting marriage, victims’ adulthood, and conversion without conducting a thorough investigation. In some cases, courts have incorrectly applied religious law interpretations to support victims’ continued abuse.

13-year-old girls are kidnapped, forced into marriage, trafficked, or forced to convert to Islam. These actions are committed under the cover of religion, and as a result, some laws that continue to deteriorate the country’s human rights status permit them. UN experts have encouraged the Pakistani government to stop these activities through responsible actions and statutory amendments due to the escalating situation.

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