Government issues a strong condemnation of forced marriages, forced conversions, abductions and abuse of women and girls from religious minorities around the world and the UK’s very welcome promotion of a Declaration of Humanity.

Nov 9, 2020 | Featured parliamentary activity

Government issues a strong condemnation of forced marriages, forced conversions, abductions and abuse of women and girls from religious minorities around the world and the UK’s very welcome promotion of a Declaration of Humanity.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL9613):

Question by Lord Alton of Liverpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to raise (1) forced conversion, (2) forced marriages, (3) abductions, and (4) abuse, of religious minority women and girls at international fora dealing with human rights. (HL9613)

Tabled on: 27 October 2020

Answer:
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:

The UK Government strongly condemns forced marriages, forced conversions, abductions and abuse of women and girls from religious minorities around the world. The UK is a world-leader in the fight to stamp out the practice of forced marriage, with our dedicated Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) leading efforts to combat it both at home and abroad. The FCDO also tackles child marriage through a range of other programmes, including on women and girls’ empowerment and girls’ education. Making progress on ending child marriage will remain a key focus, including as part of our work to deliver the Prime Minister’s commitment to champion 12 years of quality education for girls.

We recognise that women and girls from religious minorities can often suffer because of both their gender and their faith. That is why we ensure that our human rights policy work considers the intersectionality of human rights, for example the importance of addressing the specific difficulties experienced by women from religious minority communities. One example of our work in this area is related to the UK’s commitment to Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, which I lead on as the Prime Minister’s Special Representative. We are working with international faith and belief leaders to issue a ‘Declaration of Humanity’ which calls for the end of sexual violence in conflict and to tackle the stigma so often faced by survivors. We will continue to raise these issues with our international partners and in multilateral fora such as the UN.

Date and time of answer: 09 Nov 2020 at 15:00.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL9614):

Question by Lord Alton of Liverpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to target their Official Development Assistance to Pakistan on methods and programmes that provide effective measures to prevent abductions, forced conversions and forced marriages of girls from minorities in Pakistan. (HL9614)

Tabled on: 27 October 2020

Answer:
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:

Our Aawaz II Accountability, Inclusion and Reducing Modern Slavery Programme will spend £39.5 million over 5 years (2018 – 2024) across the Pakistani provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab. This will continue to be our main ODA-funded programmatic tool for addressing issues affecting marginalised and vulnerable groups in Pakistan until 2024.

The UK Government strongly condemns child, early and forced marriage and forced conversion of all women and girls in Pakistan, including from religious minorities. We regularly raise at a senior level our concerns about Freedom of Religion or Belief, women and girls’ rights and gender equality with the Government of Pakistan. Most recently, I raised our concerns about child, early and forced marriage and forced conversion of women and girls in Pakistan, including from religious minorities, with Pakistan’s Human Rights Minister, Dr Shireen Mazari, on 19 October.

Date and time of answer: 09 Nov 2020 at 13:26.

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