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Lack of law enforcement encourages forced conversions in Pakistan

Voice for Justice (VFJ), an NGO operating in Pakistan, recently held a “Break the Bias” meeting in Karachi. During the event, they called on the government to provide legal and administrative guarantees to protect religious minorities, specifically minority women.


VFJ drew attention to the injustices plaguing Pakistani women such as forced conversions, child marriage, and general abuse. The government has outlawed marriage for those under the age of 18, and the Federal Court of Sharia accepts that setting a minimum age for marriage does not go against Islam.

While it is encouraging that the government and courts acknowledge the need for minimum age, there are still instances of early marriage brought on by poverty, social norms, traditions, customs, and religious misperceptions.

These circumstances, as well as the general lack of enforcement, means perpetrators of these heinous acts often walk away with impunity.


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