Nation Commission for Human Rights Pakistan (NCJP) head Nadeem Ashraf has termed the under-age marriage worst form of gender-based violence.
LAHORE: (UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News-Dec 8th, 2022) Rights activists have called for provincial legislation against child marriage and forced conversion.
Mr Ashraf along with ED Wise Bushra Khalique, Professor Kalyan Singh, Deputy Director SAP Irfan Mufti, ED NCJP Naeem Yousaf Gill and Sobia Javed Advocate said each province should formulate laws and ensure their implementation to curb the increasing trend of violence in the country. Provinces, said the activists, are free to develop such legislation after 18th amendment in the constitution.
The NCJP has observed the cases of child and forced marriages and violence against women remains high, posing challenging for the most vulnerable segment at legislative and implementation level.
They said the government must implement the constitutional guarantees of article 20, 25 and most importantly the article 36 which ensure the protection of the rights of the religious minorities.
“Marginality and discrimination against minorities are increasing. Numbers of minor girls and women belonging to the Hindu and Christian community are becoming victims of abduction, forced marriage and forced conversions every year particularly in Punjab & Sindh.”
They demanded the provincial governments criminalize forced religious conversions followed by child marriage. The definition of 'forced conversion' should be added to the legal framework of the state and legislation must be made on the said issue. They called for setting the legally valid age for marriage at 18 years across Pakistan for both boys and girls through amendment in the Child Marriage Restraint Act 1929. Nikkh before 18 years, they said, should be declared null and void as in present situation the act does not invalidate it.