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forced marriage in pakistan

22 Oct. 2011. . October 28, 2020 at 12:00 am. However, under a new bill passed in Pakistani Senate, the minimum age of marriage for female was increased to 18. 21 … 10 Pakistan Penal Code (Act XLV of 1860), Sections 365B and 368. 1 Department of State, Pakistan – Local Laws and Special Circumstances, available at (last visited Jan. 14, 2015). As a cultural norm, they accept that under the prevailing circumstance in EU, UK and other foreign countries, the concept of a love marriage of their daughters with a stranger or non-Muslim is an intolerable notion. The procedure should follow a prescribed form to be filed while providing an undertaking that the marriage is being solemnized with the free will of the both the parties. 8 Karin Carmit Yefet, The Constitution and Female-Initiated Divorce in Pakistan: Western Liberalism in Islamic Garb, 34 HARVARD J. If the girl does dare to get married without parental permission, she faces maltreatment and is also sometimes hunted down by her parents and subjected to punishments in various forms including honour killing, stove burning and sudden “accidental” death and disappearances. 16 Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – Pakistan (2012), available at (last visited Jan. 27, 2014). The bishops noted with grave concern the rising number of abductions, forced conversions and forced marriages of girls among the minority communities in Pakistan. Rather than filing charges, authorities typically respond to domestic violence situations by encouraging the parties to reconcile or by returning women to their abusive family members, and treating cases of domestic violence as non-criminal matters.17 Corruption is also widespread within law enforcement and governmental agencies in certain areas of Pakistan, and families may be able to use bribery to influence authorities’ response.18 As noted earlier, certain parts of Pakistan are also governed by tribal law and custom, and women may have little protection from family and community sanctioned violence in such areas. Muslim boy to 13 1/2 years Christian girl forced marriage & threatening. The British Government had introduced legislation against expatriate parents who force their daughters to marry according to the parents’ choice. These incidents mostly take place due to parental influence and fiat. Please God say ! In rural Pakistan, where poverty is rife, forced marriage of young girls still continues. Girls are married off by their families, and often led to believe that if they refuse the marriage they will be "cursed". Consequently, forced to review its decision, the court ordered the girl to be moved to a women’s shelter in Karachi while her age is being determined through medical investigation. 12 Pakistan Dowry and Bridal Gifts (Restriction) Rules 1976; Human Rights Watch, Crime or Custom? 4 Muslim Family Laws Ordinance of 1961, Section 2. Another possible purpose behind this could be family settlement of properties and mutual benefits of involved parties. Arzoo Raja was snatched from her family home by her abductor, 44, who produced a … Individuals from the United States will likely face serious hurdles and risks if trying to avoid and/or escape a forced marriage in Pakistan. This source is meant to focus on the different types of forced marriages. Sanctity of culture, tradition and religious rituals are sustainable factors, which cannot be softened without education and consistent interaction with modern civilization. This may pave the way to a mutual decision between the parents and children, who can make up their mind together while settling what issues, may arise, thereby avoiding commitments with others. Violence Against Women in Pakistan (1999), available at (last visited Jan. 21, 2014). About Pakistan. What would you do if you were forced to ... Pakistan News. Everywhere in the world, marriage without consent or against the consent of the boy or girl is illegal. Pakistan high court upholds forced marriage of abducted Catholic minor . A forced marriage is where one or both people do not (or in cases of people with learning disabilities or reduced capacity, cannot) consent to the marriage as they are pressurised, or abuse is used, to force them to do so. Law enforcement’s response to violence against women is minimal, largely due to deeply rooted societal gender bias, inconsistent court rulings, and the government’s view that such issues are private family matters. 2 IRIN, Forced Marriages: In Kashmir, Old Habits Die Hard, The Express Tribune (Nov. 25, 2013), available at The parents, particularly those in the Muslim community residing abroad should review their approach. Arif Nizami (Editor) 15 Human Rights Watch, World Report 2014: Pakistan, available at 9 Jocelyn Richard, Women in Northern Pakistan – Protected by Tribe, Territory or Taliban, 3 UCL HUMAN RIGHTS REVIEW 236, 252 (2010). Email: [email protected], categoryTermID13----CategoryParentID4------, PCAA submits response in Havelian plane crash case, Serene Air secures permission to begin international operations, French President Macron tests positive for Covid-19, Games without frontiers: Indians, Pakistanis team up for eSports, NAB directed to complete probe against Chaudhry brothers in four weeks, SHC rejects bail request of former minister in NAB cases, Qureshi arrives in Dubai on two-day visit, WHO Covid-19 vaccine scheme risks failure, leaving Pakistan in the lurch, KP police arrest PTM leader at Sindh’s request, Saudis pushing for Gulf dispute breakthrough at summit: sources, Chinese capsule returns to Earth carrying moon rocks, Flattening curve wasn’t enough for New Zealand. Pakwatan. Huge proportion of young girls are forced to marry under the age of 18 due to myriads of socio-cultural reasons in the country. The police in Pakistan have rescued a missing 13-year-old girl belonging to a Christian minority who was allegedly forced to marry a 44-year-old Muslim man and convert to … Both countries’ domestic laws should prohibit forced marriage and treat the practice as a criminal offence. Violence Against Women in Pakistan (1999), available at (last visited Jan. 21, 2014). The True Islam. OF LAW & GENDER 553, 558 (2011). Forced marriages are common in Pakistan. There is currently no law prohibiting domestic violence in Pakistan.14 Honor related violence is not uncommon, with several thousand honor killings in Pakistan in the past decade and hundreds reported in 2013.15 Women may be reluctant to report forced marriage situations and other threats of violence (or press charges) due to fear of dishonoring the family and violent reprisals.16. Forced Marriage. They marry their sons and daughters against their consent to members of their family in Pakistan for various purposes, mostly to help get members of their family citizenship of the foreign country. By Zofeen T. Ebrahim 14 Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – Pakistan (2012), available at (last visited Jan. 27, 2014). Christian Teen Shares Survivor’s Testimony of Abduction and Forced Marriage in Pakistan By ICC’s Pakistan Correspondent 11/17/2020 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – In October, a 13-year-old Christian girl named Arzoo Raja was abducted as she played outside of her family’s home in Karachi, Pakistan. Pakistan's National Commission on the Rights of Child issued a policy brief on Dec. 7, stressing the need for a new law to curb increasing incidents of abduction, conversion, and forced marriage … Pakistan must move to correct the situation and cooperate with the British government in overcoming problems of introversion within the Pakistani community residing in UK. The writer is an Advocate Supreme Court, Senior Associate ABS & CO, former Additional District and Session Judge and Founding President of Centre for Rule of Law Islamabad-CROLI and can be contacted at: [email protected], "Dedicated to the legacy of the late Hameed Nizami" The guidelines and rules should also be designed to enforce this agreement through relevant ministries of both the countries. They believe that the parents have a right to decide the marriages of their child. This legislative move however can no longer be effective without parallel legislation in Pakistan. Women and girls in Pakistan have certain legal rights when entering into or attempting to dissolve a marriage, but deference to traditional practices and poor response by law enforcement create serious hurdles for those trying to stop or leave a forced marriage. REFERENCES As our audience increases - so do our costs. The British Interior Ministry and foreign office formed a Forced Marriage Unit. According to the Sindh Child Marriages Restraint Act, 2013, marriage of any child under the age of eighteen is a criminal offence. After forced marriage, conversion, 13-year-old teen handed over to 'husband' by Sindh court in Pakistan The Sindh High Court in Pakistan has given the custody of Arzoo Raja, a 13-year-old Christian girl who was abducted, forcibly converted and married to her 'husband'. Pakistan has committed to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line with target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals. ensure that forced conversions do not occur in the context of marriage or marriage negotiations.’6 However, as this report shows, Pakistan is failing to fulfil their obligations under these international treaties to protect the rights of vulnerable minorities from forced conversions and forced marriages. … Unfortunately, the laws are only enacted, but no one is willing to act upon these laws which can protect women and young girls. Staff Reporter. I was trapped. The menace does not only affect people in Pakistan, but also puts to suffering, people residing outside Pakistan, who are settled in foreign countries. The teenager was allegedly abducted by a 44-year-old man who forcibly converted her to Islam and married her. A GIRL of 13 was kidnapped by a man, forced to covert from Christianity to Islam and then marry him in Pakistan. The age of consent for marriage of both men and women un… Just like that—I was married to someone I’d spoken to once before, for less than a half hour. 3 Ali Ishfaq, Manual of Family Laws: with all amendments and up-to-date case law, 4th Edition (2012). ICN aims to provide speedy and accurate news coverage of all subjects of interest to Catholics and the wider Christian community. The menace does not only affect people in Pakistan, but also puts to suffering, people residing outside Pakistan, who are settled in foreign countries. Forced Marriages are typically associated with the Mirpuri/Kashmiri community, which represents around 85% of the Pakistani population residing in the United Kingdom. In 2008, during Pakistan’s review in the Human Rights Council, Switzerland had recommended Pakistan to do “everything possible to prevent early and forced marriage, and to recognize in its legislation rape within marriage”, but Pakistan has been slow in implementing this recommendation. The U.S. Embassy reports that it continues to respond to numerous cases of U.S. women who are tricked into traveling to Pakistan for forced marriages, with certain victims facing threats of violence.1 In 2012, the U.K.’s Forced Marriage Unit reported that almost half of the cases it handled involved individuals from the United Kingdom being taken abroad to Pakistan for marriage.2. 18 Akbar Nasir Khan, Country Report – Pakistan, United Nations Asia and Far East Institute (2005), available at; Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Pakistan: Domestic violence, including the effectiveness of the Protection of Women (Criminal Laws Amendment) Act, 2006; state protection and services available to victims (2013), available at A forced marriage - where one or both people do not give their consent - often leads to abuse, rape and in some cases even murder. According to the data provided by the British government the number of forced marriage between Pakistani and British people is abnormally higher than those between British citizens and foreigners from other countries. The Muslim families settle in the UK temporarily for economic and livelihood purposes, but their children grow up with a different mind-set. 19 Department of States, U.S. The new legislation will help the Muslim community living in UK, particularly Pakistanis who make up the majority of the Muslim community. 17 Human Rights Watch, Crime or Custom? Although the government recently strengthened laws addressing violence against women, incidents of forced marriage, honor crimes, and domestic violence are still widespread. She says she's aware that happens a lot in Pakistan and India and that it … Ph: +92 51 2287273 Islamabad, Ph: +92 21 35381208-9 Karachi Laws protecting women and girls are poorly enforced and disregarded in certain regions, and it can be difficult for women to access help and resources in country. The two girls, 13-year-old Raveena and 15-year-old Reena, were allegedly kidnapped by a group of "influential" men from their home in Ghotki district on the eve of Holi. By Zofeen T. Ebrahim. Forced Marriage is a widespread problem varied across a range of countries with Pakistan standing at a 46% rate of occurrence. Religiously speaking, Islam also does not allow forced marriages and it’s an offence under Pakistani laws. Two minor Hindu girls (sisters) were allegedly kidnapped and forcibly married after being converted to Islam in Pakistan's Sindh province, triggering protests by the minority community. In these areas, women that request a divorce risk being ostracized from their communities and becoming victims of potential honor violence.9, Although abduction of an individual for the purpose of forced marriage is a criminal offense in Pakistan,10 it is one of, if not the most, widespread reported crime against women in the country.11 Pakistan has also passed laws to try and prevent “bride burning” and dowry related violence (often initiated when a bride’s in-laws decide her dowry is insufficient)12 as well as acid attacks, which have recently increased in frequency and may occur when a women has refused or attempted to leave a marriage.13 However, these laws are often ineffectual and poorly enforced. Passports & International Travel – Pakistan, available at (last visited Feb. 2, 2014). In Islamic law, a marriage can happen any time after a girl's first period, Stark said. However, we deliberately neglect the prerequisite of a civil contract that is; a free will to contract of the parties. Both the states under this treaty may declare pre-marriage registration compulsory in the respective country. These incidents mostly take place due to parental influence and fiat. Bishops discuss conversion, forced marriage. Knowing the culture of the West, parents should regularly discuss these issues confidently with their children so they can understand each other’s point of views, feelings and fears. A series of laws which pertain to the principal religious communities in the Pakistan govern marriage in county,3 with the Muslim Family Law Ordinance regulating the majority Muslim population. A series of laws which pertain to the principal religious communities in the Pakistan govern marriage in county,3 with the Muslim Family Law Ordinance regulating the majority Muslim population. Bibi is not alone. Ph: +92 42 36375963-5 Fax: 042-36298302 Knowing the culture of the West, parents should regularly discuss these issues confidently with their children so they can understand each other’s point of views, feelings and fears. Balagamwala is keen to not deny the experience of women who are subjected to forced marriage. 10/30/2020 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – Arzoo Raja, a 13-year-old Pakistani Christian girl, is the latest victim in the pattern of the kidnapping, forced conversion, and forced marriage of young Christian girls in the country. Pakistan Catholic Bishops’ Conference (PCBC) also discussed Arzoo’s case at its biannual meeting in Lahore on Nov. 5-6. The conversion document Raja signed also opens a loophole in the child marriage case, he said. We Need Your Support. The complaints of forcibly married girls to authorities can also be verified in this way. Muslim families are not responding too well to their children’s response to the social and cultural environment of western foreign countries. The case stirred a public outcry. This will help to curb the practice and punish anyone who violates the laws. Tags: Maira Shahbaz, Pakistan, Forced Marriage, ACN, Aid to the Church in Need, Red Wednesday #RedWednesday. All over the world, every religion, customary and conventional law, have declared marriage as a civil contract. 6 Mehreen Zahra-Malik, Child Brides Blot Tribal Pakistan: Practice of Gifting Girls in Marriage to Settle Tribal Disputes Haunts Areas with Limited Government Oversight (Oct. 24, 2012), available at (last visited March 3, 2014); Shirkat Gah Women’s Resource Centre, Submission on child, early and forced marriage (2013), available at After the CBCP’s Nov. 5-6 assembly, Pakistan’s bishops condemned the kidnapping and forced marriage of underage girls in the country and highlighted the case of … A couple of days later officers from the Commission came to the address and asked to speak to me alone. Forced marriage is prevalent in Madagascar. In Pakistan, several young girls/women are forced into wed-lock against their consent. 5 Pakistan Child Marriage Restraint Act of 1929, Sections 2, 4, and 5; Shirkat Gah Women’s Resource Centre, Submission on child, early and forced marriage (2013), available at In this context, the family members of the other party to the marriage would automatically be charged under abetment in forced marriages. Pakistan is a Muslim country, and Islam gives full rights to girls to marry as per their own discretion, still we fail to follow Islam, and this injustice against women is continuing. 7 Human Rights Watch, World Report 2014: Pakistan, available at Pakistan uses both secular and Islamic law in court. © Tahirih Justice Center, 2020 | Privacy Policy, Understanding Arranged and Forced Marriage, please contact the Forced Marriage Initiative, The Tahirih Justice Center Forced Marriage Initiative. In Pakistan, forced marriage is against the law and abetment is also an offence under the Pakistan Penal code, 1860. There are state run agencies and shelters (including the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto centers) that are dedicated to providing assistance to victims of forced marriage and other forms of gender-based violence in Pakistan, as well as a growing NGO community offering shelter and services in country. "My friend, Izzy, called the Forced Marriage Unit's helpline and they got in touch with the British High Commission in Pakistan. However, it used the term “forced”... 1. forcedmarriage-pakistan. Forced marriages are common in Pakistan. Candid pictures of European leaders. 4-Shaarey Fatima Jinnah, Lahore According to the British government, forced marriage is defined as one in which either one or both parties are forced to marry after being subjected to physical or mental torture or being victims to financial threats. The administrative authorities (Union Councils) and public servants who register the marriages and supervise marriage ceremonies (Nikka Khuwa-person administering the marriage rituals of contract) also fall within the ambit of abetment if they do not follow the rules of Nikkah (Contract). During its Voluntary National Review at the 2019 High Level Political Forum, ... UNFPA, Child marriage in Pakistan, a Taboo, 2007, [unpublished] Therefore a civil contract without free will is void and revocable under law. Teen girl 'rescued' from forced marriage in Pakistan 03/11/2020. This mechanism will frustrate the arrangement of forced marriages from the beginning till the end. For further information and guidance for individuals from the U.S. that are facing or fleeing a forced marriage in Pakistan, please contact the Forced Marriage Initiative. The age of consent for marriage of both men and women under this Ordinance and Muslim Personal Law (Sharia’h) is when an individual reaches puberty.4, While the Child Marriage Restraint Act of 1929 attempted to set an age of marriage at 18 for males and 16 for females, with punishments for guardians and those solemnizing underage marriages, the penalties are too low to have much deterrent effect.5 Tribal customs play an important role in many communities, and marriage laws may be interpreted and enforced through tribal elders and jirgas (councils of elders).6 Generally, there is no strict enforcement of minimum marriage age laws and there is limited remedies for victims if they are violated.7, Divorce in Pakistan is more difficult for women to initiate and obtain than for men,8 and – in certain regions of Northern Pakistan – it may be nearly impossible for a woman to dissolve her marriage without her husband’s and family’s consent. In some cases, the husband is much older than his bride, and when she becomes a widow, she is discriminated and excluded by society. However, if even one of the spouse changes his or her mind but is forced to go ahead with the marriage, it is considered a forced marriage. They believe that reaction is natural. The Constitution of Pakistan prohibits under-age marriages. Forced conversion and marriage of girls from minority religions is a growing problem in Pakistan, campaigners say. Under the Act, the minimum age for marriage was 18 years for a male and 16 years for a female (section 2). 15, 2012), available at The Sindh High Court in Karachi, Pakistan, has validated the marriage … Forced marriage!!! In case they have any cause to believe that an abuse of the Marriage Act or the marriage registration rules is taking place, they can make it a point to report to the police. The public servants can become an interface in forced marriages and play an instrumental role in ensuring that girls are not under- age and they are being contracted in marriages out of their own free will. The plan was to make forced marriage a criminal offence. When leaving Pakistan, a traveler must present a valid passport and exit visa; without such documents individuals may be subject to possible fines and arrest.19 There have been reports of Pakistani authorities working with family members of forced marriage victims to prevent departure from the county. Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas thinking about second baby No boy under 18 and no girl under 16 are allowed to marry. Forced conversion and marriage of girls from minority religions is a growing problem in Muslim-majority Pakistan, campaigners warn.

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