The dangers facing minority girls & women in Pakistan
More than 1,000 Hindu and Christian girls across Pakistan are stolen from their families annually.
Since 2011, more than 10,000 girls have been abducted.
The commonplace violence against abducted Hindu, Sikh, and Christian girls and women is typically at least fivefold:
- Abduction from homes
- Forced conversion certified at a mosque
- Forced marriage usually sanctioned by a judge
- Forced separation from family, even when rescued by the state abducted girls are often kept in shelters and not allowed to see their family
Some girls are also sold into sexual slavery. These girls are at risk of becoming ‘apostates’ and being killed if they do anything to suggest they are leaving or were never practitioners of Islam.
Each of these girls, sometimes as young as 12, cannot consent to being taken from their families, marriage, or sex.
As a top-donor country to Pakistan, the United States must work to stop the child trafficking and rape of these girls.
“Trafficking in persons” shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.
Watch for a quick introduction to the issues:
Understanding child sexual exploitation & human trafficking
- Interlinkages Between Trafficking in Persons and Marriage (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime)
- Forced child marriages as a form of child trafficking (Children and Youth Services Review)
- Concluding observations on the fifth periodic report
of Pakistan, United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child
- Cruel Numbers: Over 8 Children Abused Everyday in Pakistan, Sahil
- Forced Conversion of Minority Girls and Women in Pakistan, World Sindhi Congress
Perspectives on human trafficking of minority girls in Pakistan
- Victims of History: The Untold Story of Pakistani Hindu Refugees in India (Hindu American Foundation)
- Abduction, Conversion and Child Marriage of Religious Minority Girls in Pakistan (Jubilee Campaign)
- Forced Conversions in Ghotki? Field investigation report (Human Rights Commission of Pakistan)
- Daughters Gone Forever: Abductions and Forced Conversions (Sindhi Foundation)
- Quietly Cleansing Pakistan’s Minorities, One Girl at a Time, Hindu American Foundation
- Please Don’t Forget About Pakistan’s “Missing Girls” Too, Hindu American Foundation
- Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women warns against “uneven” application of policies and programmes in Pakistan, United Nations
- Pakistani Religious Minorities Protest Forced Conversion Of Girls by Radio Mashaal
- South Asian human rights body slams Pakistan over forced conversion of Hindu girls (The Economic Times)
- Bring Back Our Girls: Pakistan’s Hindus Struggle Against Forced Conversions (The Wire)
- Inside Pakistan’s ‘Conversion Factory’ for Hindu Brides (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)
- Abducted, shackled and forced to marry at 12 (BBC)