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Call to probe crimes against minority women

Lahore

May 12, 2019

LAHORE : The NGO organised a meeting titled “People's Inquiry” into alleged forced conversions and trafficking of minority women in a local hotel on Saturday.

The victims who experienced forced conversions and fake marriages with Chinese men shared their firsthand accounts under an oath during the event. Witnesses to those incidents also spoke.

The event was participated by noted human rights activists, legal experts, journalists and academicians, including I.A. Rehman, Khawar Mumtaz, chairperson, National Commission on Status of Women (NCSW), Maria Iqbal Tarana, member, NCSW, Mubashir Zaidi, journalist, Fatima Atif, minority rights activist, Wajahat Masood, Fr. Bonnie Mendes, Saroop Ijaz, advocate and Karamat Ali.

The jury of the Peoples’ Inquiry comprised former UN Special Adviser on Human Rights, Hina Jillani, Justice Kailashnath Kohli, Jamshed Rehmat Ullah and Parkash Mehtani. I.A. Rehman, Aoun Sahi and Mubashir Zaidi presented an overview of the issues.

Peter Jacob, chairperson of the NGO, emphasised the need to understand the issue at hand in its entirety vis-a-vis the role of contributing factors such as gender, poverty, religious discrimination and demography.

A research study prepared by the NGO, "Silence of the Lamb” was shared with the participants that provided a working definition and the evidence about the phenomenon and occurrence of forced conversion as well recommendations to effectively address the issue.

The People's Inquiry concluded with observations about vigilant societal role against the gender-based exploitation and transparent investigation into faith and gender-based crimes committed against minority women.

The jury held that the state must act to safeguard its citizens from all human rights violations, including forced faith conversions, forced marriages, trafficking, children marriages, rapes, gang-rapes, kidnapping and abduction, whether committed by individuals or groups.

The participants resolved that they would strive to uphold the standards of truth, justice and fairness as well as work towards providing relief to victims of forced conversions and related crimes.

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