PESHAWAR: Social activists in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the tribal belt have welcomed a resolution which was recently passed by United National Human Rights Council to end child and forced marriages.
Speaking to The Express Tribune on Wednesday, KP/FATA Alliance to End Early and Forced Marriages Coordinator Qamar Naseem lauded UN for adopting the resolution and said the initiative has been supported by various countries where rates of child marriages are high.
“However, the federal government and human rights activists are not keen to put an end to practices of early and forced marriages,” he said. “This means more girls in the country are being deprived of the right to make their own choices. In some cases, their lives also remain at risk.”
According to Naseem, the reluctance to take an initiative to resolve their plight will leave many girls in a vulnerable position. “Many girls will be forced to marry men who are twice or thrice their age,” he said. “As a result, they will be exposed to all forms of diseases.”
Time for change
Fata Child Rights Movement Coordinator Zar Ali Khan said social activists believed the resolution was a testament to what various countries can achieve if they work together.
“The time is ripe for civil society members to persuade the government to take action against child marriage,” he said.
The resolution was passed on July 2 and has been unanimously adopted by over 85 countries to strengthen efforts to prevent child marriage that affects nearly 15 million girls around the globe every year.
The resolution also incorporated recommendations from the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on preventing child marriage.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 9th, 2015.