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Pakistan

Pakistan bishops recommend changes to religious minorities law

Rules on marriage, adoption, dowries should be amended, prelates say

Published: February 29, 2016 05:17 AM GMT
Pakistan bishops recommend changes to religious minorities law

The Pakistan bishops' National Commission for Justice and Peace have launched a book: Proposed Principles of Family/Personal Laws for the Religious Minorities in Pakistan.

The book proposes necessary legislation for religious minorities along with amendments to raise the age of consent to marriage for women to 18 to comply with international standards.

The current minimum marriage age in Pakistan is 16 for women and 18 for men.

It also proposes custody of dowry by the husband or his family as unlawful and a punishable offense.

The book also proposes that petitions for divorce should be presented with logical reasons such as domestic and sexual violence, mental or terminal physical illness or intentionally not fulfilling financial, emotional or physical obligations.

Lastly the book recommends amending the adoption law, allowing Christian families to adopt children of other faiths.

"Children should be adopted by families who can contribute positively toward the mental and physical growth of the child regardless of their religious background," the book proposes.

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