Human rights groups press EU to support minority rights in South Asia
Enlarge this pictureWilson Chowdhry with MEP Wikstroem at the EP in BrusselsA manifesto has been presented to the European Union asking that it take action to prevent human rights abuses against minorities in South Asia.
The British Pakistani Christian Association (BCPA) was among the groups at the European Parliament in Brussels to present the manifesto.
The document states that religious, ethnic and sexual minorities are among the most vulnerable groups in South Asia.
They face the threat of land grabs, assault, forced conversions and murder. Attacks on places of worship, businesses and homes are frequent, and life is made difficult in some places as a result of discriminatory laws.
Many of these human rights abuses go unreported, the report warns.
It also states that it is too difficult for people and human rights organisations in South Asia to access support from the EU.
The manifesto recommends that the EU take steps to close the gap between its institutions and human rights campaigners working on the ground in South Asian countries.
MEP Cecilia Wikstroem has promised to table a priority question to EU chief Baroness Ashton asking for the creation of a new unit to support grassroots human rights campaigners in engaging with the EU.
Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said the meeting had been “fruitful”.
“We are pleased that MEP Wikstroem responded positively and has expressed her support for the submitted manifest and its goals,” he said.