13 Mar 2006

Plans for Human Rights Commission in PNG drop off the radar

7:48 am on 13 March 2006

Papua New Guinea's Community Development Minister says plans to establish a human rights commission in the country have ground to a halt.

Dame Carol Kidu had been spearheading the plans, which date back to the mid-1990s, when her late husband, Chief Justice Buri Kidu, was drafting documentation for a human rights commission.

She says the draft got to the stage of a cabinet submission but has failed to gain government approval or support at bureaucratic levels.

Dame Carol says she is at a loss to explain exactly why PNG is not ready to establish a commission.

"Here it is more me and my clan or tribal group, and this tends to lead to internal problems of ethnic clashes, tribal fights and things like that. And I believe if we really work on creating concepts of the fundamental rights of people and universal rights and try to gradually move people away from the idea of me and my tribe and our rights."