12 Dec 2011

Australia's ruling party puts more focus on Papua

4:28 pm on 12 December 2011

New resolutions on Papua by the Australian Labor Party have been described as a shift in discourse in Canberra on issues around Indonesia's eastern region.

Resolutions adopted at the ALP national conference include calls for independent observers, media and human rights NGOs to be allowed access to Papua.

The ALP also wants those responsible for rights abuses, and for the killings and violence during the recent Papuan People's Congress, to be tried.

Camellia Webb-Gannon, who recently completed a PHD about the West Papua independence movement at Sydney University, says it's a departure from the ruling party's previous deferrals to Indonesian territorial sovereignty.

"That's significant and it probably reflects the media attention, the weighing in of Amnesty International, and other human rights organisations like Human Rights Watch and the campaign to free political prisoners, and that kind of thing. It probably just reflects the heightened awareness in general about West Papua that's taking place."

Camellia Webb-Gannon