27 Mar 2012

PNG human rights campaigner praises UN Rapporteur's visit

2:38 pm on 27 March 2012

A human rights campaigner in the Papua New Guinea Highlands says the visit by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women was really appreciated by women in PNG.

The Special Rapporteur, Rashida Manjoo, says violence against women is a pervasive phenomenon in PNG affecting two thirds of women.

She has called for immediate law changes, including the repeal of the Sorcery Act, which she says is used as a cover for horrific acts of violence.

Kup Women for Peace's Mary Kini, who spoke with the Special Rapporteur, says Ms Manjoo has helped to put an international spotlight on the issue of violence in PNG.

"We always talked about our issues but we were hitting the brick wall kind of. There weren't any voices being heard in the country, so we felt that that was the time when she was written [invited to PNG] so we could really tell the deeper feelings of what we were going through and really expressed what we felt we could speak out."

Mary Kini of the organisation Kup Women for Peace