26 Feb 2013

Polygamy assessment sought in PNG Supreme Court

1:11 pm on 26 February 2013

Papua New Guinea's Constitutional and Law Reform Commission wants the Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of polygamy to better protect the rights of women and children.

The commission first made a submission to the Supreme Court on polygamy in 2009.

Its secretary, Dr Eric Kwa, says many people believe that polygamy falls under custom marriage.

But Dr Kwa says while the practice is traditional in some areas such as the Highlands, it is becoming more common in other parts of the country.

"The people who engage in polygamous relationships, the men I can notice that, it is custom and so its allowed under the current law. We are saying that yes, but maybe it violates maybe the women's rights, or even the children's rights, to access their parent, particularly for the children. And for women, it's enslaving the woman."

PNG Constitutional and Law Reform Commission secretary, Dr Eric Kwa.