8 Mar 2013

OHCHR says serious investigations needed into violence against women

1:07 pm on 8 March 2013

The United Nations High Commisioner for Human Rights says serious investigations into violent acts against women should become the norm.

The Office of the High Commissioner is commemorating International Women's Day by highlighting the recent torture and burning of a Papua New Guinea woman acused of sorcery, as one of many cases of violence against women around the world.

In a statement, the Office says the incident is not unusual and says the Constitutional and Law Reform Commission of PNG estimates as many as 150 people accused of sorcery, mostly women, are murdered every year in just one of the country's 20 provinces.

It says public demands for action to end such crimes have prompted government leaders to take action and for police forces to launch investigations.

It says more pressure must be placed on political leaders to bring about serious and lasting changes and says each country needs find a way to ensure there is accountability for sexual and gender-based crimes.