19 Apr 2013

Repealing PNG sorcery act won't stop killings: Governor

3:13 pm on 19 April 2013

The Governor of Papua New Guinea's Eastern Highlands province says repealing the country's Sorcery Act is unlikely to stop gruesome sorcery-related killings.

Julie Soso is the first ever female Governor in PNG's Highlands region where sorcery-related violence remains entrenched and targets mainly females.

Following international outrage at recent killings of women accused of sorcery, the government is looking to repeal the 1971 Sorcery Act, and to make the killing of an alleged sorcerer a crime.

Mrs Soso says belief in sorcery is so deeply ingrained in PNG society that it is difficult to eradicate other than through a spiritual path.

But she suggests creating more protection for women should be the first step.

"To repeal or come up with a law to get rid of the practice or exercise it wouldn't really help much because the really is that women are already being killed. Really, we need to do something with law to really protect the women."

The Governor of Papua New Guinea's Eastern Highlands provinceJulie Soso