16 May 2013

Call for closer PNG/ Australia police links to fight violence against women

3:19 pm on 16 May 2013

A women's leader in Papua New Guinea says they want the country's police to forge closer links with Australian police as a key step in overcoming entrenched levels of violence against women.

Esther Igo says this was a key element of the petition presented to the prime minister, Peter O'Neill, during this week's Haus Krai or House of Mourning, in Port Moresby.

It was one of dozens of events, many of them overnight vigils, organised in PNG and overseas after an outcry over a series of gruesome murders of women accused of sorcery.

Esther Igo says the petition focussed on the need for the government to ensure the laws already on the books are enforced.

"That's what's really broken and immediately we have asked the government to work with Australia to see if we can have the Australian support in giving help to Papua New Guinea police. So that was one of the major things we had in the petition."

Last weekend in talks in PNG, the Australian prime minister, Julia Gillard, indicated that there would be enhanced links between PNG police and the Australian Federal Police.