11 Jun 2014

International spotlight needed on forced evictions in PNG

2:21 pm on 11 June 2014

A United Kingdom research centre says international attention needs to be drawn to the Paga Hill case because it's just one of many forced evictions that the Papua New Guinea Government has done nothing about.

The International State Crime Initiative is taking the plight of the people at Paga Hill in Port Moresby to the UN's Special Rapporteur on Housing.

About 300 people were moved from Upper Paga Hill to custom land at Six Mile in Port Moresby, and police deny they were forcibly evicted.

The PNG co-ordinator of the Initiative, Kristian Lasslett, says there is a pattern in PNG of developers of poor repute illegally obtaining land and violently removing residents.

He says the government has failed to respond to repeated calls for something to be done.

"As of yet, there is no national policy in place to deal with land conflicts. There is no formal resettlement policy, there is no attempt to observe basic international norms, with respect to the forced relocation of communities.

Kristian Lasslett says there needs to be greater pressure put on the government to implement these policies.