9 Feb 2015

PNG human rights take turn for worse

6:38 am on 9 February 2015

A new report from Human Rights Watch says Papua New Guinea's human rights record took a turn for the worse in 2014.

The 2015 World Report cites gender inequality, violence, corruption and excessive use of force by police among the problems faced by the country.

Human Rights Watch's Australia director, Elaine Pearson, says Papua New Guinea won't see any improvement to its human rights situation unless the government enforces the law.

"Really until people see that there are penalties that will be inflicted on those engage in abuses and bad behaviour. We're unlikely to see a real improvement in how people are treated and remedies for the victims of those abuses."

Elaine Pearson says 2014 also saw a blow to rule of law and accountability when Prime Minister Peter O'Neill sacked key officials and disbanded the country's main anti-corruption body.