More needed to address PNG human rights issues - report

8:17 am on 13 January 2017

Human Rights Watch says more needs to be done in Papua New Guinea to make perpetrators of violence, corruption and police brutality accountable for their actions.

Papua New Guinea police officers watch on during a protest rally in 2013.

Papua New Guinea police officers watch on during a protest rally. Photo: AFP

In a new report, the global NGO said despite some worthy initiatives to address widespread human rights issues, they've been hampered by poor implementation and a lack of accountability.

It highlights a lack of meaningful reduction in PNG's high rates of gender-based violence, and the fact a Family Violence Act in 2013 is yet to be implemented.

The report also said the police force has done little to end a culture of brutality, with little evidence that cases ever result in disciplinary action against officers.

Human Rights Watch's Australia Director, Elaine Pearson, said the country's human rights problems will only improve when adequate measures are taken.

"I think these abuses in PNG will really only end when the abusers - whether they're government officials, whether they're officials - when they're held responsible for their crimes," Ms Pearson said.

"So clearly an important aspect is making sure that the legal system is able to address these issues and that human rights abusers are held to account."

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