Report details appalling abuse over PNG land leases

9:57 am on 16 October 2018

A new report on Papua New Guinea's Special Agricultural and Business Leases, or SABLs, has detailed appalling human rights abuses suffered by indigenous landowners.

Papua New Guinea.

Photo: DOZIER Marc /

Called the SABL Land Grab: Papua New Guinea's Ongoing Human Rights Scandal the report highlights the devastating impacts of what has been a front for mostly illegal land grabs.

PNG group Act Now! and the British based War on Want visited six provinces interviewing people who have been cheated out of their land.

Act Now's Eddie Tanago told of what they heard from one of the victims.

"A landowner from Pomio who talked about the police brutality and not only the physical abuse they have suffered through but also the loss of their land, the loss of their traditional practices, customs and traditions, and the right to use their land to plant and make gardens."

Eddie Tanago said the PNG government was contravening its own land laws and the constitution in allowing the SABLs to continue to operate.

He said PNG was also breaking commitments to the United Nations in terms of the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, while the leases breach many of the fundamental human rights contained in the Universal Declaration of human Rights.

Mr Tanago said they were also calling for international condemnation of the abuses resulting from the SABLs.

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