Human Rights Watch says PNG failing in some areas

12:12 pm on 6 April 2021

Human Rights Watch says the Papua New Guinea Government has failed to live up to commitments on women's rights, children's rights, and police accountability.

PNG Children on Highlands Highway

Photo: RNZ Pacific/ Koroi Hawkins

The watchdog group sent a submission to the United Nations Human Rights Council ahead of PNG's Universal Periodic Review of its human rights situation in November this year.

The Australia Director of Human Rights Watch, Elaine Pearson, said PNG had made big promises to the UN, but failed to meet them.

Pearson said UN member countries should remind PNG that it needs to do much better.

In 2016, PNG pledged to take steps to protect the rights of women and girls; to investigate gender-based violence, including accusations of sorcery; to increase access to education, and to ensure police officers are held to account for abuses.

But Human Rights Watch said the government failed to show progress on these key issues.

The submission also covered the death penalty, disability rights, the rights of LGBT people, and refugee rights given that 130 refugees and asylum seekers remain in Papua New Guinea, transferred there by the Australian government since 2013.