Govt called to act

The PNG Tribal Foundation has called on the government to enforce the rule of law in regards to Sorcery Accusation Related Violence (SARV).

They made this call during an appearance at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Tribal Foundation is urging the government to enforce existing laws and prosecute both perpetrators and instigators of Sorcery Accusation Related Violence.

Tribal believes these initiatives will be strengthened by the creation of a much needed National Human Rights Commission, which the Prime Minister called for in 2012 and again in 2018, after a visit by the then UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

“Tribal has been working extensively in the area of Sorcery Accusation Related Violence for the past five years to bring awareness and education through its national campaign, Senisim Pasin’,” said the foundation. “This national program has been presented in 15 provinces to provide awareness, community engagement and education.

“Additionally, Tribal is the leading voice, nationally advocating with provincial government leaders and within the Department of Justice to address SARV, whether through education or enforcement.

“There is hope on the horizon.

“Tribal is currently supporting a number of women and children who are refugees in their own land. These internally displaced Papua New Guineans have been falsely accused of sorcery and are unable to return to their customary land. For this reason, Tribal is developing the ‘Village of Hope’.

“The Village of Hope will provide respite, rehabilitation and eventually repatriation for these individuals.

This work needs the assistance of the Papua New Guinean government. That help generally falls in the three areas of enforcement of existing laws; Provide resources to both government and civil society working in this space; and educate leaders, police, and the judiciary on existing laws and these individuals’ obligation to enforce them.

“It is time to decide that the torture and murder of these individuals, most of which are vulnerable women, on false accusation of sorcery, must be eradicated. There must be a zero tolerance for this barbaric activity and there must be leadership to end it.”

(Loop filepic of an elderly woman who was attacked last year in Port Moresby)

Press release