Human rights abuses in Papua New Guinea

7 April 2015, 11:53 UTC | Papua New Guinea
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Widespread gender-based violence is a major concern in Papua New Guinea (PNG), where women and girls are predominantly at risk.

Women and girls face savage attacks and even death at the hands of strangers and family members. Gang members freely admit to committing rape and armed robbery, with two-thirds of their victims being women. It is not uncommon for women to be forced to marry their rapists.

Horrific sorcery-related killings are rife, with women generally more vulnerable targets. These women often have done little more than administer medical care or be in the vicinity of someone who has died. Accused of witchcraft – usually by neighbours or loved ones – these women suffer beatings, torture and death. Some are burned alive or beheaded.

A culture of silence, victim-blaming and impunity means such cases are rarely brought to court, perpetuating the cycle of violence. But, thanks to your support of our efforts in PNG, domestic violence is now illegal under the Family Protection Act. Thanks to the pressure you put on PNG officials, perpetrators of sorcery killings are no longer protected by the Sorcery Act that you helped repeal.

Learn how your activism has made positive changes towards protecting women and children in PNG >>

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