Support the Women and Children in Chimbu

05/03/2013 11:30

PRESS RELEASE  Support the Women and Children in 

Chimbu 17 August 2012

The Pacific Network Against Violence Against Women has called on Papua New Guinea authorities to intervene in areas of tribal fighting in particular when women are being raped and children allegedly sold for as little as fifty kina.  In a spate of media reports over the past few days as well as direct reporting from women within the province of Chimbu, the Network Against VAW says that the reports of four people who have been killed, including a woman living with disabilities who was burnt alive are a cause for concern and requires greater attention by the state.

"These issues are not minor issues and of particular concern for our Network members are the ways in which women are being targeted," said Shamima Ali, Chair of the Network. According to Ali, in any conflict the vulnerable especially women and children become specific targets and it is important that the state sets up systems to protect them from such human rights violations. "We need the law enforcement agencies to work effectively so that the rights of women and children as well as all other people are protected," said Ali.

Ali says that the news that houses were torched to the ground and in that one particular area, a woman with disabilities was deliberately burnt in a house that was torched. This is a gross violation of human rights and should not be left to go by without the appropriate attention and action. Law enforcement agencies need to step in and do something about it and the state has an obligation to ensure that the law enforcement agencies are adequately supported to do this.

The Pacific Women's Network Against VAW says that with the new government in place it is an opportune time to show their commitment to protection of the rights of all its citizens and to address the hard issues which are often not addressed at national level. "We understand that these issues cannot be resolved overnight, however the women and children of Chimbu need to feel that the state has their interests and safety at heart and are prepared to do something about it" said Ali.

Ali says their Network will write directly to the Government of PNG to raise these issues of concern.