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Universal Periodic Review Working Group – 11th Session
Universal Periodic Review of Papua New Guinea
Statement by Australia
11 May 2011
Australia would particularly like to acknowledge and congratulate Papua New Guinea on its participation in and constructive approach to the UPR process.
Australia commends the Government of Papua New Guinea on its recent efforts to strengthen the capacity of its law and justice institutions in promoting and protecting human rights and its progress toward greater gender equality within the justice system and access to justice services. We particularly welcome the increase in the number of female magistrates in the Village Courts system, the creation of three Family and Sexual Violence Police Units and the establishment of a Human Rights Desk in the Solicitor-General’s Office.
We also note the success of the “Let’s Look Out for Moresby” Program, bringing law and justice agencies together with the local government, businesses and communities to help find employment and alternatives to crime for young people, which has resulted in fewer juveniles in prison on remand.
We note the report by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture released in May 2010, which made a number of recommendations for the Police and Correctional Services. We encourage PNG to continue to address these concerns.
Australia welcomes the steps taken by the Government of Papua New Guinea to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Australia was pleased to join Papua New Guinea and other Pacific Island governments in 2009 in endorsing the Pacific Regional Strategy on Disability which fosters links to the Convention, and related human rights instruments, and sets the goal of a disability inclusive Pacific.
We note the many challenges faced by Papua New Guinea in achieving its development goals, but also the opportunities now available thanks to successive years of strong economic growth.
Australia recommends Papua New Guinea:
1. Continue to take a comprehensive approach through its law and justice, civil society and health programs to address the high incidence of violence against women;
2. Look to replicate successful programs which aim to keep adolescents out of the prison system wherever possible;
3. Proceed to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and
4. Prioritise efforts to achieve the maternal health and basic education Millennium Development Goals.