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PORT MORESBY (August 3, 2000 - Papua New Guinea Post-Courier/PINA Nius Online)---Home Affairs Minister Andrew Kumbakor has called for the review and toughening of marriage laws on enticement and adultery in a bid to strengthen family life.

Mr. Kumbakor said he wanted to outlaw polygamous practices to encourage harmonious, stable family units. He also wants an immediate review of the Child Welfare Act to allow tougher actions to be taken against partners who neglect to take full responsibilities for their children.

Mr. Kumbakor was responding to the debate on legalizing prostitution in the country. He strongly opposed this proposal. He said the adultery law must be reviewed and tough punishment imposed on people caught having extra marital affairs.

"Extra marital affairs are increasing, which give rise to an increased number of men and women, especially young women, confirmed to be living with the HIV/AIDS disease.

"Legalizing prostitution will give legal rights to more men and women to be engaged in this immoral activity and will double the social and health problems affecting many Papua New Guinean families today," Mr. Kumbakor said.

He said Papua New Guinea is a small country with its own customs and traditions of accepted human behavior and male and female roles in society and must maintain these customs to strengthen family units rather than introduce immoral concepts.

The Minister said there was already a wide range of public awareness on HIV/AIDS and other related health problems by concerned government agencies, non-government organizations and churches at all levels of community.

He said parliamentarians must support these efforts by allocating more resources rather than legalize prostitution, which only increased existing problems of extra marital affairs, marital breakup, child prostitution and disrespect for females.

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

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