Enga, Southern Highlands Provinces Most Prone To Rights Abuses During PNG Elections

Highlands Human Rights Defenders urged to come up with monitoring plan

By Pauline Sapake

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Apri 12, 2017) – Enga and Southern Highlands have been identified as two provinces most prone to human rights violation during the National Election.

This was highlighted during the recent Highlands Human Rights Defenders training in Mount Hagen in which 15 participants from the Highlands provinces raised concerns about possible human rights abuses in the coming months.

The Defenders said that violation of human rights during the election period was very real and huge, but they mostly go unnoticed, or is not addressed seriously.

Facilitator and adviser to the United Nations Office of the Human Rights Commission, Kedar Poudyal, told participants to identify the hotspot provinces for abuses and plan strategies that could be used for corrective actions to address human rights violation.

During the discussions, Enga and SHP were identified, highlighting that during pre-election period the voter registration was always the first to be manipulated through corrupt practices, thus creating ghost names for a particular district or local level government providing excessive voting opportunities.

Participants identified problems during elections as isolation of polling booths, women and girls threatened and forced to vote against their will and discrimination of the marginalised and vulnerable population during voting.

Mr Poudyal recommended for the Highlands Human Rights Defenders to come up with a monitoring reporting system for the seven highlands provinces in the post-election period.

"Only through this monitoring reporting system, the responsible government agencies with assistance from development partners can analyse and evaluate the election process to come up with effective strategies and mechanisms to address election related human rights issues," Mr Poudyal said.

He said the seriousness of human rights violation during national elections requires a collaborative effort from the government, development partners, donor partners, non-governmental organisations, civil societies, churches and human rights defenders to address, by coming up with effective systems to complement everyone’s efforts when dealing with human rights.

The training for Highlands Human Rights Defenders was held on March 27-29 at Hotel Kimininga jointly organised by the Religion, Youth and Community Development Department, UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights and Oxfam.

PNG Post-Courier
Copyright © 2017 PNG Post-Courier. All Rights Reserved

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment