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U.S. Statement at the Universal Periodic Review of Papua New Guinea
May 6, 2016

UPR25th Session, Geneva, May 6, 2016
As delivered by Anna Naimark

The United States welcomes the Papua New Guinea delegation to the UPR Working Group.

We are encouraged by the increased independent monitoring made available to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and independent human rights observers by Papua New Guinea.  We also applaud Papua New Guinea for approving the national plan of action on trafficking in persons.

We remain troubled by reports of abuse of detainees by police and military personnel, and that widespread violence and discrimination against women and girls continue.  We encourage Papua New Guinea to increase police capacity to address violence against women, including sexual violence.  We are concerned that, although the country remains a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor, the government does not routinely or effectively prosecute or convict any trafficking offenders. We are also concerned that children are reportedly engaged in hazardous forms of child labor in agriculture and urban informal work.  Lastly, accusations and appearances of government corruption and a lack of proper mechanisms for oversight remain a universal concern.

Bearing in mind these concerns, we recommend that Papua New Guinea:

  1. Provide the Ombudsman Commission with the resources necessary to freely and effectively combat government corruption and police abuses.
  2. End impunity for trafficking by enforcing provisions in the Criminal Code Amendment of 2013.
  3. Create social programs to assist children engaged in the worst forms of child labor, particularly in commercial sexual exploitation.