Papua New Guinea is a multi-party democracy with constitutional protection for human rights and has ratified ICCPR, ICESCR, ICERD, CRC and CEDAW. The Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment visited Papua New Guinea on official mission 14-25 May 2010
The country does not yet have a national human rights institution.With more than 800 indigenous tribes and languages, it is one of the most heterogeneous countries in the world. In spite of its legal framework of protection, there are reports of police abuses, including of children, poor prison conditions and lengthy pre-trial detention. Discrimination against girls and women remains prevalent, and there is a looming HIV and AIDS crisis with some two percent of the population affected. Insufficient resources, lack of professional training for the police force, and the absence of strong political leadership and national identity have all compounded lawand- order problems in the country. The proliferation of small,homemade arms and the continued migration to urban areas have augmented security concerns. There are also challenges for recovery and the implementation of post-conflict arrangements in Bougainville.
There is low awareness of human rights, and only those with sufficient resources are able to access the justice system. The Human Rights Adviser will support efforts to mainstream human rights and to build the internal capacity of the UN Country Team to better support the implementation of relevant UNDAF recommendations for strengthening of national human rights protection systems. Expert advice and training on human rights will be provided to the UN Country Team and support will be offered to the Government and other national partners in establishing and strengthening national protection systems. The Adviser will promote greater action by the UN Country Team on human rights and use of a rights-based approach to programming, with a focus on vulnerable groups, including women, children and minority groups, increased Government and civil society engagement and cooperation with international human rights mechanisms, and greater public awareness of human rights through advocacy campaigns and human rights education.