UN rights boss slams Papua New Guinea

February 09, 2018

PNG PM Peter O'Neill (file) has been urged to do more to fight corruption ahead of the APEC summit.

The United Nation's High Commissioner for Human Rights has taken the Papua New Guinea government to task over corruption and land rights.

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein met PNG leader Peter O'Neill and other high-level officials during his visit to Port Moresby on Friday.

Mr Hussein said it was "unacceptable" the government had granted licences to mining companies to extract resources without the free and informed consent of local communities.

"The reported actions of some major corporations engaged in the extractive industries in Papua New Guinea are shameful," he said.

"Many communities have been forcibly evicted from their homes, often reportedly violently, with impunity and allegedly sometimes with the complicity of local police."

He was troubled to hear about attacks against human rights defenders and journalists working on sensitive issues, particularly relating to land rights and corruption.

Mr Hussein said as PNG gears up to host the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit it had to take decisive action to stamp out violence associated with sorcery accusations.

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