PNG must fulfil human rights obligations

Papua New Guinea must fulfil its human rights obligations to the United Nations by implementing the human rights conventions.

PNG has rectified some core conventions.

They’re the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, Rights of the Child and Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

PNG has also signed treaties for the core covenants on civil and political rights, racial discrimination and economic, social and cultural rights.

National Human Rights Officer Alithia Barampataz said that when a country rectifies a human rights convention it has to implement it at the domestic level.

This means that a lot of policy and legislative review must take place, for instance, for the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the recognised age of a child is 18 and under.

Barampataz explained that if there’s any legislation that refers to an age of the child like the legal age for marriage, it has to lift that age to 18 years old.

She said there are policies and laws and then there’s also implementation to make sure that people’s lives are actually being improved and human rights are respected.

Barampataz added that the Government has to also report to the UN about the steps it is taking to implement that convention.

She said it has to do this on a periodic basis within the first year of rectifying and then every five years after that to show the progress.

That has to be an interactive process in which other UN mechanisms can support the Government in any challenges it is facing or any best practices it can share with the rest of the world.

Quintina Naime