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Governments Should Reject Costly, Harmful Policy for Refugees, Asylum Seekers

(Sydney) – Other governments should reject Australia’s abusive and costly offshore processing of refugees and asylum seekers, Human Rights Watch said today. July 19, 2021 is the eighth anniversary of the Australian government’s resumption of its…
Asylum seekers and human rights activists protest against the detention of refugees amid the Covid-19 crisis in Brisbane.
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Protect Women Targeted; Hold Attackers to Account

(Melbourne) – The Papua New Guinea government should protect women accused of practicing “sorcery” from violence and hold the attackers to account, Human Rights Watch said today. At least five women have been attacked since March 2021, one of whom was…
Screenshot from the testimony of Dr. Fiona Hukula at the Special Parliamentary Inquiry into Gender-Based Violence in Port Moresby on May 24, 2021.  
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March 2021

Introduction Human Rights Watch submits the following information regarding Papua New Guinea's implementation of recommendations it accepted through its 2015 Universal Periodic Review (UPR) as well as information about developments in the human rights…
A boy and a woman at a bus stop in Port Moresby.
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Human Rights Review Should Address Broken Commitments, Women’s Rights

The Papua New Guinea government has failed to live up to commitments on women’s rights, children’s rights, and police accountability, Human Rights Watch said in a recent submission to the United Nations Human Rights Council. Papua New Guinea…
A boy and a woman at a bus stop in Port Moresby.
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Government Should Bolster Healthcare System; International Donors Need to Step Up

  Update: On March 17, 2021 the Australian government announced it will provide 8,000 doses of a Covid-19 vaccine to PNG. Papua New Guinea is facing a surge in Covid-19 cases, with more confirmed cases in the first two weeks of March…
The flag of Papua New Guinea
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Provincial, National Authorities Have a Responsibility to Protect Public

New year, new massacre, same responses. In late January, a land dispute between two relatives in Papua New Guinea’s Hela province turned deadly. According to a journalist who investigated the incident, twenty-one were killed, including two teenage…
In this July 8, 2019 file photo, locals stand near the bodies of victims recovered following tribal violence in Karida, Papua New Guinea.
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11 Asia-Pacific Governments Oppose 120 States on Capital Punishment Moratorium

(Bangkok) – Eleven countries from the Asia-Pacific region were among the small minority that voted against a United Nations resolution opposing the death penalty, Human Rights Watch said today. On November 17, 120 UN member states voted in favor of a…
A view of the United Nations General Assembly, at UN headquarters, October 1, 2018.
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Trip Covers Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar

(Tokyo) – Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi should forcefully raise human rights concerns on an upcoming regional trip, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the foreign minister. Motegi will visit Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, Laos,…
Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi meets the media in Tokyo on May 28, 2020. 
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Shortage of Health Care Workers and Medical Equipment

Even before the coronavirus, the fragile health system in Papua New Guinea (PNG) was underfunded and overwhelmed, with high rates of malaria, tuberculosis, and diabetes among its population of more than eight million. Access to…
The flag of Papua New Guinea
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Refugees, Health Care, and Criminal Justice Top Agenda

(Sydney) – Australia’s sweeping national security laws and police actions against journalists and whistleblowers are having a chilling effect on freedom of expression, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2020. Refugee…
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(Sydney) –Papua New Guinea (PNG) has been arbitrarily detaining rejected asylum seekers virtually incommunicado in the Bomana Immigration Centre, raising serious concerns about their health and safety, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch…
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Investigate and Prosecute Police Brutality

(Sydney) – Papua New Guinean authorities should promptly investigate the vicious beating by police officers of three men in Port Moresby that was captured on video and shared on social media on November 4, 2019, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
Screenshot of Papua New Guinean police officers violently beating three men on a street in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea shared on social media on November 4, 2019.
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End Detention in Shelters, Provide More Support

(Abuja) – Many survivors of sex and labor trafficking struggle with unaddressed health challenges, poverty, and abhorrent conditions upon their return to Nigeria. Nigerian authorities have failed to provide the assistance that survivors need to…
A woman from Cameroon sits with her baby in a private shelter in Lagos, Nigeria.
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Bill Threatens Their Health

  (Sydney) – An Australian bill to change the current system of medical transfers would risk the health of refugees and asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea and Nauru, Human Rights Watch said today. On August 16, 2019, Human Rights Watch made a…
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In its latest effort to keep asylum seekers from reaching the United States, the Trump administration enacted a new rule on July 16 that effectively bars anyone from seeking asylum in the United States who tries to cross the southern U.…
Demonstrators protest against the detention of asylum seekers at Australian-run offshore detention centers on the island of Nauru and Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island, in Sydney, Australia, August 31, 2017.
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Thorough, Impartial Investigation into Killings Needed

On July 8, gunmen in Papua New Guinea (PNG) killed at least 16 people during tribal fighting in Munima and Karida villages in the country's Hela province. Reports indicate at least 8 women and 5 children were among the victims. Health workers told…
Local residents stand by the bodies of victims recovered in recent tribal violence, Karida, Papua New Guinea, July 8, 2019.
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Re: Protecting Human Rights in Australia’s Foreign Policy

Dear Minister Payne, Congratulations on your reappointment as foreign minister. Human Rights Watch looks forward to working with you to make protection of human rights a strong pillar of Australia’s foreign policy. We attach a…
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Human Rights Council Seat Demands Greater Leadership

(Sydney) – The Australian government should make the protection of human rights a central focus of its foreign policy, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the recently reappointed Foreign Minister Marise Payne that was released today. …
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