Pictured: Participants of the Human Rights Walk on Sunday, December 9, 2018
Today, Papua New Guinea joins the rest of the world in celebrating Human Rights Day.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948.
The PNG Constitution references the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and includes some of the strongest human rights provisions in the world.
However, these rights only become real if every Papua New Guinean enjoys them regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, religious or political beliefs, disability, sexual orientation, or any other grounds of distinction.
This Day encourages the Government and all citizens to reflect on their obligations to ensure basic services such as quality education and healthcare to those living in remote areas, as well as access to justice when their rights are violated.
This is in line with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals which PNG has committed to achieving by 2030 which call for countries to ‘’leave no one behind”
A threat to the rights of one person is a threat to society as a whole. Too often human rights violations in PNG are committed with impunity, impacting the right to access to justice and equality before the law.
Civil society, including media, play an important role in holding institutions and authorities accountable for their obligations to respect, protect, and fulfill human rights.
The UN reiterates its call for the Government to defend the civic space, and to strengthen engagement with civil society while supporting the most vulnerable in PNG.
The UN welcomes and appreciates the openness of the PNG Government on human rights, including hosting the first official visit to PNG of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in February this year.
We are also encouraged that during the High Commissioner’s visit the Government expressed its commitment to expedite the process of establishing a National Human Rights Commission, a critical accountability and oversight mechanism.
As the theme of this year states “Stand up for human rights,” the UN calls on all Papua New Guineans to make human rights their business and to use their individual capacity to stand up for human rights in their lives.
Only through collective action can these rights be realized for all on the basis of equality.
UN and NCD Governor Powes Parkop at Human Rights Walk on Sunday, December 09, 2018
Human Rights Day 2018 Concert, Sunday, December 9, 2018
Youth performers at UN Human Rights Walk and mini-concert bu UN and NCDC, Sunday, December 09, 2018
Source: UN Media Release, Monday, December 10, 2018