In Papua New Guinea, about 80,000 people are seen as internally displaced persons (IDPs) as a result of natural disasters, climate change impacts, tribal conflicts and fighting, land disputes, election related violence, evictions in urban areas and development projects.
Provinces such as East New Britain, Madang, Oro, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Morobe and even Port Moresby City, are just some of the many cases that contribute to population displacement in PNG.
While relocating this displaced portion of the population to a care centre or area, other issues also arise.
A joint assessment between the PNG Government and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM PNG) has revealed that while some communities have found durable solutions, like Rabaul’s case in East New Britain, majority of other IDPs are yet to fully integrate into their new surroundings, while also facing challenges such as limited access to basic services, and land which is the key factor of having a livelihood in PNG.
Unfortunately for these marginalised population, there are no policies in place to cater for their rights as displaced persons.
In a forum today, hosted by IOM PNG, a number of stake holder agencies gathered for a full day session to address this cross-cutting issue.
The ‘National Land and Property Rights Forum’ was aimed at creating a collective approach towards policy setting to address the growing issue of IDPs in the country.
Present at the forum, Mr Igor Cvetkovski, from IOM’s Land Property and Reparation Department, stated the importance for an inclusive approach and the need for international exchange to find a more approachable method in helping PNG set up its own policy to address land and property rights for displaced people in PNG.