By Lorraine Genia – EM TV Sport, Port Moresby
Minister for National Events, APEC2018 and Sport, Justin Tkatchenko, has responded to safety concerns over PNG’s hosting of the FIFA Women’s U-20 World Cup in November, following an independent review on FIFA’s global operations and its commitment to human rights.
FIFA has been widely criticised for the awarding of hosting rights for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, a country widely condemned for human rights abuses against migrant labourers.
Other world cup host countries Brazil, Russia and PNG have also been denounced for severe human rights issues.
The report details 25 key recommendations for action, for FIFA to strengthen its commitment to human rights throughout the world.
The review has questioned FIFA’s choice of PNG in hosting the U-20 Women’s World Cup, due to the state of PNG’s treatment of gender based violence, and the high rates of sexual violence against women in the country.
The report has recommended for FIFA to include human rights within its criteria for evaluating bids by countries to host tournaments, and to make this a substantive factor in host selection.
Minister Tkatchenko, in responding to these concerns, acknowledged the magnitude of crimes committed against women and girls in PNG; and said that violence against women is a global problem that is experienced everywhere in the world, and not just in Papua New Guinea.
“Papua New Guinea, we have our difficulties in our country. Anyone who touches a woman should face the full front of the law,” said Tkatchenko.
Visiting countries are assured of PNG’s commitment to ensuring that they will be well taken care of; where PNG will strive for participants to have memorable experiences of competing in a culturally diverse and linguistically rich nation, with much to offer its visitors.
“For us in sport especially, anything to do with women equality, it must be equal to men. But as far as I’m concerned, our visiting countries should not be worried about that issue at hand. It is something our government is directing,” said Tkatchenko.