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Working together to help prevent Torture in PNG

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Working together to help prevent Torture in PNG

An inaugural three-day meeting and workshop with Papua New Guinea prison officials on the prevention of torture and ill treatment of prison detainees begins today in Port Moresby.

The meeting, organized jointly by the Papua New Guinea Correctional Services and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Regional Office for the Pacific (OHCHR) follows a high level meeting in Papua New Guinea in November 2009 that committed to the eradication of torture and ill-treatment and the visit of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture to the country in May 2010.

The workshop has arisen from a request from the Papua New Guinea Government for technical assistance in implementing a number of recommendations made by the Special Rapporteur. The workshop will focus on practical ways prison officials can increase compliance with human rights through better implementation of their national laws, as well as provide expert information about current international law, standards and practice for the prevention of torture.

Papua New Guinea Acting Correctional Services Commissioner, Mr Henry Wavik said:

"Correctional Services is happy to work with the United Nations to have organized this important workshop. It is the first of its kind and will enable officers to see what actions violate human rights and how human rights standards can be used to improve our prisons.”

Ms Matilda Bogner, Regional Representative for OHCHR in the Pacific said:

“Conditions in Papua New Guinea prisons vary from good to bad. Unfortunately, there is evidence of torture, ill treatment, violence and neglect. This meeting is an important step for Papua New Guinea to improve prison conditions and strengthen the implementation of national laws. We hope to encourage stronger engagement of Papua New Guinea with international systems to prevent torture.”

The workshop will be held at the Lamana Hotel in Port Moresby.

ENDS

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