By JASON GIMA WURI
TORTURE and ill treatment is a violation of human rights, according to the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in the Pacific regional representative, Matilda Bogner.
Ms Bogner made these remarks while speaking with Papua New Guinea Government ministers and officials at a high level meeting in Port Moresby.
The meeting was facilitated by OHCHR and attended by the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment, Prof Manfred Nowak, follows the publication of a 2009 OHCHR study: A region-wide assessment of laws preventing torture and other ill treatment of detainees.
“We hope, through this meeting and ongoing collaboration, we can work with the PNG Government to strengthen the implementation of these national laws as well as provide information on the types of international mechanisms available,” Ms Bogner said.
She said the meeting aimed to support the PNG government’s efforts to better implement their national laws, standards and good practice for preventing torture and ill treatment, including encouraging the PNG Government to ratify the UN convention against torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment.
UN resident coordinator Dr Bertrand Desmoulins said the UN country team in PNG had placed the promotion and protection of human rights at the heart of its framework for development assistance.
He said as part of this effort the UN was committed to support the Government achieved its goals to fully implement international and national law towards realisation of human rights for all.
“We are also working with law enforcement and the justice system to provide technical assistance and strengthen capacity to promote and protect human rights,” Dr Desmoulins said.
He called on everyone at the workshop to seize the opportunity to send a clear and unequivocal message that torture would no longer be tolerated, and that those who practiced it would be committing a very serious crime and would be brought to justice.