By ALISON ANIS
MINISTER for Community Development Dame Carol Kidu has challenged Papua New Guineans to be honest about their traditions and cultures which place importance on the protection of families.
She said people should be honest about the way they do things and should not abuse customs by discriminating against vulnerable members of the society which included women and children.
“Mistreating our widows, viewing our children as orphans and wives as products in a shop to be bought through bride price is a shameful abuse of our custom,” Dame Carol said during the observation of the International Human Rights Day at the Sir John Guise Stadium yesterday.
Dame Carol strongly challenged the concept of viewing human rights violations in the country as something to do with the clash of cultures.
She said there were certain rights in traditional Papua New Guinea practice that were valuable but some of these were soon forgotten as people began to embrace more westernised cultures.
“We must bring back some of those customs and try to harmonise that with western concept of human rights and make them PNG rights.”
She added that there should not be any concept of orphans in Papua New Guineans and that “we must allow our children to have rights to many mothers and fathers who will love them care for them”.
“This is how we did things in traditional Papua New Guinea and it should be that way today.”
The international human rights observation began with a march from Jack Pidik Park in the morning to the stadium.
Children and women took part in the march to commemorate the United Nations’ Universal Declaration on International Human Rights.