SOTP2015: Countering Sorcery Accusation Related Violence in PNG

State of the Pacific 2015

This panel is both about responses to sorcery accusation related violence in PNG, and also processes of generating those responses. Violence against those accused of witchcraft or sorcery in PNG has been a regular news item in PNG national and international media since 2013 when the first graphic stories spilled out across the globe. There have been a variety of responses to this violence at a number of levels in PNG, including individual, community, NGO, provincial and national government. There has also been an attempt to develop a holistic and comprehensive approach to address this violence through the creation of an informal network of advocates for change who are both within and outside of the government. This network has developed a national action plan to address sorcery accusation related violence that was submitted to the National Executive Council in May 2015 and referred to the Central Agencies Coordinating Committee in June 2015. Speakers at this panel will reflect on the mechanisms that are in place to counter sorcery accusation related of violence; those that are needed, and the lessons that can be learnt about the strengths and weaknesses of an informal network approach to driving change in PNG.

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