8 Dec 2005

Papua New Guinea ministers examine plan for Human Rights Commission

9:17 am on 8 December 2005

A submission for the establishment of a Human Rights Commission in Papua New Guinea has been presented for cabinet approval.

The Department of Community Development says it hopes to have the Commission operating by the end of next year.

The Programme Coordinator for Human Rights, David Hesaboda, believes the Commission will help people to live in a more harmonious way.

Mr Hesaboda says one of the features of the submission is the amount of consultation.

"About 40 government departments and statutory bodies have been consulted and about 20 non-government organisations and churches have been also consulted and we also talk and consultation meetings with UNDP and other development partners."

Mr Hesaboda says the commission was first mooted in 1996 but for some reason the idea was shelved.

It was just maybe some lack of political willpower to push that whole submission into the cabinet for parliament's approval or it was a lack of technical advice at a bureaucratic level.

Mr Hesaboda says he expects cabinet to approve the commission and subsequent constitutional amendments by the end of January.