8 Sep 2006

PNG minister says violence claims are exaggerated

4:01 pm on 8 September 2006

The Papua New Guinea government claims the level of violence against women is not as bad as reports suggest.

Amnesty International has this week called on the government to fulfil its obligations under agreements such as CEDAW - the Convention for the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women.

The watchdog group says violence against women is commmonplace - touching the lives of almost all women in PNG.

It also wants government action taken over the escalating number of accusations of sorcery, which often are not investigated because of claims it is customary practice.

The Internal Security Minister, Alphonse Willie, accepts there are problems and he says they are working with womens' groups to raise awarenesss and are trying to enforce more discipline within the police.

But he says the reports of level of violence is exaggerated.

"Some one is taking a small event and building it up into a massive thinking that this does happen in the country."

Alphonse Willie