PNG women 'ignored and marginalised'

10:32 am on 30 January 2016

Women in Papua New Guinea are being ignored and marginalised and the government isn't helping according to the non-governmental organisation Human Rights Watch.

In the Human Rights Watch annual world report, released this week, PNG was described as one of the most dangerous places to be a female, with rates of family and sexual violence among the highest in the world.

It said an estimated 70 percent of women experience rape or assault in their lifetime, but few perpetrators are brought to justice because the police are a law unto themselves.

The deputy director of the organisation's Asia division, Phil Robertson, said the government had not shown any real urgency to tackle the problem.

"And they're not having political pressure placed on them by higher ups in the government to do so.

"There's still an orientation when one of these crimes occur to sort of try to mediate, perhaps negotiate a compensation package of course, which the police take a cut of.

"But nothing to really recognise that these are crimes that need to be prosecuted in court and that people need to go to jail for doing these things."

Mr Robertson said since the government stopped funding the police watchdog Task Force Sweep, no one was keeping the government honest.

Women in Lae, Papua New Guinea

Women in Lae, Papua New Guinea Photo: Supplied