PNG agencies develop plan to help curb sorcery violence

6:44 pm on 16 November 2016

Plans are being developed in Papua New Guinea to activate the Sorcery National Action Plan.

A photo taken on February 6, 2013 shows a crowd watching as a young mother accused of sorcery, is stripped naked, reportedly tortured with a branding iron, tied up, splashed with fuel and set alight

The SNAP was set up last year by the government as an additional effort to curb sorcery related violence. Photo: AFP / Post Courier

A meeting in Lae this week, involving the churches, government departments and NGOs, has been looking at how to implement the action plan.

Catholic priest Father Philip Gibbs, who has long been involved in efforts to reduce sorcery-related violence, said the action plan is a comprehensive one to target the problems in five different areas.

"One is counselling and communication, another is education - awareness, another one is health isssues - if you can reduce the number of unexpected deaths then you are going to reduce the number of accusations, hopefully. Then the next one is law and order and the fifth is research - trying to figure out what is actually happening."

Fr Philip Gibbs said he hopes for government funding, but will also approach agencies such as UNICEF and the churches themselves, while he hopes donations and assistance will be given by individuals.