Papua New Guinea

In 2021, the International Catholic Center of Geneva developed the project Papua New Guinea: Human rights enhancement through the Universal Periodic Review Project’ together with its member organizations Dominicans for Justice and Peace, Edmund Rice International and Marist International Solidarity Foundation as well as a Coalition of 16 civil society actors in PNG.
The project aimed at strengthening the capacity of local civil society to report, monitor and follow-up the most pressing issues in Papua New Guinea through the Universal Periodic Review.

Our main priorities:

  • Children’s rights
  • Women’s rights
  • Rights of People with disabilities
  • Environmental protection

Project activities

  • Creation of a local Steering Committee to establish cooperation with in-country like-minded civil society organizations focusing on main human rights issues in PNG.
  • An in-country consultation gathering 16 local society organisations was conducted in Port Moresby (PNG) to introduce and train them on the functioning of the Universal Periodic Review and on opportunities for civil society to efficiently interact with it. As a result, the local NGO coalition was able to finalise a joint UPR submission
  • Advocacy activities in PNG through bilateral exchanges and meetings with Embassies and other diplomatic missions based in or competent for Papua New Guinea. In support of this activity, an executive and updated summary of the joint submission was elaborated to be disseminated among the diplomatic missions.
  • Advocacy activities in Geneva. Three representatives from the NGO coalition were able to take part in the UPR pre-session organised in virtual format by UPR Info in order to present the issues detailed in the joint UPR submission to Permanent Missions in Geneva. Despite the sanitary crisis preventing bilateral meetings from taking place in person, great efforts were also undertaken by project international partners to reach out to interested Permanent Missions.
  • A training on follow-up to UPR recommendations was delivered to local NGOs, with the aim to continue strengthening the link and synergy between the organizations and defenders involved in the project and provide them with adequate tools to pursue their work upon project completion.
  • Online event ‘Safeguarding Human Rights in Papua New Guinea: Addressing Implementation of UPR recommendations’. Following the third UPR of Papua New Guinea, this side event held on 24th November 2021 allowed an opportunity to highlight relevant recommendations directed to PNG while encouraging the government to accept them and focusing on their implementation. The Executive Summary and the recording of the Event are available.
  • Radio sensitization on human rights in PNG. Broadcasts were organized through national radio in PNG to address the rights of children, women and people with disabilities as well as environmental protection, through testimonies and interviews of representatives of the local NGO coalition. 

This project was realized with the support of the Ville de Genève and Misean Cara.

Project participants can access training materials by entering the restricted area.


Thanks to the project, the following results were achieved to strengthen advocacy efforts in Papua New Guinea:

  • Well prepared and motivated local civil society actors were able to achieve 7 very focused and concrete UPR recommendations on targeted vulnerable groups. Globally, 43 recommendations on women’s rights, 33 on children’s rights, 8 on the rights of people with disabilities and 9 on environmental issues, including explicit references to business activities and its impact on the enjoyment of human rights, were made during the UPR session. The PNG government committed to implement most of these recommendations.
  • An oral statement was delivered on the 23rd of March 2022 on the occasion of the adoption of the UPR Working Group Report on Papua New Guinea during the 49th Session of the Human Rights Council. The statement brought to the attention of the international community the main human rights challenges in the country and called on the Government of PNG for immediate and effective implementation of relevant UPR recommendations.
  • Local civil society actors committed to monitor and follow up on UPR recommendations addressed to Papua New Guinea.
  • Francis Marai

    Finance and Administration Officer (Melanesia Region)
    Lot 8, Section 88, Geboso Place, Korobosea, NCD,PNG
    PO Box 1881, Boroko, NCD 121
    Phone: +675 7225 2345 | Fax: +675 7552 7670



    Testimonies from local civil society actors participating in the in-country consultation

    Presenting the rights of people with disabilities at the UPR pre-session of PNG