Sorcery related violence

A Papua New Guinea researcher says a recent attack on a six-year-old girl accused of sorcery is an affront to the rights of women and children.

Auckland University law student Mary Kints, who is from PNG, has conducted research on sorcery back home.

Ms Kints said she was sad to hear about the recent attack on the girl in Enga province, who was accused of using sorcery on her friend, who had fallen ill.

The perpetrators have not been found.

Ms Kints said sorcery was often a rural and cultural practice that was not openly discussed with outsiders.

She said locals could do more to prevent violence.

“I think what we need to see is a real grassroots change in mentality,” said Ms Kints.

“Not just in the minds of everyday villagers but institutional change in the local police forces, where there are cases that need to be dealt with in the first instance,” she said.

“Where there seems to be some good progress in bringing perpetrators to justice is in the village courts.”

Government leaders also needed to lead by example by not just talking about the problem, but by doing something about it, she said.

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