A conference on Sorcery in PNG

A conference in Papua New Guinea on how to stop sorcery-related violence has just today to come up with a plan for government.
Churches, civil society and NGOs have been well-represented at the three-day meeting in the Eastern Highlands provincial capital but some are lamenting the lack of government presence.
Annell Husband reports from Goroka.
“Participants have had to reach for their handkerchiefs throughout the past two days as survivors of brutal attacks and those involved in helping them present heartbreaking accounts of their experiences. It’s estimated that 150 people - mostly women - are killed every year in PNG after being accused of sorcery but under-reporting and a lack of data mean that number is probably wildly inaccurate. The gathering has generated robust debate over sorcery’s reality and underlined the urgency with which action on stopping atrocities related to sorcery accusations must be taken - but, as yet, there’s no agreement on how that should be done. What’s become painfully clear is the scope of the problem with which PNG is grappling and how a one-size-fits-all response in a country of such cultural diversity is unlikely to be successful.”


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