Life and liberty, freedom of expression, freedom from torture and discrimination of any kind, are the rights of every human being.  The United Nations supports the Government of Papua New Guinea in upholding and protecting its commitment to human rights, and to ensuring national laws and policies meet the international human rights standards to which the country is committed. In Papua New Guinea, human trafficking and gender inequality are some of the ways in which human rights have been compromised. Women’s empowerment has long been recognized as critical to a nation’s development. Although Papua New Guinea is one of the fastest growing economies in the Asia/Pacific region, women’s status remains low and violence against women remains high.

As one of the most diverse countries in the world, with over 1,000 tribes and 800 languages*,disparities in location, wealth, gender, and age have created unequal access to social services and impacted on human development, as well as on the welfare of children. The United Nations believes that all children have the right to safety, survival, and to a quality education. In Papua New Guinea, children are at risk of sexual exploitation and domestic violence, and the country shoulders a high burden of child and maternal mortality. Health and education are central to a country’s social and economic development and are basic human rights. Although the population of Papua New Guinea is relatively young, opportunities to harness the potential of the country’s youth are hindered by poor quality education, limited resources, and high levels of unemployment.  There is a shortage of essential medicines and skilled health workers, and poor access to health care services.

The United Nations works together with the Government in many sectors, including health and education. It also works with a variety of development partners, including local authorities, non-governmental organizations, faith-based organizations and civil society organizations, to increase the outreach of essential services in remote areas. The United Nations strengthens the capacity of policy makers to develop new procedures for, and good practices in, the delivery of basic social and protective services. By supporting advocacy activities that increase citizens’ awareness of their rights, as well as increasing their participation in the development process, the United Nations helps to strengthen the social contract between the state and its citizens.


*2011 National Population and Housing Census