UN calls to redouble efforts to prevent and respond to violence against women and children

July 5, 2020

The United Nations supports Papua New Guinea’s Police Commissioner, Family and Sexual Violence Action Committee, and the many other national institutions calling for urgent action to bring perpetrators of violence against women and girls to justice.

The UN joins the many shocked and concerned citizens in the country to offer condolences to the late Ms Jennelyn Kennedy’s family and friends as they grieve the loss of their daughter, sister, mother, cousin and friend.

Globally, so many women and children fall victim to brutal family violence, including in Papua New Guinea. This kind of violence is a crime. It is a violation of human rights.

Un Women Country Representative, Susan Ferguson said, “Domestic violence is a different kind of pandemic. Like Coronavirus, it requires immediate action to stop: justice to hold perpetrators to account; health services to treat wounds; housing for women and children; opportunities for women to earn and control their own income so they can build a better life.”

The Coronavirus pandemic has contributed to a rise in violence against women and children in the home as families spend more time together. Therefore, the urgency of concrete and effective State action is evermore critical in the current context.

Resident Coordinator Gianluca Rampolla said, “Violence against women and children is a scourge. It is the underbelly of the Coronavirus pandemic. Civil society, including churches and unfunded women’s organisations, continue to carry much of the burden for this emergency. The UN redoubles its commitment to support the Papua New Guinea Government as it bears the primary responsibility for the recovery from this plague. Prevention and response to domestic violence will improve the lives of many women and children suffering abuse; and prevention and response will improve the economic recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic itself.” 

The United Nations thanks development partners for their ongoing support to eliminate violence against women and children in Papua New Guinea: notably the EU through the Spotlight Initiative, the Australian Government through the Pacific Women Program, and the New Zealand Government through several different investments.

The United Nations notes with great concern that this case adds to the ongoing cases of grievous violence against women and children across Papua New Guinea.

We mourn the loss of Ms Kennedy and the many women and children who have died at the hands of their husbands, fathers, uncles and brothers around the world, and within this country.

The United Nations stands alongside the many Papua New Guineans, State and civil society institutions that continue to strive for the right of women and children to live their lives free of domestic and sexual violence, as is their right under the fine Constitution of this country.


Serahphina Aupong, Development Coordination Officer Programme Communications & Advocacy, serahphina.aupong@one.un.org, 321 2877.