Combatting the family and sexual violence epidemic in Papua New Guinea: submission to parliamentary inquiry

Screen shot 2014-07-05 at 4.40.11 PMMinister for Foreign Affairs, The Hon Julie Bishop MP, asked the human rights subcommittee of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade to inquire into and report on the human rights issues confronting women and girls in the Indian Ocean – Asia Pacific region.

Given the wide scope of the terms of reference for this inquiry, we focused on addressing the family and sexual violence epidemic in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

This submission was prepared by Ms Ashlee Betteridge, Research Officer at the Development Policy Centre, The Australian National University, and Dr Kamalini Lokuge, Fellow at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, The Australian National University.

Download full submission [pdf].

Read summary of recommendations.

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Beyond human rights: ending child marriage as a development imperative

Human rights are enough reason alone to push for an end to early and forced marriage. Groups such as Human Rights Watch have been working on this issue for many years. Still, campaigners now cite a whole host of other reasons to end the practice, such as the improved healtheducation [pdf] and poverty alleviation outcomes when girls marry later. Child marriage is now squarely framed as a development issue.

Read the full post on child marriage on the Devpolicy Blog.

(Image from Too Young To Wed)

Australian aid and Cambodia’s troubled rail project

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has released a damning Compliance Panel Review (CPR) report of a controversial railway redevelopment project in Cambodia, which was supported by Australian aid.

Activists have long challenged the project’s forced resettlement of thousands of poor families who had made makeshift homes along disused railway tracks, alleging inadequate compensation, threats, harassment, inadequate facilities at resettlement sites and adverse impacts on livelihoods.

The CPR report [pdf], released on Friday, agreed with many of these concerns and found that the project was non-compliant with a number of ADB safeguards.

Read the full story on the Devpolicy Blog.

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Why we need to talk about periods: menstrual hygiene management in development practice

Women and girls have obviously been coping with menstruation for a long time without the aid of fantastic plastic convenience. They make do, using cloth rags or other methods like straw, leaves, newspapers, mud or ash, slipping out of the home at night time to bury used rags in the dirt or finding private places to wash and hang them out to dry.

Read the full post on the Devpolicy Blog.

This post was also republished by Magdalene Indonesia.

(Photo credit: Echawalu Photography)