PB21 Prosecution of sorcery accusation related violence in PNG: what more is required?

Development Policy Centre Policy Brief No. 21

By Miranda Forsyth

August 2021

This Policy Brief presents an analysis of decisions by the Papua New Guinea courts on cases involving sorcery accusation related violence (SARV). The analysis contributes an important dimension to debates around how to respond to and address SARV by providing an evidence base about how many and what types of perpetrators of SARV are convicted and imprisoned. The findings indicate that the rate of prosecutions for SARV needs to be increased, that female victims in particular should be better supported in accessing the justice system, and that prosecutions should be expanded from the current focus on murder to the full spectrum of criminal property damage and personal harm related to SARV.

Forsyth, M. 2021, ‘Prosecution of sorcery accusation related violence in PNG: what more is required?’, Policy Brief No. 21, Development Policy Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University, Canberra.

Lydia Papandrea

Lydia is the Managing Editor of Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies and Co-editor of the DevPolicy Blog.