Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea is a constitutional, federal, multiparty, parliamentary democracy. Parliamentary elections took place in 2017, and the People’s National Congress party, led by former prime minister Peter O’Neill, won a majority in the 111-seat unicameral parliament. In 2019 O’Neill resigned, and parliament elected James Marape prime minister. In some parts of the country, electoral contests involved widespread violence, fraud, bribery, voter intimidation, and undue political and tribal influence.
The Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary maintains internal security and reports to the Ministry of Police. The Defense Force is responsible for external security and reports to the Ministry of Defense, but it also has some domestic security responsibilities. Civilian authorities at times did not maintain effective control over the security forces. There were credible reports that members of the security forces committed numerous abuses.
Significant human rights issues included credible reports of: unlawful or arbitrary killings by police; torture by police and cases of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment by police; the existence of criminal defamation laws; serious acts of government corruption; lack of investigation of and accountability for gender-based violence; trafficking in persons; the criminalization of consensual same-sex sexual conduct between men, although the law was not enforced; and extensive child labor, including the worst forms of child labor.
The government frequently failed to prosecute or punish officials who committed abuses, whether in the security services or elsewhere in the government. Impunity was pervasive, including for official corruption.