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Special Parliamentary Committee on GBV

The Special Parliamentary Committee on Gender-Based Violence was established in 2020 by the National Parliament with a broad mandate to inquire into issues related to GBV and to report back to the Parliament.

 

In April 2021, the Committee launched an inquiry into GBV and called for written submissions. In May 2021, the Committee held public hearings, to discuss GBV issues with civil society and government officials. On 12 August 2021, drawing on oral testimony and written submissions, the Committee tabled a landmark Report on GBV in PNG in the National Parliament, which included more than 70 recommendations for action by the Government. In March 2022, the Committee held their second public hearings, which aimed to assess progress implementing the recommendations in their August 2021 Report to Parliament. On 21 April 2022, the Committee tabled its Final Report to Parliament, which set out a raft of recommendations for action by government officials, and for the attention of the 11th Parliament, once it is elected. 

Parliamentary Committee Members

  • Chairman: Hon. Charles Abel,  Member for Alotau

  • Deputy Chairman:  Hon. Allan Bird, Governor East Sepik

  • Member: Hon. Powes Parkop, Governor NC

  • Member: Hon. Aiye Tambua, Member for Goroka MP

  • Member: Hon. Allan Marat, Member for Rabaul

  • Member: Hon. Ginson Saonu, Governor Morobe

  • Member: Hon. Michael Dua, Governor Chimbu

Parliamentary Committee Terms of Reference

The Committee shall have the following functions:

  • Inquire into the connections between GBV and broader issues and root causes regarding gender equality and women’s empowerment, including women’s economic empowerment, women’s political participation, the impact of early family planning, cultural, traditional and religious beliefs and broader social norms

  • Identify the forms of gender based violence, specifically violence against women and girls including, but not limited to coercive control and technology facilitated abuse

  • Identify the immediate and long-term measures to prevent gender based violence, with the focus on behavioral change for future generations.

  • Inquire into the level and impact of coordination and accountability for services and policy responses across the government departments, the Royal PNG Constabulary and related enforcement and prosecution services, the courts, provincial and local level governments, non-government and community-based organisations and private sector.

  • Inquire into the adequacy of the evidence and prevalence data of gender based violence and how to overcome limitations in the collection of nationally consistent and timely data including, but not limited to, court, police and hospitals

  •  Identify the perpetrator intervention programs and support services to help them change their behaviour.

  • Consider the views and experiences of frontline services, advocacy groups and others working to address gender based violence.

  • Inquire into the gendered impacts of COVID19, with a particular focus on the differential experience of GBV on PNG women and men, identify how the Government and other stakeholders can ensure more effective responses in the context of the ongoing threat of COVID19.

  • Inquire into how women’s leadership can be more proactively supported to ensure that women can help lead the response to GBV, including by examining options for implementing temporary special measures for women in Parliament.

Parliamentary Committee Inquiry - 3 May to 30 June 2021

The Special Parliamentary Committee on Gender-Based Violence held public hearings on Monday 24th May and Tuesday 25th May. The public hearings were broadcast on the Committee’s Facebook page. The hearings focused on critical issues related to addressing GBV including: (1) examining the amount and use of funding provided by the Government to address GBV; (2) the delay in establishing the National GBV Secretariat and how to activate that body to be more effective; (3) challenges with investigating and prosecuting GBV cases across the country and how to address them; and (4) how women’s reserved seats can be progressed as a strategy for ensuring women can co-lead the national GBV response.

The Committee hearings included testimony from frontline workers from around the country. It was a unique opportunity to hear from people in the field who spend their lives working to help women and children suffering from violence. The Committee subsequently spent 1.5 days haring testimony from Ministers and officials from key departments responsible for implementing the National GBV Strategy. A Report of the GBV Committee's May 2021 Public Hearings was published as an Annex to the Committee's first report back to Parliament on 12 August 2021.

The Committee also made an open call for written submissions from any person or organisation who wanted to share their experiences or ideas for change with the Committee. At the end of the submission period, more than 30 Submissions to the GBV Committee were received.

 
 
 

First Report to Parliament on the Inquiry into GBV in PNG - 12 August 2021

Hon Charles Abel, the Chair of the Special Parliamentary Committee on GBV, tabled Part 1 of the Committee's findings on 12 August 2021. The Committee produced the Report drawing on the information shared at the May 2021 public hearings, the written submissions received and research by the Secretariat.

 

The Report includes more than 70 recommendations for immediate action by the Government. The Committee has flagged its intention to hold additional public hearings in advance of the November budget session of Parliament to assess the Government's progress implementing their recommendations.

Parliamentary Committee Inquiry (postponed) - 1-3 December 2021

The Special Parliamentary Committee on Gender-Based Violence scheduled a second round of public hearings on GBV to be held from 1-3 December 2021. The public hearings were eventually postponed due to the extended budget sitting of Parliament. 

As part of the December 2021 public hearings, the Committee intended to examine efforts to address GBV being implemented at the provincial level. To inform their inquiries, the Committee requested the administrations of all 20 provinces, the National Capital District and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville to provide them with a written statement summarising their provincial plans, structures and activities to address GBV. By the date of the hearing, 11 submissions from Provincial Administrations were received.

Parliamentary Committee Inquiry - 3-4 March 2022

The Special Parliamentary Committee on Gender-Based Violence rescheduled the second public hearings on GBV which were held on Thursday 3 March and Friday 4 March 2022. The public hearings were livestreamed on the Committee’s Facebook page and those videos can still be watched on that site.  

The hearings followed up on the issues first raised in the May 2021 public hearing, namely: (1) the amount and use of funding provided by the Government to address GBV, in particular via the recently tabled 2022 National Budget; (2) the delay in establishing the National GBV Secretariat and how to activate that body to be more effective; (3) challenges with investigating and prosecuting GBV cases across the country and how to address them; and (4) how women’s reserved seats can be progressed as a strategy for ensuring women can co-lead the national GBV response.

Final Report to Parliament on the Inquiry into GBV in PNG - 21 April 2022

The Deputy Chair of the Special Parliamentary Committee on Gender-Based Violence, Governor Allan Bird, is tabled the final Report of the Committee  on 21 April 2022, in Parliament House. The Committee built on Part 1 which was tabled in August 2021, updating recommendations where action had been taken or new information provided. The Final Report includes more than 75 recommendations for action by the Government. The Committee encouraged the Parliament to establish a permanent Committee on GBV, to enable the 11th Parliament to continue undertaking oversight over GBV issues during the 11th Parliament. 

  • Statement from the Committee Deputy Chair, upon tabling the Report, 21 April 2022.

  • Parliamentary Committee Report - Executive Summary & Recommendations.

  • Annex 1 - Committee Terms of Reference.

  • Annex 2 - Schedule for March 2022 public hearings.

  • Annex 3 - Letter from Department of Personnel Management to Committee re NGBVS CEO.

  • Annex 4 - Letter from DFCDR Secretary to Salaries & Remuneration Commission re NGBVS CEO.

  • Annex 5 - Letter from Committee Chair to Salaries & Remuneration Commission re NGBVS CEO.

  • Annex 6 - Department of Personnel Management response to Committee's August 2021 Report.

  • Annex 7 - Department of Justice & the Attorney General's response to Committee's August 2021 Report.

  • Annex 8 - Minister of Police / RPNGC response to Committee's August 2021 Report.

  • Annex 9 - Child Fund presentation on counselling and 1-Tok Counselling Helpine.

  • Annex 10 - Circular 5/2007 from the RPNGC Commissioner re GBV crimes.

  • Annex 11 - Office of the Public Prosecutor response to Committee's August 2021 Report.

  • Annex 12 - Village Courts Secretariat, DJAG, response to Committee's August 2021 Report.

  • Annex 13 - Juvenile Justice Unit, DJAG, response to Committee's August 2021 Report.