The theme for the 2021 World Human Rights Day is “EQUALITY – reducing inequalities, advancing human rights.” This year’s theme pairs with Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”
In keeping with the theme of equality ACDP joined the 20 days of activism leading up to World Human Rights Day on 10 December, to promote and advocate for human rights in Port Moresby. The Whitecember Awareness in the Communities Program was implemented to promote preventative health, behavior change, fitness, wellness and human rights advocacy which included the continuation of the campaign to end gender-based violence. The awareness activities were conducted on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2pm to 4pm in three communities; Joyce Bay, Konebada and Pari community.
According to the United Nations; a 2020 academic study found that over a 19-month period, a specialist police unit that was set up to receive complaints on gender-based violence incidents in PNG per month were from 90% female callers of whom 74 percent were under the age of 18.
(World Report, 2021 – Human Rights Watch)
Knowing the grim statistics regarding the need for human rights advocacy, especially with regard to women and children, ACDP provided educational awareness on non-violence. By promoting the safety of all persons, humanity is valued and uplifted. The facilitation of the awareness was done with audience interaction. Awareness talks consisted of:
During the awareness a survey was conducted to collect detailed information on the communities’ knowledge of human rights and GBV. This survey will also be published so that it can be used by government agencies and any other organizations as a human rights reference in Port Moresby.
Through awareness and education, people can work together to promote and advocate for human rights and an end to GBV in order for the nation’s capital to be safer, more peaceful and inclusive for all.