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Girls given away in a compensation payment in Papua New Guinea

POLICE in Jiwaka have been alerted about the giving away of two young girls as part of compensation payments.
And a human rights lawyer has condemned the decision by Menginpol villagers to hand over the girls, aged 13 and 15, to people at neighbouring Kui, as compensation over the death of a teacher. 
The two groups live together in the Kol local level government in Jimi district, Jiwaka. Pigs and K9,000 were paid as part of the same compensation package.
Assistant police commissioner in the highlands region Teddy Tei said he had instructed police in Banz, Jiwaka, to investigate the matter immediately.
Mt Hagen-based human rights lawyer Danny Gonol said the two girls’ dignity and rights should have been  protected.
He called on Jiwaka police to investigate the matter and arrest those who made the decision to give away the two girls as compensation.
“This is a breach of human rights at its worst,” he said.
“I condemn the community leaders from Kol who made the decision to give away two innocent girls to settle a dispute.”
Gonol said compensation in the highlanders’ context comprised material goods and money only.
He said the two girls were given away to the relatives of the deceased teacher for marriage. 
But this was against their consent and worse, they were still under-aged.
“This is totally wrong. No one in his or her right mind will make such a decision to give away two girls.”
Gonol said human beings were born superior than the animals and therefore, cannot be treated like an animal.
“This is like a human trade and this practice must stop now, it’s a new thing in the province and rest of the highlands region,” he said.
He said police must immediately step in and return the two girls to their parents.

The National
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