Family Abuse, Dispute Settlement and the Law in Papua New Guinea



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Family Abuse, Dispute Settlement and the Law in Papua New Guinea
John Y. Luluaki1



Abstract



The centrality of the family in the peace and reconciliation discourse cannot be overemphasized. It is crucially important to recognize this as Venerable Master Chin Kung reminded us in his presentation that "conflicts begin in the fundamental unit of our society – the family." A world comprised of peaceful families is almost doubtless the sine qua non for a peaceful world. Anyone who is serious about world peace must also therefore seriously consider and explore ways of facilitating and enhancing peace at the family level.
It is generally recognized that the 'family', however way one defines it and whatever its composition and functions, will ever become irrelevant and disappear altogether in society. Despite discourse to the contrary, its centrality in society is recognized both at the international level, in the form of Article 16(3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 23(1) and (2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966, and the national level, by Goal 1(5) of the National Goals and Directive Principles of the Papua New Guinea Constitution. However, it would seem that one of the major casualties of the present focus on the recognition of individual rights and their protection from the family and sexual abuse, is the family unit itself.


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