Welcome to Episode 90 of Good Will Hunters from the Development Policy Centre.
Today on the show I speak to Fiona Hukula, Miranda Forsyth, and Philip Gibbs.
Our speakers today are on the front line of the battle against sorcery accusation related violence or SARV in Papua New Guinea.
Dr Fiona Hukula is a Senior Research Fellow at the Papua New Guinea National Research Institute (PNG NRI). Fiona represents the PNG NRI on high level national committees such as the Family and Sexual Violence Action Committee and the National Action Plan against Sorcery Accusation and Related Violence.
Dr Miranda Forsyth is an Associate Professor in the College of Asia and the Pacific at ANU. Miranda is a chief investigator in a major four year project investigating how to best overcome sorcery accusations and related violence in PNG.
Lastly, Dr Philip Gibbs is a Divine Word Missionary priest serving in Papua New Guinea since 1973. Currently he is Vice-President Research and Higher Degrees at Divine Word University, Madang, Papua New Guinea. He is well known for his research and advocacy against sorcery related violence in PNG.
In the episode we unpack the extent of SARV in PNG and the factors that are causing a spike of SARV-related incidents. We then delve into their extensive research on SARV, which will inform the upcoming PNG Sorcery National Action Plan. The topic of sorcery is a contentious one in PNG, and as this episode demonstrates, sorcery related violence is not limited to those with low education levels, or only those in remote areas. Rather, it is a problem which endures for people of all ages, genders, locations and education levels in PNG, and one which may be worsened with the spike in Covid-19 cases. This is an important and at times heavy conversation, and one which will resonate for many of us who have lived or worked in Papua New Guinea.
Fiona, Miranda and Philip have written extensively on the subject of sorcery accusation related violence on the Devpolicy blog.
The GWH Team