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European Union honors TIPNG as Human Rights Champions

Wednesday December 11 2019, Port Moresby – IN what is now its 23rd year of operations in PNG, Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) has been recognized by the European Union (EU) for service in the fight against corruption.

During the EU Human Rights Appreciation Award ceremony yesterday (December 9, 2019), EU Ambassador, His Excellency, Jernej Videtič, congratulated recipients of the award and reemphasized the EU’s commitment to protecting human rights, and building a global human rights culture.

TIPNG Executive Director, Arianne Kassman, who received the award on behalf of TIPNG, recalled some of the organization’s recent successes, including the ongoing push for a PNG Independent Commission Against Corruption, the corruption complaints desk and the Schools Based Civic Education Project.

Ms Kassman also further highlighted the necessity for collective action to support sustainable change in PNG while also thanking TIPNG’s members for their continued support.

“I want to add that although TIPNG receives this award tonight, I also stand here on behalf of the many Papua New Guineans who have continued to support our work as financial members. Without whom, our work in the fight against corruption and its impacts on the human rights of Papua New Guineans would not be possible,” said Ms Kassman.

“To our allies in the fight against corruption; collective effort has always been the cornerstone for sustainable change. Although the challenges may seem overwhelming at times, our collective commitment to the cause has ensured that threats to our democracy do not go unchecked,” she said.

Four other civil society organizations were also awarded for their contributions in championing the human rights of Papua New Guineans in their respective areas of focus, including; Child Fund, City Mission, Tribal Foundation and World Vision.

The EU Human Rights Appreciation Awards presented last night were part of the global celebration of International Human Rights Day, which is celebrated on December 10  every year.

The date was chosen to honor the United Nations General Assembly‘s adoption and proclamation, on 10 December 1948, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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TIPNG IAC Day video renews government call to action

Monday December 9, 2019 Port Moresby – To commemorate this year’s International Anti-Corruption Day, Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) has released their spin on the popular Christmas Carol, “Little Drummer Boy.”

The video titled “A TIPNG Christmas Carol” has been framed by the anti-corruption agency as a call to action for the Marape-Steven government, while restating their position on a number of legacy issues from the previous governments.

The four minute video presents three interconnected national issues regarding resource sector benefits, public sector corruption and citizen participation in government, while also highlighting TIPNG’s proposed solutions.

TIPNG Executive Director Arianne Kassman, in launching the video on social media today, stated that the message in the video is specifically designed to remind the parliament of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), Sovereign Wealth Fund and an Access to Information Law, which the agency has identified as being essential tools for good governance.

“The current government has publicly declared that reinforcing anti-corruption mechanisms is high on their agenda. The idea of this video was to remind them that it’s now the end of the year, its Christmas, and what has been done about these issues?” said Ms Kassman.

“We understand that some of these are legacy issues that they have inherited from previous governments. However, some of these issues have taken a backseat as the new government has taken time to settle into their new roles, while others seem to have fallen completely off the radar.”

“Our ultimate goal is to ensure that these issues and possible solutions remain as part of the conversation, as the government charts its path for the New Year,” she said.

Links to the video have been available on the Transparency International PNG Facebook page since it was uploaded this morning.

International Anti-Corruption Day has been observed annually, on 9 December, since the passage of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption on 31 October 2003 to raise public awareness for anti-corruption.

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UPNG Law Students Set to Bolster TIPNG Functions

Monday, 2 December 2019, Port Moresby – THREE law students from the UPNG Law School have now embarked on the Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) Legal Internship Program (LIP), as they seek to bolster the functions of the local anti-corruption body.

Third and fourth year Law Students; Rhonda Tevlone, Melvia Lyandenge and Alois Sinen, officially joined TIPNG’s LIP today for an internship which will continue from December through to February.

TIPNG Executive Director Arianne Kassman welcomed the interns during their orientation today, adding that their input over the next eight weeks would not only be crucial in reinforcing the functions of TIPNG, but would also provide them with a unique opportunity for growth as legal professionals.

“It is our sincere hope that the conversations you will have the opportunity of being a part of in the coming weeks will help to supplement your formal training from the UPNG Law school; by presenting you with ways to ensure justice in matters relating to corruption both at the personal and institutional level,” said Ms Kassman.

“We hope through your time with us, that we may be able to help you build a strong ethos as professionals and to set you on the path to becoming resilient agents in the fight against corruption and to facilitate true justice for our people,” she said.

During the 8 week program, the interns will be required to assist two of TIPNG’s core projects;

  • The Advocacy and Legal Advice Center (ALAC) where they will be registering corruption complaints and facilitating referrals through mainline government agencies such as the police,
  • and the Policy & Advocacy Program, where they will be reviewing legislations and providing legal briefs as well as reviewing ongoing issues of corruption.

The trio are now the third cohort of UPNG Law students to come through the program under an ongoing arrangement between TIPNG and the University of PNG, Law School.

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