Papua New Guinea Country Report
Industrial action in PNG usually involves small-scale impromptu strikes in urban areas like Port Moresby and Lae, causing transportation disruption lasting no longer than one or two days. Larger strikes are usually triggered by political issues, such as the October 2018 national strike against the government of then-prime minister Peter O’Neill. Another issue likely to trigger industrial action is the employment of foreign workers. Although Prime Minister James Marape has pledge to establish an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), corruption issues at all levels of government are unlikely to improve significantly in the 12-month outlook.
International non-state armed groups or individuals are unlikely to target PNG because of the lack of accessible high-value targets such as international tourist hotspots or businesses. However, a failure to recognise Bougainville’s vote for independence in November 2019 would likely cause a deterioration in the regional security situation, including the emergence of armed anti-government groups. Members of armed separatist groups seeking independence for Indonesia’s West Papua province occasionally seek refuge on the PNG side of the border, although the likelihood of PNG being used as an operations base for foreign terrorist groups is low.
Crime rates are very high nationwide; Port Moresby and Lae are considered among the most violent cities in the world. Policing is poor and crime data is largely unavailable, but homicide, assault, and robberies are common in urban areas. Criminals often use illegal firearms and are likely to target Western visitors because of a perceived image of wealth. Security forces are at times complicit in criminal activities. Crime also has a substantial commercial impact on businesses. A 2014 World Bank report estimated that companies lose an average of USD33,000 a year in stolen property. More than two-thirds of companies hire private security firms, taking up around 5% of annual operating budgets.
Interstate conflict is very unlikely, although low-intensity fighting between Indonesian military units and West Papuan insurgents occurs occasionally in border areas, sometimes forcing border shutdowns. Fighting between tribes in the Highlands region is a regular occurrence and cycles of violence between warring tribes can last for years, but there is little prospect of this fighting escalating into a broader conflict. An outbreak of civil war is unlikely, despite the November 2019 Bougainville referendum result indicating overwhelming support for independence and the central government’s probable intent to frustrate the separation process.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
Proof of vaccination against yellow fever is required if traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission and over one year of age.
Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.
Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).
Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).
Japanese Encephalitis: For stays of longer than one month in a rural zone during the rainy season (for children over the age of one). The vaccine is administered in a local medical facility.
For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.
Papua New Guinea has a hot and humid climate, tempered by trade winds. It rains almost all year long with a respite from June to September (the dry season) and a peak of precipitation between December and March. Temperatures tend to be cooler in the mountains.
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