A three-day conference addressing witchcraft and sorcery killings in Melanesia is taking place at Australia's National University in Canberra.
Jeffrey Buchanan from UN Women in PNG says there is concern that the death penalty may push sorcery and witchcraft related attacks back behind the veil of silence.
"I have concerns about woman who are raped that ... [it] may lead to their murder," he said.
"The perpetrator may think [about] the evidence and he will kill the woman ... there is evidence internationally that that has happened where there is the death penalty."
Sorcery and witchcraft are mostly seen as a negative force, but not all of the beliefs are bad for society.
PhD candidate Salmah Eva-Lina Lawrence from the female-focussed matrilineal society in Milne Bay Province says there are fewer cases of violence in the region and women hold great knowledge.
"On traditional method of contraception or how to control their fertility, of course, this allows women to control their bodies so they have an enormous amount of freedom in that respect," she said.
"So to talk about sorcery and witchcraft only having negative connotations it is completely untrue where I come from."
Dame Carol Kidu agrees sorcery can be a force for good and she even employed one during her political life when she lost her voice while campaigning.
"I had to find someone to lift the blockage that had been put on me," she said.
"So I found someone who mixes Catholicism and traditional sorcery and he mixes both together ... and the blockage got lifted.
"Obviously the blockage got better for some reason ... whether it was the man who assisted in lifting the blockage ... my campaign team and manager had said, 'you have got no choice, you have got to do it'."
The forum has already heard that the growing level of inequality is fuelling the increase in the number of attacks, especially in PNG's highlands where there are hundreds of incidents a year.