Ghana fails to submit human rights reports to Africa Commission on Human Rights

The Deputy Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Mrs Mercy Larbi, says for the past two decades Ghana has not submitted its human rights reports to the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR).

She said the responsibility lies on the Office of the Attorney-General (A-G) and Ministry of Justice to ensure that Ghana meet this continental obligation.

Mrs Larbi was speaking at a two-day workshop for the drafting of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) Shadow Reports on United Nations (UN) Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Mechanism-Ghana’s 4th Cycle, in Accra, last week.

According to her, since Ghana is a signatory to the ACHPR, it is incumbent on the A-G to take the necessary steps towards the submission of the reports.

Some of the areas that Ghana has over the past 20 years failed to submit reports on include; the Committee on International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Committee on International Covenant on Economic and Social Rights, and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights among others.

On the workshop, Mrs Larbi said in 2017, the last time Ghana’s report was reviewed, the country accepted 214 out of 241 recommendations by other countries.

She explained that the UPR is a mechanism by the UN Human Rights Commission for assessing human rights records of member countries.

The Deputy Director added that that the UPR allows CSOs and independent institutions like CHRAJ to submit their reports to the UN, in order to avoid misrepresentation of human rights issues by member states.

The UN Resident Coordinator to Ghana, Mr Charles Bani, on his part said Ghana’s human rights track record is worthy of praise.

He noted that the constitution was there to protect the rights of Ghanaians irrespective of individuals’ divergence views.

He stated that the constitution is not there just for the popular views, but to protect all citizens at all times irrespective of whether they are in the majority or minority.

“The state has the responsibility to promote, protect and respect the right of all their citizens,” he stressed.

The Executive Director of the host organisation, POS Foundation, Jonathan Osei Owusu added that Ghana needed to do more towards the promotion of human rights, although its track records are positive.

He encouraged the participants at the workshop to contribute fully to the course of drafting process to reflect the UPR.


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