Human rights issues are evolving; Varsity don

The Dean of Faculty of Law, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Prof Lydia Mensah, has opened the Pandora’s box on the discussion and debate of how the third generation of human rights will promote or affect the quality of life in times to come.

According to her, human rights over the centuries had evolved to encompass several subjects, including the LGBTQ+ and others that challenge the status quo of how the human race is being persevered.

She said the manner, in which the conversation on human rights is becoming broader and wider, there must be global or national discussions or consensus on what qualifies as human rights, particularly the new generation of rights.

Prof Mensah was speaking at a programme organised by Kings University College to mark International Human Rights Day in Accra on Friday, December 10, 2021.

On the new generation of human rights, she said “you will hear of a 90 year plus man saying that I feel like I’m six years old child trapped in the body of 90 years person. So I want to be treated as a six years old child, it is my human right”.

These emerging phenomena of rights have had her pounder over the question – “how do we shift; how do we misplace and how do we define [human rights]…I’m able to walk but I’m supposed to be a cripple. It is my human right and I want you to recognize that. I don’t know where we are going”

Her fears are that if something critical is not done about these future emerging rights, they may negatively affect the preservation and dignity of human life and the human race at large.

The Dean of Law urged that if care is not taken, the doctrine of human rights will possibly degenerate into empty rhetoric.

The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) represented by MawuliAvutor on his part, stated that Ghana’s human rights level is very high now.

According to him, the country has witnessed a tremendous rise in people reporting and discussing issues concerning human rights abuses, which previously did not exist.

However, he could not immediately give figures to quantify the number of human rights breaches the Commission had received since January this year.

MrAvutor completely avoided declaring CHRAJ’s position on the ongoing debate on the passage of the anti-gay bill.

He, however, disagrees with the analogy that human rights have no limitations, saying “as an individual, the enjoyment of your rights shouldn’t violate the rights of another person.”

The Deputy Director also commented on the international corruption day, in which the public have made a number of complaints to the Commission expanding from conflict of interest, vote-buying to non-declaration of assets.

On non-declaration of assets, he said there have been complaints all over due to non-compliance of the law by public officers


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