Legal Practitioner, Lawyer Baba Sadique Zankawah, has called on the government to resource the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to execute on of its mandates of protecting the rights of citizens.
According to Mr. Sadique, CHRAJ remained Ghana’s best hope in resolving human right issues.
He asked the government to provide financial, structural, legislative, and other key support to the Commission.
“We owe it a duty to support the Commission to do its work. The failure of CHRAJ will have adverse effects on the protection of human rights in the country,” he said.
Lawyer Sadique made the call when he made a presentation at ‘CHRAJ @ 30’ Online Zonal Forum for the Northern sector.
The meeting, hosted by CHRAJ on Zoom, brought together key personalities to discuss how CHRAJ and other key institutions can be resourced and empowered to work effectively.
Addressing participants on the topic, “The Role of CHRAJ in safeguarding Human Rights in Ghana: Achievements, Challenges and Future Prospect,” Lawyer Zankawah indicated that CHRAJ had over the years undertaken a lot of investigations involving both people in high offices and the masses concerning the abuse of office and rights.
He said data showed that CHRAJ had dealt with over 41,000 complaints received from the public, and this had increased the number of people who would want to access the services of the Commission.
He, however, indicated that the Commission could not do more if it did not get the needed financial barking and resources to work with.
Lawyer Zankawah observed that one of the challenges facing the Commission was resources.
He noted that most of the regional offices of the Commission were in dire need of tools to work with.
He called on the state to invest in the Commission to enable it to carry out its mandate.
Meanwhile, the Northern Regional Programme Officer of the National Communication on Civic Education, Naa Adu Nuru, also observed that the work of protecting the rights of individuals should not be the work of CHRAJ alone.
Speaking on the topic: ‘Promoting Civic Education on Human Rights for a Right-Conscious Society’, Mr Nuru said his outfit also played a key role in educating the citizenry on pertinent issues including issues of rights espoused in the constitution, 1992.
He also advocated for more resources for the NCCE to embark on its core mandating of educating the public.
Senior Lecturer and Vice Dean, Faculty of Communication and Media, University of Development Studies (UDS), Dr Eliasu Mumuni, who spoke on, “The Role of the Media in Advocating Human Rights, Transparency and Accountability” said the media also plays a key in educating people on their rights
He, however, indicated that the media could only do much when it was guaranteed a free press.
He raised concerns about the recent attacks on journalists and its adverse effect on Ghana’s position on the Press Freedom Index.
He called on the state to ensure that the media has been given the needed resource and freedom to operate.