The Commonwealth Human Right Initiative (CHRI) has encouraged Ghanaians, particularly the youth to get themselves abreast of issues relative to human rights to enable advance a world of rights, dignity and choice for everyone.
Mina Mensah, Head of Africa Office of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative made the call at the Kaneshie Kingsway Cluster of Schools in Accra, where her Office commemorated the International Human Right Day with hundreds of School Children and their teachers.
This year’s commemoration was held on the theme,‘Youth Standing Up for Human Rights’
Ms Mensah told the school Children, “We are here to encourage you.., you need to educate yourselves on human rights. Every one of us has a right and the basic one of them is the right to life.”
She spoke about the rights to education, Health, freedom and justice as well as the right to live in a decent and clean environment.
The enthusiastic school children were asked questions about Human rights and those got the answers right were rewarded for their efforts.
The CHRI Office also presented the school with some books on human rights to help the children update themselves on the emerging issues.
Human Rights Day is celebrated annually across the world on 10 December every year.
The date was chosen to honour the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption and proclamation, on 10 December 1948, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the first global enunciation of human rights and one of the first major achievements of the new United Nations.
The formal establishment of Human Rights Day occurred at the 317th Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on 4 December 1950, when the General Assembly declared resolution 423(V), inviting all member states and any other interested organizations to celebrate the day as they saw fit.
The day is normally marked both by high-level political conferences and meetings and by cultural events and exhibitions dealing with human rights issues. Besides, it is traditionally on 10 December that the five-yearly United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights and Nobel Peace Prize are awarded. Many governmental and non-governmental organizations active in the human rights field also schedule special events to commemorate the day.
Reading a statement on behalf of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, Miss Nana Abena Boateng, a pupil at the Kaneshie Kingsway Cluster of Schools emphasized the need to uphold climate Justices.
She said a debt of gratitude is owed to all those millions of children, teenagers and young adults who have been standing up and speaking out more and more loudly about the crisis facing our planet.
“Rightly, these young people are pointing out that it is their future which is at stake, and the future of all those who have not yet even been born. It is they who will have to bear the full consequences of the actions, or lack of action, by the older generations who currently run governments and businesses, the decision-makers on whom the future of individual countries, regions and the planet as whole depends.”
She continued, “It cannot, of course, be left to young people alone to tackle the climate emergency, or indeed the many other human rights crises that are currently causing simultaneous turbulence in so many countries across the world. All of us must stand together, in solidarity, and act with principle and urgency.
“We can, and must, uphold the painstakingly developed universal human rights principles that sustain peace, justice and sustainable development. A world with diminished human rights is a world that is stepping backwards into a darker past, when the powerful could prey on the powerless with little or no moral or legal restraint.”
All human beings, according her, have a right to participate in decisions that have impact on their lives. In order to ensure more effective decision-making, and to build greater trust and harmony across their nations, the leaders of every society should be listening to their people – and acting in accordance with their needs and demands.
By: Mohammed Suleman