Her Excellency Tove Degnbol, Denmark Ambassador to Ghana has indicated that religion, culture and tradition should not be barriers to preventing the implementation of internationally accepted human rights standards especially those to which the country has accepted.
She therefore appealed to Government to be resolute in its implementation of the various recommendations keeping in mind the Vienna Declaration which reaffirms in no uncertain terms the solemn commitment of all States to fulfill their obligations to promote universal respect for, and observance and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all.
She made this appeal during a two-day workshop in Accra which was organized by POS Foundation (which serves as the Secretariat for the Ghana Human Rights NGO Forum) and the UPR Info Africa, Kenya, in collaboration with the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice.
Mr Jonathan Osei Owusu, Executive Director POS Foundation and Vice Chairman Ghana Human Rights NGOs Forum, said the objective of the workshop was to foster cooperation among Government and CSOs in the implementation and monitoring of UPR Recommendations through the review and discussion of a proposed Implementation Plan.
He indicated that, out of 241 recommendations by the United Nations Universal Periodic Review, 212 were accepted and 29 rejected by Ghana.
Central to the said recommendations are access to Justice, protection of rights of persons with disability, women and children’s right, access to education and access to good health care.
29 recommendations which were rejected include death penalty and LGBT rights but Ghana accepted to provide equal protection and nondiscrimination to those people.
Mr Joseph Akanjolenur Whittal, the Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) said it was important the UPR recommendations were made known to the people of Ghana and lauded the media for playing an active role in the dissemination of UPR information to the populace.
“Let the people know what Ghana accepted as recommendations to implement because the weakness in the past two cycles is that when we bring the recommendations to the country, nobody even gets to know what it is that Ghana accepted,” he noted.
He added that, it was the responsibility of the media and civil society to let the people of Ghana know the UPR recommendations to the country, which would enable them mount pressure on the Government to either make the funds available or development partners with support to make funds available and get Parliament to pass the legislation which was necessary because some of them required passage of laws.
By: Latifa Carlos