The Executive Director of Perfector of Sentiments Foundation (POS), Mr Jonathan Osei Owusu has called on the government to increase the GHc1.80 pesewas provided as feeding fee for prisoners.
Mr Owusu described the Gh 1.80 pesewas for three square meals a day for the prisoners as an abuse on the fundamental human rights of prisoners and said it could lead to emotional and psychological trauma.
He made the appeal recently at a stakeholders’ workshop organised by the POS Foundation in Accra.
The workshop was held in partnership with Universal Periodic Reviews (UPR), Info Africa-Kenya and KASA Initiative and the United Nations (UN) Office in Ghana.
It was on the theme: ‘The role of the media and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) as watchdogs in promoting human rights. ‘The workshop was funded by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA).
He bemoaned that Ghana’s prisons are overcrowded, sometimes extends to those on remand, the convicted and the condemned. This overcrowding situation results in a number of serious violations, including inadequate nutrition, insufficient access to medical care, poor sanitation, personal insecurity and the absence of rehabilitation services.
For instance, he said, The Nsawam Medium Prison which is one of the largest prisons in the country holds over 3000 inmates.
He advised, “We should not sit down for political parties to make decisions for us, we should ‘fight’ to improve our human rights situation in Ghana.
“Since the inception of the ‘Justice for All’ programme in 2007, it has helped solve the human rights issues of prisoners so we should not be satisfied and make better changes in the various prisons in the country.”
He said Ghana was due for its third Universal Periodic Review in November 2017. The review is done by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) every five years to assess the country’s human rights situation.
By: Latifa Carlos