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Minority groups appeal for protection

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) groups has called on the government to enforce laws to protect gender and sexual minorities in Ghana against discrimination and violence.

“The government should recognize that we are human beings and can contribute to the development of the country, so they should not treat us as outcasts in the society.” They pleaded.

The group made the appeal through a representation during a three-day strategic workshop opened in Accra on Wednesday for Civil Society Organisations to draw a roadmap for the implementation of the UN Human Rights Council recommendations under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Mechanism.

The workshop was organised by POS Foundation, in collaboration with UPR Info Africa Kenya, and was funded by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA).

LGBT people face a lot of social stigmatization and violence with little or no protection at all, which makes it difficult to stand out as a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender in Ghana.

LGBT should have the same protection and shelter from the government as everyone else according to the group.

Most at times when LGBT go through any form of violence, they are afraid to report the case to the police for the fear of been arrested and mostly their identities are not protected from the media.

Mr Jonathan Osei Owusu, the Executive Director of POS Foundation, said from the 2008 to 2017 Review, the most recommendations given to Ghana were related to strengthening efforts towards the abolition of the death penalty and also enhancing the protection of the rights of people perceived to be gays, lesbians, transgender, and bi-sexual (LGBT).

‘We are asking government to look at the 41 recommendations that have been noted and not accepted, in terms of LGBT. all we are saying is that they should not be discriminated , their rights should be upheld in the sense that you cannot assault them or sack them from a gathering just because they are perceived to be gay, lesbians, or bi-sexual.

He said Ghana was highly commended in the 2017 Report by many member states on Free SHS Programme, Child and Women’s Rights, and Justice for All initiative.

He noted that, the award that Ghana receive for the Justice for All initiative doesn’t mean the congestion of our prisons have reduced, the Nsawam Prison which can only accommodate about  eight hundred and fifteen is now accommodating over three thousand, five hundred prisoners.

Mr Osei, who is also the Convenor of the UPR for CSOs, said the human rights should be reflective in the policies and enforcement in the laws that exist in our country.

 

By: Latifa Carlos

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