Campaign Human rights for all

The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) Africa Office said developments in Ghana of political intolerance, fear and increased levels of poverty makes this year’s theme very timely and relevant to Ghana.

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Ghana needs to “walk the talk” and prioritise human rights for all, a local advocate says.

Speaking to Pulse.com.gh on the United Nations International Human Rights Day, Center for Popular Education and Human Rights Ghana, executive national director, Mac-Darling Cobbinah said he wanted more to be done to ensure all people have their human rights upheld.

The centre wanted to “call stakeholders and the government to walk the talk”, however, he said “most are talking about committing to human rights but they do little.

“There is no real work on the ground. Human rights is still seen as a foreign culture.”

His organisation works particularly with Ghana’s most vulnerable groups, and strives for the attainment of equal rights, the removal of all forms of discrimination in all aspect of life for Ghana's marginalized groups and most at risk populations.

The organisation aims to inform, counsel, educate and support people in matters relating to law, health and well-being. It believes sexual rights are as fundamental as human rights.

Cobbinah feared minority groups who were particularly vulnerable to abuse were left out of discussions on human rights.

He wanted to see human rights for all prioritised in Ghana.

“They [human rights]  are not prioritised in terms of the discussions , they are not prioritised in terms of the allocation of resources. It’s not prioritised on the agendas of government or government ministries. We need to look at the minority, not just the majority as the issues of the minority affects the majority as well.”

Cobbinah said it's work in empowering minorities and vulnerable sections of society would benefit everyone.

"We empower sections of our society, in turn empowering the whole society.”

This year’s Human Rights Day theme "Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always" marks the launch of a one-year campaign commemorating two international treaties adopted 50 years ago: Two Human Rights Covenants are the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both adopted in 1966. Combined, they form the International Bill of Human Rights, setting out the civil, political, cultural, economic, and social rights that are the birthright of all human beings.

The year long campaign will focus on the theme of rights and freedoms -- freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.

The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) Africa Office said developments in Ghana of political intolerance, fear and increased levels of poverty makes this year’s theme very timely and relevant to Ghana.

The office wanted to “remind Ghanaians in general and the government in particular that we owe it to ourselves as a people work hard, build and strengthen institutions put in place to ensure that the people of Ghana fully enjoy these freedoms”.

The office said many people in Ghana are not aware there is an obligation imposed on the state to make sure citizens realise these rights.

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