The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has explained that the main objective of the Privacy and Confidentiality Policy is to protect the secrecy of vulnerable groups.
Mrs Comfort Akosua Edu, Head, Public Relations and Communication, CHRAJ, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview, that the policy sought to protect vulnerable groups, especially People Living with HIV and AIDS (PLHIV) from undue public exposure, stigmatization and discrimination.
The Privacy and Confidentiality Policy sets standards for the required attitudinal and behavioural change and seeks to build public trust, ensure confidence and protect the integrity of the work of the commission and to guide CHRAJ staff to create the conducive environment so that public privacy and confidentiality is taken seriously.
This is to provide clear and strict guidelines to the staff of the commission on how to maintain privacy and confidentiality, to demonstrate to the staff the importance of the principles of the policy, and to set the standard for using, sharing, storing and disposing of information and records in a secure and ethical manner.
She said as a first point of call, CHRAJ staff would be trained to uphold the dignity of all persons seeking the services of the commission, particularly key stakeholders, in a professional manner.
Mrs Edu said CHRAJ has also mapped up a strategy to improve service delivery through capacity building and provision of appropriate facilities, which would at the end make it friendly to vulnerable groups.
She said to ensure the rapid dissemination of the information in the policy, CHRAJ had embarked on distribution to key stakeholders, including the Judicial Service, Ghana AIDS Commission, Labour Unions and other public and private sector organisations.
“CHRAJ still sees continued discrimination and stigmatisation as conditions that could undo all that the commission builds,” she said.
“The staff of the commission will handle all matters in the execution of their functions with the greatest degree of confidentiality,” she said.
Mrs. Edu said the objectives of the privacy and confidentiality policy are in two folds: the broad and specific objectives.
The broad objective is to create a favourable environment for all aspects of professional service delivery by CHARJ to its clients as well as to set out privacy and confidentiality guidelines for the staff to ensure that, all individuals are served with the best professional ethics.
She said the policy was motivated by some key considerations akin to promotion of equality, non-discrimination, privacy, holding records in confidence, disclosures, fairness, use and sharing of clients’ information.
She commended the United States Agency for International Development and the Ghana AIDS Commission for their support in developing – the policy.
Mrs Edu appealed to the media to join in the dissemination of the information to help improve and protect the vulnerable citizens.