Fight against human right violations must occupy centre stage – CHRAJ

The Deputy Commissioner, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Mercy Larbi, has said that fighting human rights violation in Ghana should occupy the centre stage “if we are to improve the lives of our people.”

She noted that the cost of human rights violation in the country and on the African continent was huge and should be a source of worry to everyone.

Mrs Larbi said this at the opening ceremony of the training on litigation and engagement with Africa Regional Human Rights and Treaty Bodies for CHRAJ and selected Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Accra yesterday.

The training was aimed at enhancing participants’ understanding of Africa’s  human rights systems and the opportunities for engaging effectively with the Africa Regional Treaty bodies, namely; Africa Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (Africa Commission), the African Court on human and Peoples Rights (African Court), the Africa Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (Africa Children’s committee) and Economic Community Of West African States Court of Justice

She said the collaboration between the commission and Network of African National Human Rights Institutions (NANHRI) would significantly contribute to promoting, protecting and preventing human rights violation in the country.

She indicated that the Commission had engaged in litigation before the national courts in executing its mandate to promote and protect fundamental human rights of all persons in Ghana, but had not engaged in litigation before the Africa regional treaty bodies.

 The Deputy Commissioner of CHRAJsaid the training was crucial to enhancing the understanding of the key African human rights treaties, as well as build the capacity of staff to engage with African Regional human rights treaty bodies.

“Their areas of operations have helped to improve human rights situation in Ghana and I have no doubt that this training is going to enhance their capacity to do what they’re doing better,” she added.

Mrs Larbi expressed the Commission’s gratitude to NANHRI and the Raoul Wallenberg of Human Rights and Humanitarian law (RWI) for conducting the training for CHRAJ staff and some selected CSOs.

She said since independence, Ghana had become party to numerous international, African and regional human rights instruments, for which reason it had incorporated some of these international laws and amended some existing laws.

Mrs  Larbi said Article 33(1) of the Constitution provided that any person alleging that a provision of the Constitution on fundamental human rights and freedoms had been, was, or was likely to be contravened in relation to him or her, might apply to the High Court for redress.

“Where the case involves interpretation and enforcement of the Constitution, the Supreme Court is vested with jurisdiction under articles 2013 and 130. It is under these provisions that human rights litigation may be brought before the courts for adjudication,” she added.             


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