Regional News of 2013-12-04

CHRAJ calls for protection of vulnerable

Mr Joseph Whittal, a Deputy Commissioner at the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has called for the protection of vulnerable persons especially Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).

He said despite Ghana’s progress in democracy and the protection of civil liberties, the country still has a long way to go in terms of defending PWDs.

Mr Whittal said this in a speech read on his behalf at the launch of an Audio Version of CHRAJ Mandate in Twi and English at the Akropong School for the Blind.

The launch which forms part of activities to mark CHRAJ’s 2013 Human Rights and Integrity Week Celebrations also coincided with the 20th Anniversary of the Commission.

The event which was on the theme: “20 years working for your rights” also marks the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Mr Whittal noted that CHRAJ has the constitutional mandate to promote, protect and enforce the fundamental human rights and freedoms of all persons in Ghana as well as the rights of PWDs.

He said human rights affirm that, all human beings are entitled to equal treatment and opportunities, irrespective of their place of origin, gender, and ethnicity, economic or other status.

He stated that several international, regional and national human rights instruments recognise and protect the rights of PWDs through the principles of equality and non-discrimination.

Mr Whittal said PWDs suffer stigma and discrimination owing to society’s predisposition and ignorance, and often do not enjoy the same opportunities as others because of lack of access to essential services such as education and health care.

He noted that the Commission has so far produced 2,000 copies of the audio version of its mandate, which would be distributed to special schools and radio stations across the country.

Mrs Mahela Narh, Headmistress of the Akropong School for the Blind commended CHRAJ for developing an audio version, saying it would help the students understand their rights and freedom as PWDs under the 1992 Constitution.

She appealed for both financial and material supports for the school to enable the authorities to undertake programmes successfully.