General News Tue, 18 Mar 2008

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Journalists schooled on human rights reporting

Accra March 18, GNA- A one-day sensitisation workshop for the media on the activities of the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) was on Tuesday held in Accra with a call on journalists to collaborate effectively with the Commission in order to carry out its constitutional mandate.

Opening the workshop, Mr Richard Quayson, deputy Commissioner, CHRAJ said the resilience of the peace that the nation was enjoying was mainly attributed to growing culture of respect for human rights and human dignity.

He said, while CHRAJ's powers of investigations had been exercised to check abuse and rights wrongs, it recognizes that a more effective approach to uphold human right and freedom in the society was by making respect for human rights and human dignity a way of life for people. "Our agenda, therefore is to deepen this culture of respect for human rights and human dignity, and make it the way of life for all persons," he added.

The deputy Commissioner noted that the media over the years had worked in close collaboration with the Commission, stressing that the new partnership between the two should begin a "new wave of human rights consciousness, where people of all walks of life be empowered with human rights knowledge and values to uphold the rights of one another in the society."

Reverend Duke Hammond Director in-Charge of Administration, CHRAJ said on the average the Commission receives about 12,000 complaints annually. In 2006, Rev. Hammond said the commission received over 14,559 cases out which it was able to resolve 11,155 cases and referred 597 cases to other related institutions. He mentioned some of the compl aints as illegal acquisition of wealth, misappropriation of public funds, extortion and fraud. As part of the challenges of the Commission, Mr Hammond cited insufficient funding from the central government and unattractive condition of service. He said there was also the need to review the constitutional provision relating to the composition, appointment and condition of services of commissioners and staff. "One of our major challenge was to instil the culture of respect of human rights in the populace and forge closer links with judicial and parliamentary committee on legal and constitutional affairs," he added. 18 March 08

Source: GNA

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