General News Fri, 28 Mar 2008

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Journalists urged to help curb human rights abuses

Cape Coast, March. 28, GNA- Mr Richard Quayson, Deputy Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), on Friday stated that, the most efficient way of curbing the ascendancy of human rights abuses in the society was through effective public education.

He said if Ghanaians were adequately educated about their human rights and responsibilities it would be easier for them to identify any form of human rights abuse and also prevent others from trampling on their rights.

Mr Quayson said this at a day's 'media sensitization workshop' for journalists in the Central region in Cape Coast. The workshop was attended by more than 30 media personnel and it was aimed at among others, sensitizing them on the work of the Commission, how to report on human rights issues as well as strengthening the relationship between the Commission and the media. The Deputy Commissioner, who took the participants through the activities of the Commission, appealed to the public especially the media, to help bring human right abusers to book, stressing that, concealing information on such people was a serious threat to democracy, peace and the development of the nation.

He said the Commission was among others, promoting and inculcating values of integrity and accountability within the body politic and helping to fight corruption of all forms, stressed that, it could not accomplish this without the support of the media. He appealed to the media to support the Commission to address the situation since it was "totally committed" to defending the cause of freedom and human rights.

"With your capacity to reach large segments of people in the society ,coupled with your traditional watchdog role in society and safeguarding the interest of the people, the media comes in naturally as the most credible partner", he noted.

"It is time to shout from the roof top and create the awareness that will help our people appreciate the indispensability of human rights".

Ms Mercy Arhin, Metropolitan Chief Executive, in a speech read for her, said the media holds the key to human rights development, and urged them to take the issue seriously.

Mr Ato Amoaning-Annan, Director of Public and Students Affairs of the African University College of Communication, said it was about time Ghanaian journalists entered into the world of investigative journalism. This he said would help unravel a lot of things that were being swept under the carpet and hidden from the public, but however, entreated the media to be professional in the discharge of their duties, taking into consideration the laws of the land and the code of ethics of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA).

Mrs Comfort Akosua Edu, Public Relations Officer of the Commission, who took the participants through media reportage on human rights issues, urged the participants to be circumspect in their reportage and always endeavour to cross- check their facts.

Source: GNA

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