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Regional News Sat, 14 Feb 2004

Ghanaians urged to respect rights of one another

Zambrama (B/A), Feb. 14, GNA - Mr. Samuel Vasco Nyamekyeh, Atebubu District Director of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), has advised Ghanaians to respect the rights and freedoms of one another to ensure the continued peace and stability of the country.

He explained the importance of fundamental human rights and freedom as enshrined in the 1992 Constitution and said these must be protected and respected by every Ghanaian.

The CHRAJ Director was addressing a one-day forum organized by the Commission under the theme: "The role of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice in Ghana", at Zambrama in the District. Participants included opinion leaders, chiefs and school children. Mr. Nyamekyeh cited the breakdown of law and order in Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone as being the result of the lack of protection for and respect for fundamental human rights of the people in those countries.

"CHRAJ was established with a constitutional mandate to ensure that the people are educated to know their rights and to resolve cases of abuse of human rights," he said.

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Mr. Nyamekyeh noted with regret that abuse of human rights was common in the community, including forced marriages, child neglect, divorce, domestic violence against women, child abuse, wrongful dismissal of workers by both private and government organizations.

He named other abuses such as extortion, bribery, delay in dispensing justice, delay in the payment of gratuity and pensions, all of which he said could be brought to the notice of the Commission. The CHRAJ District Director advised chiefs and religious leaders not to take the law into their own hands as such act contravened the provisions of the Constitution.

The Odikro of Zambrama, Nana Atta Poku, deplored the practice by some people who neglected their children and called for punishment for such people. Mr. Ibrahim Owusman, Assembly Member, called for a clear punishment for men who impregnate young apprentices and students.

Source: GNA
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