The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), yesterday launched it’s 30th anniversary with a call on government to move beyond mere platitudes and self-glorification in the fight against corruption and lead by example to bring transparency in the country.
The Commissioner of CHRAJ, Mr Joseph Whittal, disclosed this during the launch of the commission’s 30th anniversary celebration in Accra yesterday.
The anniversary which would be on the theme; ‘CHRAJ at 30: Promoting and protecting human rights and ensuring transparency and accountability in public service delivery’ aimed to reflect on the achievements and challenges the commission has chalked so far in order to strategise on how to move the institution to a higher level.
Mr Whittal said marking 30 years of the commission’s existence would present Ghanaians across the country with an avenue to appreciate the work of the commission in relation to its mandates and services.
He said though Ghana had made quite some great gains in human rights protection and promotion, however, there remained some significant turf to cover.
“We must as a nation do more to protect the rights of the poor, vulnerable and marginalised including women and children, persons living with and affected by HIV/TB, persons living with disability, persons deprived of liberty based on law, among many others,” he added.
The commissioner tasked the country to take the fight against illegal mining “galamsey” more seriously “lest we risk mortgaging our future as a country where we may have to import water.”
“We may also risk some of our products to the foreign markets being banned which might deny the country the needed foreign exchange for development. Business owners must do business legally whilst respecting the rights of all persons who will be affected by their operations,” he added.
Highlighting on the achievements chalked by the commission over the years, Mr Whittal said the major challenge the commission faced was inadequate funding for the commission in the delivery of its multiple mandates.
He urged government to adequately resource the institutions charged with fighting corruption in Ghana and strengthen them to lead the charge for transparency and accountability in the delivery of public service.
He expressed CHRAJ’s commitment towards its mandate to promote and protect human rights, administrative justice, integrity and ethics in the public service, among others.
The UN Resident Coordinator in Ghana, Mr Charles Abani, expressed UN’s support to promote inclusion of human rights in issues of legislation, policies and programmes and support it to effectively monitor a report on human rights situations.
He called on stakeholders and government to reinforce its support to CHRAJ to enable it achieve its mandate.
The Deputy Chairperson of the Electoral Commission in charge of Corporate Services, Dr Bossman Eric Asare, for his part commended CHRAJ for its achievements towards the fight against corruption and urged them to institute special programmes that targeted people in the rural areas to enable them understand human rights issues.
Activities earmarked for the anniversary celebration included health screening exercise which commenced last month, research webinar, nationwide health walk, zonal online seminars, high-level conferences among others.