The Ambassador of Italy to Ghana and Togo, Her Excellency Daniela d’Orlandi paid a significant visit to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) on the 20th of June 2023 to deliver the news that Commissioner Joseph Whittal has been selected by a high-level jury comprising some judges of the Supreme Court of Cassation of Italy, academics, and lawyers among others for the prestigious De Sanctis Prize for Human Rights in Rome, Italy.
Ambassador d’Orlandi noted that the nomination and selection by the high-level jury is in recognition of the profound dedication and exceptional work of the Commissioner and the CHRAJ nationally in promoting a culture of respect for human rights, holding power accountable, and fostering transparency in governance. She said the jury also considered Commissioner Whittal’s commitment to this cause on the continent of Africa which has been widely acknowledged, and his accomplishments have garnered respect both nationally and internationally.
While commending Mr. Whittal for his remarkable leadership and unwavering commitment, she formally presented the document covering the invitation to him to receive the Prize award in Rome, Italy.
Commissioner Whittal, deeply honored by the selection and the invitation, acknowledged the significance of the award and emphasized that the recognition serves to strengthen his commitment even further and that it would spur him and the Commission on in protecting and promoting fundamental human rights and freedoms in Ghana.
He indicated that the recognition especially coming on the 30th anniversary of the CHRAJ serves as a testament to the impressive work undertaken by CHRAJ in upholding human rights, promoting good governance, and advancing sustainable development in Ghana and on the African Continent.
Other discussions centered on the need for continued efforts to strengthen human rights institutions and address key issues such as gender equality, access to justice, and the rights of the marginalized especially women and children.
The De Sanctis Prize, originally established in 2009 as an award for literature in Europe, has expanded in scope to encompass various disciplines including social health and economic science. The introduction of the Human Rights category in 2022 further emphasizes the importance of upholding fundamental rights and freedoms.
The de Sanctis Prize for Human Rights within its relatively short existence, has already gained recognition as a symbol of excellence and commitment to the cause of human rights.
The 2022 de Sanctis Prize for human rights as the premier award in the human rights category was received by the President of the European Court of Human Rights.
The recipients of the de Sanctis Prize awards 2023 will be presented on the 24th October at a formal ceremony in Rome, Italy later this year, where they will be acknowledged for their outstanding achievements in advancing knowledge and cultural diplomacy including promotion and protection of human rights and inspiring others to work towards a just and equitable society.