The Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Mr. Joseph Whittal has welcomed discussions on CHRAJ’s collaboration with officials of the Netherlands Embassy in Ghana towards the possibility of working together to reduce discrimination against women, especially alleged witches, and also building the capacity of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to disseminate information under the Universal Peer Review (UPR), as well as the preparation and submission of alternate reports to the Human Rights Council during the coming 4th cycle peer review of Ghana.
Receiving the Netherlands Embassy’s Deputy Director in charge of the Department of Sub-Saharan Africa, H. E. Martine-Van Hoogstraten in his office, Commissioner Whittal indicated that the Commission has signed various MOUs to collaborate with CSOs and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) on thematic areas of human rights both at the national level, and in the regions.
The Commissioner of CHRAJ noted that the Commission has maintained an organic relationship with CSOs and NGOs for the past several years, and that the CHRAJ-NGOs Human Rights Forum has over the years provided a quarterly platform for the discussion of topical human rights issues that the Commission is handling, paving way for the CSOs to also share their ideas with the Commission.
Discussions on the visit centered mainly on the human rights situation in Ghana and the anti-corruption mandate of CHRAJ, with specific reference to the Commission’s relationship with CSOs and NGOs in the promotion and protection of fundamental human rights of all persons living in Ghana. On the anti-corruption front, Commissioner Whittal pointed out that the Commission works closely with the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), IMANI Africa, the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) and the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) of which he is currently the Vice President.
Issues bordering on the COVID 19 period related violence, advocacy for key populations, the LGBTI bill, and the abolishment of the death penalty were also discussed.
H. E. Martine Van Hoogstraten expressed the delegation’s joy and appreciation to CHRAJ with respect to Commissioner Whittal’s warm reception, and their exposure to the key mandates of the Commission.