Human Rights Institutions In West Africa Congregate in Ghana
Accra, May 30, GNA
National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in West Africa and the Sahel Regions, have started a regional consultation to scrutinize performances with respect to the principles relating to the promotion and protection of human rights.
Ms Josephine Nkrumah, Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) who chaired the occasion, charged human rights institutions to work with stakeholders to ensure global approach to the promotion and protection of human rights.
She said human rights institutions must examine their roles under the global compact, analysis migration issues and work within Africa Agenda 2063 and the Agenda 2030.
Ms Nkrumah also noted that the role of human rights institutions in national democratic environment cannot be underestimated.
She said in 2019 and 2020, a number of West African Countries would hold elections, therefore human rights institutions must contribute significantly to the peaceful, fair and credible elections in an atmosphere that respects the rights of the electorates.
Stressing the issue further, Ms Nkrumah called for intensification of the efforts to protect and promote the rights of children, people with disability, vulnerable in society, and women and children.
Mr Joseph Whittal, Commissioner, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), highlighted the volatile security environment which was threatening safety of lives and properties, saying it required constant appraisal.
He said the emerging threats called for human rights institutions to share best practices, whilst learning from other challenges on measures affecting human rights and security.
The three-day Regional Consultation is being attended by the network of NHRIs in West Africa and Mauritania, representatives of ECOWAS, representatives of United Nations Office for West African and Sahel (UNOWAS) and other key strategic human rights bodies.
Out of 16 countries in West Africa and the Sahel regions, 15 countries have created NHRIs. Ghana, Liberia, Niger, Nigeria, Togo and Mauritania are recognized to be in compliant with the Paris Principles, thus holding ‘A’ Status attributed by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI).
It is expected that the Consultation will result in the development of a matrix of best practices with a Communiqué issued on the way forward at the end of the meeting.
In West Africa and the Sahel regions, NHRIs play an important role in promoting and protecting human rights through a close and strategic partnership with the United Nations and other regional organizations.