Mr. Joseph Whittal, Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), has reiterated the call on Government to increase allocation of funds to the Institution to successfully carry out its mandate.
He said though the Commission operated with a triple mandate, it received funding as though it was only one institution, with constraints in the delivery of its mandate.
The Commissioner said despite the constraints, CHRAJ would continue to protect and promote human rights, administrative justice, integrity, and ethics in the public service.
Mr. Whittal made the call on Thursday during the Commission’s 30th Anniversary Celebration in Accra.
The six-month long celebration is on the theme: “CHRAJ at 30: Promoting and Protecting Human Rights and Ensuring Transparency and Accountability in Public Service Delivery”.
He said 30 years in the life of an institution was a major milestone worthy of celebration and an opportunity to pause briefly, take stock and reflect on the achievements and challenges to strategise ahead.
Highlighting CHRAJ’s achievements over the years, Mr Whittal said his outfit led the advocacy against the practice of trokosi as a dehumanising traditional practice-now criminalised under the Criminal and Other Offences Act.
He said the Commission also led in promoting the fight against Female Genital Mutilation as a dehumanising cultural practice-also now driven underground and criminalised.
“Early and forced girl-child marriages have been criminalised under the Children’s Act…We have investigated and resolved over 300,000 human rights complaints against public institutions and private enterprises.
We investigated several high-level corruption cases against all Governments under the 4th Republic,” he said.
He said Governments must move beyond mere platitudes and self-glorification as to, which Government did better in fighting corruption and lead by example and adequately resource the institutions charged with fighting corruption.
Mr. Charles Abani, the United Nations Resident Coordinator, in his solidarity message, congratulated Ghana for the feats chalked in the area of transparency during elections and the transition of Governments.
“As Ghana strives to go forward, one of the key ingredients is transparency, accountability and good governance alongside the protection and promotion of the rights of every citizen,” he added.
He said Ghana’s ambition to achieve self reliance and take its place on the global stage could would only be achieved if it invested the right amount of energy in key institutions.
Mr Abani said effective human rights institutions were important links between government and civil society and helped to bridge the protection gap between the rights of individuals and the State’s responsibility.
He assured CHRAJ of their support and called on other stakeholders to do same.
Dr Eric Bossman Asare, Deputy Chair in Charge of Corporate Services, Electoral Commission of Ghana, praised CHRAJ for the enormous work done over the years in upholding the human rights of citizens.
He observed that most rural dwellers had little or no knowledge about human rights and urged the Commission to organise outreach programmes to bridge that knowledge gap.
Mr. Victor Brobbey, Deputy Chair, National Commission for Civic Education, described CHRAJ as an institution that had always been on top of its game regardless of the limited resources.
“CHRAJ has managed to take the little it has and produced an institution that the public is quite satisfied with and looks to for justice more often than not,” he said.
Representatives from the Public Service Commission, Economic and Organised Crime Office, Ghana Chamber of Mines, Amnesty International Ghana, Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition and Ghana Integrity Initiative also shared solidarity messages to congratulate and reaffirm their commitments to CHRAJ.
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