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All about human rights issues in Ghana.

Ghana’s Election 2020 Campaigns: Time to Focus Attention On The Elderly

Ghana’s Election 2020 Campaigns: Time to Focus Attention On The Elderly published on

Written By: Rose Mary Kayi

The 2020 general election campaigns is gathering momentum in Ghana with lots of campaign promises flooding everywhere for almost everyone, except the elderly, who regrettably, seem to have been completely forgotten by politicians and the media.

Its interesting to see how media discussions these days are heavily focused on issues affecting the youth and other groups except that of the elderly. This is very worrying, considering the untold hardship most of these elderly people are experiencing nation wide.

So, why is the care needs of the elderly not an issue in this year’s election? Where are the policies for older persons? And , why is no one talking about them?

The welfare of elderly people deserve to be prioritized in Ghana simply because they are also citizens of Ghana. They deserve better social protection and better care after contributing so much of their adult life to the growth and development of this country over the years. They deserve better from government, they deserve better from the media, and they deserve better from the entire Ghanaian society.

Yet, all they get from society today is neglect, constant abuse and terrible human rights violations. Majority of them particularly those in rural communities are experiencing domestic violence, violent attacks, isolation, poor medical care, hunger, personal hygiene issues and several others that should command our attention.

Another serious challenge is the lack of formal care plan and facilities for the elderly in Ghana, leaving the burden of elder care solely on family members

As I monitor commentary on the various manifesto promises by political parties, it’s clear none is prioritizing the needs of older persons. And to make matters worse, the media doesn’t seem to care much.

While the National Democratic congress (NDC) has made a few promises for the aged under social protection such as: provision of day care centers, welfare cards for easy access to social services, establishment of special exercise parks and recreational centers; as well as training of more health personnel in domiciliary care for the elderly; there is no focus whatsoever on any of these issues in the media.

As a society, we have a responsibility towards vulnerable people including the elderly.

We have a duty to start focusing on how to improve the welfare of elderly persons in every community. We have to do this not just because it is the right thing to do, but also because, we shall also join this group sooner or latter if we don’t die early.

Therefore, Its time we push politicians to prioritize the human rights and well being of older persons in Ghana starting from this years elections – and the media has a key role to play in achieving this very important goal.

Understanding Issues of Elder Abuse

Understanding Issues of Elder Abuse published on


Elder abuse refers to any form of mistreatment or abuse of an older person. It is a violation of the fundamental human rights of older persons – including both older men and women, either at home or at institutional settings.

It also means any action or inaction that causes harm or distress to an elderly person .

According to World Health Organization (WHO), elder abuse is defined as,  “A single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person.”

In Ghana, most elder abuse cases occur in the home setting, often perpetrated by family members since institutions for elder care are basically non-existent. The lack of institutional care facilities thus puts a lot of pressure on families, especially women who normally bear the burden of caring for elderly parents or relatives in society.

There are different forms of elder abuse including physical, financial, psychological, neglect/abandonment and sexual abuses.

Physical Abuse of Older Persons

This refers to physical attacks on the body or causing physical harm to an elder person’s body. It involves violent acts such as hitting, pushing, kicking or beating of an elderly person. Elder abuse can lead to physical injuries such as minor scratches and bruises to broken bones and incapacitating injuries or even death.

Financial Abuse of Older Persons

Financial abuse of older persons include stealing money from an older person, buying things and asking an older person to pay for it against his or her will, changing a will, forgery, misuse of power of attorney and denying access to funds. Often, older persons are so frail that they are not able to take charge of their finances as before. That is when people start exploiting them financially.

Emotional/Psychological Abuse of Older Persons

Psychological abuse refers to acts that cause emotional distress or harm to an older person.  It can take the form of isolation, insults and name calling. For example, in Ghana elderly women are easily branded as witches by members of the community or even family members.

Even though psychological abuse of older persons is very common, it is hardly reported due to fear or lack of capacity to do so.

Neglect & Abandonment of older persons

Older persons are sometimes weak, vulnerable and unable to care for themselves. They are therefore dependent on others for care and support. However, many elderly persons are neglected by those who are supposed to take care of them. Others have no one to take care of them at all. Thus, many elderly people end up living in insanitary conditions, and unable to take their medication or meals on time.

Sexual Abuse of Older Persons

It is an abuse to perform unwanted sexual acts on an elder person or perform unwanted sexual acts in the presence of an elder person.


Elder abuse cases are rather prevalent in most societies of the world, yet a chunk of the cases go unreported. This is because, the victims are usually afraid of what might happen to them, or due to poor physical or mental health.

The State of many elderly persons in Ghana is currently not the best. It’s time we pay attention to the welfare of old people in this country. It is not right that there are no public institutions or care facilities for the elderly in Ghana.

Government should priorities the care needs of the elderly since they are vulnerable individuals in need of assistance from society. As a country, we have to address the plight of the older population as a matter of urgency. Its our moral duty to do so since we will all get to the same situation some day if we do not die early.

Written By

Rose Mary Kayi

Human Rights Education for Students of B.O.D Basic

Human Rights Education for Students of B.O.D Basic published on

Educating Young People On Child Rights,

Responsibilities and Child Abuse

Stand Ghana recently organized another successful Human Rights Education programme for several young people from the B.O.D Basic School at Burma Camp in Accra.

The event took place at the premises of the Base Ordinance Depot Basic School behind El-Wak Stadium in Accra on Monday, December 17th, 2018.

Major topics covered were: Child Rights according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Responsibilities of Children and  Understanding Child Abuse.

The main objective of organizing this programme was to improve awareness on human rights provisions and to help young people know the full content of their basic human rights and responsibilities. This, we believe, would help them enjoy their rights more effectively and responsibly.

Those who took part in the programme included all form three students of B.O.D Basic School, and some teachers; and we were impressed by the active involvement of both the students and their teachers. Many relevant questions were asked by the students and we also receive valuable contributions from both teachers and students.

The head mistress, madam Pearl Ameworwor was also present at the event and sat in throughout the entire duration of the two hour programme – which we very much appreciated. Madam Pearl Ameworwor implored the students to apply what they have learnt in their daily lives.

She also reminded them not to concentrate only on how to enjoy their rights, but to remember to perform their responsibilities as well.

We believe that human rights education is very necessary for everyone especially young people who are the future leaders.

Impeachment of EC Boss: A Bad Move for Gender Equality

Impeachment of EC Boss: A Bad Move for Gender Equality published on

Is This How to Promote Gender Balance?

Chair of EC - Ghana
Chair of EC – Ghana

Do you know that a process to remove the Chair Person of the Electoral Commission of Ghana from office has been initiated by the Chief Justice?

But what are the reasons for this move by the ruling government and the Chief Justice? They are still not clear to most of us!

According to the electoral commissioner, Mrs Shallot Osei herself, she still doesn’t know her accusers! If this is true, where is the fairness?

Anyway, there are rumours that the petition for the impeachment of Madam Shallot Osei was sent to the President of the Republic by two drivers of the Electoral Commission – which is quite strange to me.

I’m just wondering what these drivers know about Ghana’s procurement processes; and how they managed to know that the process has been breached to warrant a petition for her removal. Because I hear one of the accusations is that she did not follow procurement procedures.

In my opinion, what is happening to this woman is not only about her; but all women in Ghana . It is a general attack on women’s right to political participation and our quest of gender equality in public life in Ghana.

It seems some people just don’t believe a beautiful woman can be competent enough to handle a top public office. That’s why her appointment was met with awful harassment and insults in the media.

I recall how her appointment was met with so much opposition simply because of her gender.

Indeed, she was maliciously accused of getting the position by offering sexual favours to the then president; regardless of the fact that she is a married woman.

All that some of us want is that the security and development of this nation must not be sacrificed on the altar of parochial interests.

The good book says: “All things are permissible but not all things are expedient.” The government may have all the powers to remove her, but to what effect?

Instead of trying to remove the EC Boss, who just organized a very successful election in 2016, the government should be making tangible efforts to cure the growing gender inequality in the country.

Written By:  Rose Mary Kayi

Don’t Shut Down Our Radio Stations

Don’t Shut Down Our Radio Stations published on


For the Sake of Freedom of Expression, NCA, Please Don’t Shut Down Radio Stations

The National Communications Authority’s (NCA) decision to close down so many (over 130) radio stations in Ghana is a very wrong move against freedom of expression that must be reversed immediately.

The individual’s right to freedom of expression duly guaranteed in chapter five, article 21 (1)a of the 1992 of Ghana is a crucial fundamental human right which must be protected at all cost.  The constitution clearly states: “All persons shall have the right to- freedom of speech and expression, which shall include freedom of the press and other media” (Article: 21 (1)a)

It should be noted that these affected radio stations serve a large proportion of the Ghanaian population by providing them with relevant information on national issues and platform to voice out their opinion.

It is also worthy of note that, easy access to the media by the citizenry is extremely vital for national cohesion and development. So NCA’s decision can negatively affect the peace and development of the country.


Clearly, some of the fines imposed by the National Communications Authority (NCA) are so high and absolutely bizarre that they seem unfair to the ordinary mind.

For instance, we are told that Radio Gold has been fined GH C 61 million for failing to file certain documents at the National Communications Authority in time. And for Montie FM, we are told that the NCA refused to take the money for the renewal of their licence and went ahead to shut down the station because of just eleven days delay. This seems arbitrary and unfair.

I think that NCA’s decision is extremely high-handed, disproportionate and not good for the growth our democracy.

As the Holy Bible says “All things are lawful but not all things are profitable” (1Cor. 6:12). The NCA may have the power to impose these fines but the effect might become unprofitable for the whole nation in the long run.


It must be noted that the varieties of media outlets we have in Ghana greatly contribute to the promotion of media pluralism which is necessary for airing and reflecting the different views and values of the larger Ghanaian society.

Such views, no matter how divergent do matter just as the views of those who support government. We therefore urge tolerance for divergent views so that we can sustain the peace and security we currently enjoy.


We call on the NCA to reverse its decision and allow all affected radio stations to operate again. We also call on all civil society groups, Ghana Journalist Association, Members of the Diplomatic core, Chiefs and all well-meaning Ghanaians to impress upon NCA to quickly RESCIND its decision for the peace of our dear nation.

Rose K

Delta Force Fine Is Bad Precedent For Justice

Delta Force Fine Is Bad Precedent For Justice published on

The Fine Isn’t Good For Our Nation’s Peace And Stability

The meager fine of GHC23, 400 imposed on 13 members of the delta force by a Kumasi circuit court recently is not only disappointing but a really bad precedent for the delivery of justice in Ghana and a threat to our peace and security.

We were told by the President of the country that, the thirteen (13) members of the group calling itself delta force, a vigilante group of the ruling New Patriotic Party  who were arraigned before court in March 2017 for attacking the newly appointed Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator, George Adjei, would be ruthlessly dealt with.

So many people who were very disgusted at the time by what happened were expecting adequate and befitting punishment for the group to serve as a deterrent for others.

However, that was not to be.  As a result, many Ghanaians, including the Stand Ghana team consider the small fine of GHC1,800 for each person unsatisfactory because it does not seem deterrent enough to prevent lawlessness in the country.

What is more worrying is the fact that people are complaining about the judgement being selective and discriminatory in nature; because others in similar situation but from different political party had been given harsher punishment than this.

If this kind of perception is not properly addressed by the Police & Judiciary, people will find it normal taking the law into their own hands knowing that they will not face the full rigours of the law as long as their party is in power.

This won’t be good for the government, our democracy, and definitely not good for the larger Ghanaian society.

Rose K.

For further details see: Reference


What Are Human Rights?

What Are Human Rights? published on

top2What Are Human Rights?

Human rights are rights that belong to everyone no matter who they are or where they come from. They are very important to every individual, group and society.

Get to know a bit more about your human rights and responsibilities. It is only through full knowledge of our human rights that we can ensure true peace and security in our communities and the larger society . So get involved in promoting human rights through human rights education in Ghana so that others too can know their rights.


Protect Human Dignity

Protect Human Dignity published on

top2Special Focus On Human Life, Dignity And Worth

Do you know that Major Maxwell Mahama (the soldier killed by mob attack) had the power and means to defend himself but chose not to just to preserve human lives?  For me, it is beyond my limited human understanding. He had a gun on him but he didn’t use it on his attackers because he valued the dignity and sanctity of human life, no matter whose it was!  What a sacrifice!! May his soul rest in perfect peace!!!

Now, following the burial of our hero, Capt. now Major Maxwell Mahama earlier today, we must begin to learn the key lessons his sacrificial death was meant to teach us as a people. So then, “Never again” must not just become mere words that will vanish in few days.

It’s time to know that we are all born to be each other’s keeper – to defender and protector each other. It’s time to know we are obligated to respect and ensure the realization of the dignity and worth of others for our own peace and security.

The very first paragraph of the preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) made this quite clear. It states, the “RECOGNITION of the inherent DIGNITY and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world”.

All of us humans are “born free and equal in dignity and rights. We are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood” – so says article #1 of the UDHR.

All the legal provisions on human rights, such as: right to life, no torture, no discrimination, no slavery, no unfair detainment, right to trial, always innocent till proven guilty and others, all exist to give true meaning to the dignity and worth of each member of the human family, be it young or old, black or white, rich or poor, weak or strong.

Indeed one of the first human rights principles we teach young people in our human rights education programmes is the principle of Individual Responsibility in the defence and protection of the dignity and worth of every other person. We all have a duty to other people both individually and collectively.  We have a duty to protect the rights and freedoms of other people wherever and whenever the need arises, and we should always do so.

The good book, the Bible commands us to treat others as we would want to be treated. To do for others as we would want them to do for us (see Mathew 7:12). How can you look on while your fellow human being is being attacked without feeling the need to help in anyway? He who witnesses wrong doing and does nothing about it perhaps due to fear, is equally guilty of wrong doing.

So my humble advice to you is: don’t engage in acts of mob justice and lawlessness. Don’t incite mob justice against anyone. Don’t take the law into your own hands – you never know where it will land you. And above all, don’t be unconcerned about the suffering and plights of others. Always try to do something no matter how small, to stop injustice and wrong doing wherever it is taking place if it’s in your power to do so.

Let’s all decide to be there for each other and defend and protect the dignity and worth of human life wherever we find ourselves.

Post written by: Rosemary Kayi




top2 The Order of the Day: Boomerangs & Wrong Precedents

We wish to express our condolences to the family of Captain Maxwell Mahama, the army officer who was lynched and burnt to death by angry youth of Denkyra-Obuasi in the central region.  The unfortunate gruesome killing of this Army officer brings to mind the kind of acts of widespread lawlessness that we’ve been witnessing around the country since power changed hands after the 2016 general elections.

Capt Maxwell Mahama Lynched by Mob
Capt Maxwell Mahama Lynched by Mob

When several ordinary innocent citizens were attacked by political vigilantes most people kept quiet. Today everybody is outraged at the barbaric acts of those villagers who murdered Captain Maxwell Mahama. But when these things first started, with attacks on innocent workers at NHIS offices and toll booths nobody cared much about the plight of the affected victims nor were the perpetrators brought to book. This was simply because the victims were just ordinary citizens.   It was only when the judiciary was attacked in Kumasi that people started asking questions; even then, the perpetrators were recently set free for lack of evidence.

Is Ghana still operating under the rule of law, where everyone is supposed to be equal before the law?

This kind of happenings in the country is a cause of worry for us at Stand Ghana and should be for all well-meaning Ghanaians.  When impunity becomes the order of the day what can ordinary vulnerable citizens do?

My former Political Science Lecturer Prof. Mike Aaron Ocquaye (now the speaker of parliament) used to tell us that, policies and actions always boomerang – explaining how Nkrumah’s Preventive Detention Act (PDA) boomeranged against his own ministers some of who ended up being sent to jail by the same PDA.

When political vigilante groups were misbehaving against ordinary citizens and abusing their rights and nothing was done others are emboldened to engage in similar acts.  Now it’s the military that is at the receiving end! This is highly unacceptable in a democracy. And it must be stopped. Because, our peace and security is at stake.

What kind of precedents and standards are we setting for tomorrow? Is it one of abuse of power, sacking of public service workers with impunity, discrimination, lawlessness and the like? Let’s be honest. Is this the kind of society we want to build?

The executive, legislators, media, civil society and all other actors within the state must remember that the actions being taken and policies they make today are all setting PRECEDENTS for the future.

That is why we are calling on all, not just the authorities, that we should all be very careful and circumspect in our dealings with our fellow human beings. Let everyone be treated with decorum and respect.  And as responsible citizens, we should also be careful the kind of actions and policies we support simply because we think it’s meant for our opponents. Because, whatever we do today will boomerang whether we like it or not.

Post Written By: Rosemary Kayi

Mothers’ Day & Women’s Rights

Mothers’ Day & Women’s Rights published on



Happy mothers’ day to all the hard working mothers of the human family!

On the occasion of International Mothers’ Day, we wish to congratulate all mothers for their dedication, their sacrifice, their commitment, their love and their nurturing role for the good and survival of the human family. Indeed, we all owe our lives to a mother and their worth can never be quantified – Well done mothers of the world!

We are using this opportunity to call attention to the plight of trainee nurses who have been victimised for motherhood  here in Ghana. It is wrong and absolutely unacceptable that women are still suffering discrimination even though there are laws against such acts.

Three female students of the Mampong Nurses & Midwifery Training School in the Ashianti Region of Ghana were barred from writing their nursing qualifying exams due to pregnancy, when even JHS students are being allowed to write their BECE with pregnancy.

It must be noted that discrimination on any grounds is a violation of human right. Every person in Ghana is entitled to enjoy his or her human rights and freedoms including right to education, without any distinction of any kind such as gender.

Discrimination is prohibited in article two of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and article 17 of the 1992 constitution of Ghana.  Our constitution emphatically says “A person shall not be discriminated against on grounds of gender…” – (Article 17 clause (2). So it is wrong to discriminate against a woman because of pregnancy.

We therefore add our voices to the call on the relevant authorities – The Nurses’ Council of Ghana and the Ministry of Education to quickly address this anomaly once and for all to ensure it does not happen to any other female student in Ghana.

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