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.
Stand Ghana Marked this years human Rights Day Celebration with community engagement outreach activities. We interacted with people of all walks of life, in their homes, on the streets, in their offices and shops. We talked about human rights issues and explain things to those who didn’t know anything about the subject.
Interestingly, someone asked us if human rights was a church? So we had to explain the meaning of human rights in the local dialect which was a bit difficult; but we managed to do it. This reminds us that we still have a lot of work to do in the area of human rights education and awareness creation.
This year the Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70 years on 10th December 2018 – (from 1948 to 2018); and its worth celebrating by everyone, everywhere.
I know there are many unanswered questions on many people’s minds about the effectiveness of human rights implementation in most countries, including Ghana. However, that does not take away the huge benefits human rights has brought us and continue to bring us globally.
I cannot imagine my world without the protection of human rights and freedoms. Let’s stand up for human rights always.
Happy Human Rights Day to every single individual person!
Written By: Rose Enya
We’ve heard from the Minister of Finance that the Government is planning to stop children whose parents do not pay tax from accessing secondary school education. This is a very worrying and disappointing development because many children whose parents are very poor would be negatively affected should the policy be implemented.
We were indeed very happy when the Free SHS policy was introduced here in Ghana because we felt it was a great opportunity for children from poor homes, especially girls to have secondary education.
But now if government wants to limit it to only children whose parents are tax payers, according to what the Finance Minister said in his presentation of the 2019 budget; then we are back to square one.
We believe this kind of policy will be discriminatory and a VIOLATION of the right of the Ghanaian child to access quality education without impediments from anyone.
“Everyone has the right to education” that is what the first line of article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states. Nowhere in article 26 is it stated that only tax payers’ children can have secondary school education.
If education is a right and not a privilege, then we cannot and should not base access to secondary school education on a child’s parent having Tax Identification Number (TIN).
Introducing the TIN policy in our educational sector will only undermine the whole idea behind the introduction of Free secondary education – which is “not to leave any child behind or at home”.
This is a bad idea and should NEVER be implemented in Ghana.
WRITTEN BY: ROSE MARY KAYI
A human rights awareness programme has been organized for students and teachers of MacLean Junior High School at Odorkor in Accra on Thursday, 1st November 2018.
The presentation focused on some of the basic human rights children are entitled to, their responsibilities; issues of child abuse and what it means to have human rights.
The Executive Director of Stand Ghana, Rose-Mary Kayi delivered a two hour presentation to over 90 form three students and teachers present at the programme. She particularly encouraged the students to “value their human rights and to embrace tolerance and diversity wherever they may find themselves now, and in future”.
The Child Rights Education Project is designed by Stand Ghana to help young people to have adequate knowledge about each of their fundamental human rights granted them under the 1990 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and guaranteed for them by the Constitution of Ghana and the Children’s Act 1998 – Act 560.
We are very proud of all the hardworking students who took part in this very important programme.
We thank you for listening to us attentively throughout the presentation. And thanks for all your interesting questions and valuable contributions.
Written By :ROSE MARY K
Over 800 students and teachers of the school were at the programme, which took place at the auditorium of Star Trite.
The Stand Ghana team taught the young students of Star Trite School about the content, meaning and implications of their basic human rights; and about issues of Child abuse.
According to a CHRAJ report of 2011, “Although Ghana has made solid progress in building a democratic society, promoting human rights and the observance of civil liberties, the country still has a long road to travel in establishing a culture of peace and human rights”
At Stand Ghana, we believe that our society will be stronger and better able to establish a culture of human rights and peace if everyone is treated with true respect and dignity; and if everyone knows what their rights, responsibilities and limits are within a democratic environment.
That is why we are taking human rights knowledge to every child in Ghana – whether poor or rich, young or old to promote a culture of peace, tolerance and human rights in our nation.
Young people have the right to know their rights and responsibilities so that they can make responsible choices and grow up into responsible adults in future.
This year we are prioritizing our goal of taking human rights to every child in Ghana – whether rich or poor, one School at a time. That’ s why on Wednesday September 21, 2018 we (Stand Ghana) organized another very successful Child Rights Education programme for the young students of St Charles Preparatory School at Mamprobi – Banana Inn in Accra.
We are extremely pleased with the level of engagement by this young students who were ready to listen to us, asked very interesting questions and made valuable contributions.Their active participation made the programme a huge success.
They were taken through some of their basic human rights and responsibilities; and were educated on issues of child abuse.
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
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.
MEDIA PLURALISM AND TOLERANCE
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.
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.
For further details see: Reference
CITI FM, http://citifmonline.com/2017/10/19/delta-force-13-walk-free-after-paying-ghc23-400-fine/