The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), is to conduct 3,000 public education activities on fundamental human rights and freedom as part of its calendar events for 2021.
The activities formed part of CHARJ’s five year marshal plan to improve human right situations in Ghana by 2025.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency, Mr. Joseph Akanjolenur Whittal, CHRAJ Commissioner, said to promote the education the Commission had printed Manuals and flyers, whiles the European Union through the Accountability, Rule of Law and Anti-corruption Programme (ARAP) has provided audio visual materials.
He said the Commission would also monitor and report on human rights situations in the country through research, collect and collate data, analyze data, prepare reports, and share outcomes of the report.
Mr Whittal said the Commission intended to investigate 9,900 complaints of fundamental human rights and freedom cases and provide remedy and redress.
Additionally, he said, the Commission would conduct investigations into cultural, discriminatory, and other systemic violations; in 2020 it worked on Albinism and hoped to conclude investigations into Human Rights abuses in the mining and extractive oil and gas mining sector.
He said the Commission would monitor the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by duty bearers and would also Monitor Rights to vote in National Elections and Referenda and make appropriate recommendations and interventions.
“All these activities are subject to the availability of funds, “he said.
He extended appreciation to all stakeholders and funding partners of the Commission for their support.
On why CHRAJ was upscaling its activities this year, Mr Whittal said corruption, no matter how it is defined, remains one of the most daunting developmental challenges of our time.
He said corruption erodes the public’s trust, hurts investment and undermines democracy and the rule of law; “It facilitates terrorism, conflict and organized crime.
“Corruption is an insidious plague that has a wide range of corrosive effects on societies. It undermines democracy and the rule of law, leads to violations of human rights, distorts markets, erodes the quality of life and allows organized crime, terrorism and other threats to human security to flourish”.
The CHRAJ Commissioner said several studies and surveys in Ghana and elsewhere supported the view that corruption was a major impediment to economic progress, social welfare, service delivery and good governance in Ghana and the African continent as a whole.
He said padding of salaries or what was generally known as “ghost names” on the public pay roll alone, costs Ghana thirty billion Ghana cedis annually.
He revealed that corruption affected all sectors of the economy without exception: Public, private, civil society, media, and faith-based organisations.
“It is said that corruption is a system and we must fight it by improving systems and taking other measures; CHRAJ through NACAP will continue to fight the corruption system with other partners. We will make it unattractive and high risk venture,” he said.
Mr Whittal noted that the corruption system cannot be defeated by an individual, “not one single person, institution or sector can fight it alone, neither public education, nor law enforcement, nor prevention, standing alone, can effectively combat corruption.
“That is why, the NACAP, the blue print for fighting corruption, does not seek to put the blame on anyone sector, institution or individual for corruption.
“Rather NACAP seeks, among others, to “…contextualize and mobilize efforts and resources of…Government, civil society, private sector, the media and individuals, “…to prevent and fight corruption through the promotion of high ethics and integrity and the vigorous enforcement of applicable laws”.
The CHRAJ Commissioner said in 2021, “we must address corruption as a collective responsibility. Promoting transparency and accountability and preventing corruption are responsibilities to be shared by all sectors of society”.