The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), Africa Office has called on the government t to up its game in complying with human rights obligations related to economic and social rights.
That would provide an opportunity to rethink governance and accountability both at the national and global level.
A statement issued by CHRI in commemoration of International Human Rights Day, 2022 is to recognise December 10 every year set aside by the global community to mark International Human Rights Day.
This year’s event is on the theme: “Dignity, Freedom, and Justice for All.”
It said the theme was apt because of the global economic downturn, adding that the theme was also significant for African countries, especially those in the Commonwealth such as Ghana, South Africa, and Zambia.
It said the countries were due for review in January next year at the 42nd session of the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on implementation of recommendations, they accepted in 2012, many of which align with this year’s theme.
The statement commended Civil Society Organisations and human rights activists, who continue to work tirelessly to promote human rights in society.
It said in the wake of the current economic crisis, it was important for the governments not to lose sight of its responsibility to citizens to uphold and safeguard human rights when making and implementing policies.
It said Ghana like many other African countries had made some progress regarding protecting the human rights of its citizens however “we still have our work cut out for us as a nation because the current economic crisis threatens the full range of human rights.”
The statement said it threatened not only economic, social, and cultural rights, including the right to an adequate standard of living and the rights to health, housing, food, and education, but also civil and political rights.
“We find ourselves in a predicament in which more and more people are finding it difficult to even afford three square meals a day, which directly impacts on the dignity of a person,” it added.
It said businesses were closing and unemployment rates were skyrocketing and in finding solutions to these problems, the government must ensure that polices were human rights oriented.
The statement said the appropriate and sustainable structures must be put in place to cushion Ghanaians and the rights of the ordinary man must be safeguarded in all policies, with no one left behind.
CHRI reminded the government of its obligations to Ghanaians to ensure that dignity and freedoms of people are protected.
It said the government must implement polices to ensure that there was justice available and accessible to all Ghanaians.
The statement called on Ghanaians and by extension Africans to hold hands and strive together to ensure that dignity, reality in Africa regardless of the economic turmoil.