The Human Rights Advocacy Centre (HRAC) is a not-for-profit, independent, non-partisan, research and advocacy organization set up to advance and protect human rights in Ghana. Established in 2008, the HRAC is an organisation situated in the Greater Accra region that operates across Ghana. The HRAC was set up by Nana Oye Lithur,currently the Minister for Gender,Children and Social Protection. With over fifteen years of legal practice, Ms Lithur, has dealt extensively with human rights issues. The mandate of the HRAC is to deal with these issues by providing free legal assistance to needy individuals, communities, vulnerable groups, Most-Risk-Populations and institutions.
The vision was conceived when Ms Lithur headed the African regional branch of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI). The CHRI is an international NGO that works to promote and protect human rights in the Commonwealth Countries. From 2004-2008 she led extensive human rights campaigns and activities to sensitise Ghanaian rural communities, state institutions and the general public to human rights standards. In contrast to the work at the CHRI, the HRAC provides free legal support to individuals and groups who are victims of systemic abuse.
From its modest beginnings, the HRAC has grown to become a respected human rights organisation, both within Ghana as well as globally. Within the human rights field, the work of HRAC primarily focuses on three main areas; research, advocacy and the provision of free legal aid services. Specifically, the HRAC conducts human rights advocacy and research; protects and promotes women and children’s rights; promotes and advocates reproductive health rights; initiates and supports public interest litigation; protects the rights persons living with HIV/AIDS; monitors and advocates for democratic policing; conducts prison advocacy to protect the rights of prisoners; monitors and evaluates compliance with international human rights standards and works to educate and create awareness on human rights.
Objectives of HRAC
- Conduct human rights advocacy and research
- Protect and promote women and children’s rights
- Advocate good governance, accountability and transparency on key policies
- Promote and advocate reproductive health rights initiate and support public interest litigation
- Monitor and advocate democratic policing
- Conduct prison visits and advocate the rights of prisoners
- Monitor and evaluate compliance with international, regional and national human rights standards
- Educate and create awareness about human rights
- Offer human rights training for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Security Agencies and Civil Society Organizations.