On Monday, 31st July 2017, the HRAC organized a meeting with different CSOs and members of the Centre for Civil and Political Rights and the UN Human Rights Committee from Geneva to discuss the follow-up process to the UN Human Rights Committee’s recommendations to Ghana and in which way CSOs can take part in it. Media companies were also present to capture the meeting.
In the beginning of the meeting, the two visitors from Geneva were introduced and Ms. Abbey from the HRAC explained that come CSOs have been part of the program since 2015. Firstly, they replied to the list of issues concerning Ghana’s Civil and Political Rights, which was established by the Human Rights Committee. Secondly, CSOs turned in Shadow Reports in addition to the submitted State report about Civil and Political Rights last year. Now is the time to see how the Government of Ghana has responded to the three main recommendations by the Human Rights Committee given after the constructive dialogue that took place with the Government of Ghana last year in August. These recommendations concerned:
o Non-discrimination and harmful traditional practices
o Persons with disabilities and psychiatric treatments
o Issue of detention and violence against inmates
Now it is the time for CSOs to look how the State has responded to the recommendations and whether there has been changes. The member of the Human Rights Committee underlined the importance of such a follow-up report from Civil Society. After the three recommendations and the challenges of the issues were discussed in a dialogue with all the participants, Ms. Abbey and the CCPR member introduced the tool of the Action Plan to the CSOs. The Action Plan is basically a table with columns for the expected outcomes, current status/challenges, indicators, activities from CSO's, period (timeframe), focal point (who is responsible), and the costs. The present CSO members were asked to split up in groups and to write such an Action Plan for each recommendation. After 30 minutes of group work, all three teams presented their Action Plans in a plenary session. The presented data was gathered in the end in order to be used for the follow-up reports of the CSOs.
The meeting closed at 5:15 p.m.