Recent News (913)
The Human Rights Advocacy Center, in collaboration with the Ghana Coalition of Health NGOs, organized a briefing session on the United Nations Periodic Review with selected members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health, Committee on Gender, Children and Social Protection, and Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
Over 50 Members of Parliament (MPs), civil society representatives and pressmen were present. The purpose of the meeting was for MPs to engage in dialogue with civil society organizations in preparation for the upcoming United Nations Periodic Review of Ghana in November. Ms. Wendy Abbey (Technical Advisor, Human Rights Advocacy Centre) opened the meeting with an explanation of how the UPR process works. She explained that the review will include, the submission of list of recommendations from the troika to Ghana within 48 hours of the review. Ghana is expected to adopt recommendations or take note of them. Failure to fulfil recommendations can lead to measures meted out by the UN Human Rights Council against Ghana. These measures are not punitive, rather are aimed at encouraging State Parties to work seriously to fulfil the human rights of their citizens and to be committed to their obligations under the several treaties. In order to decide on these recommendations, the UN requests for reports from both states and non-state parties, such as NGOs like HRAC. Ghana will have to submit a final state report by August for which the government has asked the help of HRAC and other organizations. HRAC is delighted to work in collaboration with the Government of Ghana and hopes for more invitations like this in the future.
In addition, she highlighted CSOs recommendations to the UN. These included an adoption of a complete SRHR policy with legislative measures, adoption of comprehensive sexuality education, effective implementation of law and policies on child marriage and a redraft of the abortion law. Additionally, an increase in awareness campaigns were recommended.
Executive Directors of Youth Harvest Foundation, NORSAAC and the Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health made statements on issues of child marriage, absence of comprehensive sexuality education in Ghanaian Schools, unmet need for Family Planning and Immunization.
Ms. Philomena Ahiable (Ag. Executive Director-HRAC) emphasized that collaboration between the education and health departments of Government is necessary in addressing the gaps between SRHR law/policy and the actual practice.
There were discussions surrounding the weak enforcement of laws, specifically regarding child marriage, and suggestions that prosecuting offenders is the first step to combating this practice. The conversation continued regarding cultural norms and attitudes toward SRHR, and finally on the inclusion of males the campaign against violations of sexual and reproductive health rights.
Click on the links below to download full Reports Submitted: