"The rights of every person are diminished when the rights of one person are threatened.” ― John F. Kennedy
“It is undeniable that every human being is entitled to living space, daily bread, and the protection of the law as a common birthright; these are fundamentals and should not be handed out as an act of charity.” ― Alfred Delp, S.J.
On this page, more information about your rights from the UN Declaration, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, the Children’s Act of Ghana, the Code of Professional Conduct for Ghanaian Teachers, and information about all different types of rights: right to education, right to life, right to health, right to protection from inhuman treatment. Learn more here!
Human Rights Laws
So, you’ve heard that there are laws that protect human rights, but you don’t know what that means for you? You’ve come to the right place!
There are a number of Ghanaian laws and international laws that protect the human rights of ALL people in Ghana. But what does that mean?
Human rights are important. Basically, no matter where people come from, no matter their age, gender identity, race, religion or sexuality, they have INALIENABLE RIGHTS.
These are some of the most important human rights for YOU, as students and children from the UN Convention on Human Rights:
Article 3 - Right to Life, Liberty & Security
Explain this to me! – No one should be killed, for any reason. Also, everyone has the right to be free and to be safe from harm.
Article 4 - Prohibition of Slavery & Servitude
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.Explain this to me! - Nobody has the right to treat you as his or her slave and you should not make anyone your slave. Therefore, a person can never be someone else’s property.
Article 5 - No subjection to torture
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.Explain this to me! - No one is allowed to torture or to hurt someone badly, not even as a punishment. This means at school, your teachers are not allowed to viciously or excessively use the cane against you.
Article 7 - Equality before the Law
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination. Explain this to me! – This article means that the law is the same for everyone. It should be applied in the same way to all. If someone is not treated equally, he or she should be protected by the law.
Article 16 - Marriage & Family
(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.All men and women 18 and over have the right to be married AND divorced. But, you cannot be FORCED to be married – you should only be married if that is what you want. The Ghana Children’s Act says in Section 14 – Right to refuse betrothal and marriage, that:(1) No person shall force a child:(a) to be betrothed;(b) to be the subject of a dowry transaction; or(c) to be married.(2) The minimum age of marriage of whatever kind shall be eighteen years.Explain this to me! - 1) Everyone should be able to get married and start a family, once they become of age. When people get married, spouses have the same rights as each other and as they would have when separated.2) People can only get married when they want to themselves. Therefore, no one can be forced into marriage.3) The government of your country should protect you and the members of your family.
Article 18 - Freedom of Thought & Religion
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observanceExplain this to me! – Everyone has the right to choose your religion [or philosophy]. Everyone also has the right to profess your religion freely, to change it, and to practise it either on your own or with other people.
Article 19 - Freedom of Opinion & Expression
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.Explain this to me! - Everyone has the right to make up their own mind, to think what they like, to say what they think, and to share ideas with other people – anywhere in the world.
Article 25 - Right to Living and Well-being
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.Explain this to me! – Everyone has the right to a good life. Therefore, you have the right to have whatever you need so that you and your family: do not fall ill or go hungry; have clothes and a house; and are helped if you are out of work for any reason you cannot help.Mothers and their children are entitled to special care. All children have the same rights to be protected, whether or not their mother was married when they were born.
Article 26 - Right to Education
(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children .Explain this to me! - Everyone has the right to go to school and everyone should go to school. Primary schooling should be free. You should be able to learn a profession or continue your studies as far as you wish.Everyone has the right to education and education is FREE in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education is COMPULSORY.At school, you should be able to develop all your talents and you should be taught to get on with others, whatever their race, religion or the country they come from. Your parents have the right to choose how and what you will be taught at school.