General News

Be careful with anti-LGBTQI+ bill, it is needless – CHRAJ

The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has called for caution in the consideration of the anti-LGBTQI+ Bill currently before Parliament.

According to CHRAJ, Section 104 was already sufficient as it has already criminalised the acts of LGBTQI+.

It said if Section 104 was not enough in dealing with the issue, it is better to amend Section 104 than to introduce a whole new bill.

Appearing before the Parliamentary Committee currently engaged in a public hearing on the anti-LGBTQI bill on Monday afternoon (Nov 29) the Commissioner of CHRAJ, Joseph Whittal called for caution.

Mr Whittal reiterated:

“Section 104, If there are limitations to 104, we can proceed to amend it instead of coming with a Bill that criminalises all over again.

If the [Parliamentary] committee believes that the specie of activities that are covered under Section 104 in the light of the fact that it is an old legislation, require further improvement by an amendment that will take care of current and future possible activities, which you would want to criminalise, I said you should go ahead, and that is something you should be looking at instead of this [anti-LGBTQI+ Bill,” he added.

He expressed concerns on certain areas of the Bill which ought to be looked at in line with human rights.

“The commission takes the view that section 104 has already criminalised the act, that is the position [of the law] so why then add provisions that will now bring other persons or people when they are to do [or] associate one way on the other just like it happened in Ho [Volta Region] into it, why.”

“I think section 104 is sufficient and if it is not sufficient, we can make an amendment of that position sufficient to deter people along those lines and not to open up so that anyone of us, like me [Whittal] as a member of the commission or commissioner of CHRAJ with a mandate to promote human rights, if I decide to speak on behalf of minority and the vulnerable, then I’m opening myself to a possible criminal prosecution, why will I be. We need to be careful as we consider the bill.”

Ghana’s commitments internationally

“Again the promoters went a distance at trying to let you as a committee to appreciate that there is nothing wrong at the international level regarding the commitments of Ghana, in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and other international instruments including the African Charter. I beg to differ.

 

more to follow…

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