Human rights lawyer Justice Abdallah has said Ghana has progressed significantly in promoting the human rights of citizens.
He said this while observing this year’s International Human Rights day celebration under the theme Equality: Reducing Inequalities and Advancing Human Rights.
Speaking on the Campus Exclusive show, Justice Abdallah applauded Ghana’s constitution for explicitly pointing out human rights institutions that effectively deal with human rights issues.
“If you look at where we are coming from and where we are now, we have come a long way. We are far advanced when it comes to the protection of human rights and we can only get it better going forward. The 1992 constitution has lived with us for the past thirty years, and it has probably seen the best a lot of rights that regulate discrimination, whether against children or against women or minority groups, religious minorities, ethnic minorities, and also how human rights generally are dealt with. The constitution is very proactive today in regards to human rights are establishing agencies that are specifically set up to deal with human rights issues,” he said.
Justice Abdallah however indicated that the bureaucracy in addressing human rights infringements is a challenge that human rights institutions need to resolve.
“We have our difficulties because of the nature and setup of our systems, judicial systems, you do not get decisions that quicker. Decisions are much lower and the steps taken are a bit of a robot and they are relatively difficult to follow and you will need lawyers sometimes, you will need other experts to lead you in this. Those are the major difficulties we have to confront.”
He added that there should be a swift response to reported inequalities.
“We need to have a faster approach to some of these matters. A more serious approach, when I say a more serious approach I mean the manner we conduct ourselves when some of these events are reported.”
Human Rights Day is celebrated annually around the world on 10 December every year.
The date was chosen to honor the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption and proclamation, on 10 December 1948, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the first global enunciation of human rights and one of the first major achievements of the new United Nations.
The theme for this year’s human rights celebration is Equality: Reducing Inequalities and Advancing Human Rights. The theme relates to ‘Equality’ and Article 1 of the UDHR – “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”
The principles of equality and non-discrimination are at the heart of human rights. Equality is aligned with the 2030 Agenda and with the UN approach set out in the document Shared Framework on Leaving No One Behind: Equality and Non-Discrimination at the Heart of Sustainable Development.