11 August 2017

YoHRA begins training of Human Rights Ambassadors (Pictures)

Youth For Human Rights Africa, (YoHRA) yesterday, 8th of August, 2017 began the training of Human Rights Ambassadors in it’s office in Dzorwulu, Accra.

The training which is the first in the series brought together over 40 prospective Human Rights Ambassadors from communities within Accra, tertiary institutions, the media, corporate Ghana, Nigeria and Togo.

Introducing the Training section and formally welcoming the prospective Ambassadors, the Executive Secretary of *YoHRA* Rev. Sr. Regina Ignatia Afla intimated the need for the training. “You cannot succeed in anything you do without adequate preparation and training. YoHRA has come to stay to liberate Africans from the ignorance of their rights as is contained in the African Convention on Human and People’s Rights. We cannot carry out our duties as Ambassadors if we also lack knowledge of our working tools.” She added.

Speaking on the “Overview of Human Rights provisions under the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the President of *YoHRA*, Lawyer Francis-Xavier Sosu said “Ghana’s 1992 Constitution is one of the finest documents that in my view guarantees and protects fundamental liberties. What has been the problem in Ghana is the awareness of Ghanaians of their rights under the Constitution and the understanding by the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary and all other organs of government and its agencies of their *Obligation to respect and uphold those fundamental Rights of Ghanaians*”. He quickly added that this is not peculiar to Ghana as same has been the difficulties in most African Countries.

Lawyer Sosu argued further that Article 12 of the 1992 Constitution makes it *mandatory* for every Ghanaian to be entitled to their rights without any form of discrimination on grounds of race, place of origin, political opinion, colour, religion, gender among others. He said it also makes is *mandatory* for the state to respect and uphold the said Rights.

Taking the trainees through the various Human Rights provisions in Ghana’s Constitution, Lawyer Sosu concluded with the provisions in Article 33(5) which provides that, *The rights, duties, declarations and guarantees relating to the Fundamental Human Rights and freedoms specifically mentioned in this Chapter shall not be regarded as excluding others not specifically mentioned which are considered to be inherent in a democracy and intended to secure the freedom and dignity of man*.

He added that Article 33(5) creates an obligation for Ghana under other international Human Rights Laws such as the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR) and the African Convention on Human and People’s Rights among others.

In his Presentation, the Head of Legal of *YoHRA* Lawyer William Ayisi Otoo took participants through the relevant provisions in the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.

Lawyer Ayisi explained that the Charter is binding on African states because *The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (also known as the Banjul Charter) is an International Human Rights Instrument that is intended to promote and protect Human Rights and basic freedoms on the African continent*

He added that the enforcement of the charter rests in the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which was set up in 1987 and is now headquartered in Banjul, Gambia. A protocol to the Charter was subsequently adopted in 1998 whereby an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights was to be created. The protocol came into effect on 25 January 2005.

Dr. James Owusu, an International educational consultant based in England took turn to take participants through some benefits available to them as YoHRA Ambassadors having taken upon themselves the duty to promote issues of human rights that are extremely critical issues on the continent of Africa. He added however that for the enjoyment of such benefits and opportunities, prospective Ambassadors must be seen to be working effectively and making the needed impact as contained in the mission and vision statements of YoHRA.

The president of United Nations Association, Ghana, Bishop Peter Sackey who sat in the training as a participant encouraged all participants to avail themselves for the task as it is an opportunity for them to explore other innate talents that will put them ahead of their colleagues.

Dr. Angela Lamptey, a senior lecturer at the University of Ghana who is also the deputy Executive Secretary of YoHRA in her closing remarks encouraged the ladies to use this opportunity to equip themselves of their rights so as not to be abused or violated. “You must be aware of your rights so you can always stand up for same wherever you find yourselves”. She added.

Youth For Human Rights Africa” (YoHRA) is a Non-Governmental Human Rights organization registered under the Laws of Ghana with the aim of inspiring the youth of Africa to become advocates for tolerance and peace through education.

Christopher Ankou
Director of Communications – *YoHRA*



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