Today is 2020 Human Rights Day, an important moment in the fight for and the respect for the human rights of people across the world.
This year’s theme is “Recover Better – Stand Up for Human Rights.”
In a press release signed by the Executive Director, Joseph Kobla Wemakor and copied to the media, the Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG), a non-governmental organization, non-profit human rights organization independent of all political parties, governments or religious groups in Ghana indicated that the world has not been the same since the covid-19 struck.
Its presence across the world has caused struggles in moments of lockdowns, which came with its own shades of human rights abuses and infractions.
Human rights and Election 2020
Ghana has come out of the election but not without some instances of electoral and post-electoral violence happening that led to the death of some persons.
Ghanaians can only be assured the freedom to enjoy their rights if stakeholders ensure the country is held together in peace. As the world marks this special day, the Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG) can only express joy for the people of Ghana having come out a stronger and united nation after the 2020 general elections.
This success is an assurance that Ghanaians have been guaranteed a peace-loving nation and an opportunity to reach their full potentials after exercising their democratic rights to vote in an important election such as this.
The (HRRG) used the occasion to congratulate the Ghanaian people and President Nana Akufo-Addo on his re-election into office as well as the other contenders for choosing peace at this critical time.
COVID-19 AND HUMAN RIGHTS CHALLENGES
Covid-19 impacted every aspect of the basic rights of citizens in developed and less developed countries around the world calling for a compromise on the right to free movement to save lives.
Sadly people’s right to life, health, food, and clothing were impacted by the lockdowns, lack of food, water, and financial resources for people to survive in many deprived areas.
Governments, Non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders rose to the challenge posed by covid-19 to help save lives through health delivery, education, and provide food and water among others.
Even as these successes have been recorded, we cannot lose sight of the rising inequalities, poverty, discrimination, and other wide gaps in human rights protection and promotion, the impact of the COVID-19 response in many nations and for particular groups of people, has been dawdling.
HUMAN RIGHTS AND RELIGOUS FREEDOM AND DISCRIMINATION
The UN Secretary-General has emphasized the instability and fear that the pandemic has brought and the worrying human rights concerns of discrimination and stigmatization of persons who had been cured of COVID-19 around the world.
The leadership of HRRG supported sister institutions around the world to ensure religious bodies and leaders such as the Shincheonji Church and its leadership in South Korea are treated with respect and dignity. This attests to the fact that abuses, stigmatization, discrimination, scapegoating by government and officials in leadership positions need to be condemned.
The Human Rights Reporters Ghana in its quest to champion human rights issues through local and international collaboration joined like-minded civil society organizations to bring to the attention the human treatments visited on the church in South Korea.
The release of Chairman Lee Man-Hee, the leader of the Shincheonji Church from detention brings to the fore, the power of a united front in the struggle for the respect of the rights of all persons by individuals, organizations, and governments across the world.
As the world celebrates another Human Rights Day, on the theme Recover Better – Stand Up for Human Rights, the Human Rights Reporters Ghana has called on all stakeholders to reflect on the challenges and gains in the last ten months and to recommit efforts, resources, and policies toward ensuring the fundamental rights of all citizens are respected.
The institution further called for the building of more resilient, just, and sustainable societies around the world in times of global crisis. This demands all stakeholders to recommit themselves to ensuring the human rights of citizens across the world are guaranteed.
In Ghana, these calls for the efforts toward protecting and giving hope to the less privileged, educating the citizenry on their rights and avenues available to them in the case where the abused must not be ignored.
It also calls for more efforts to support women and girls who are defiled and due to the lack of financial resources, tests needed to ascertain their status and to apprehend suspects who are lost.
The HRRG believes that the celebration of the 2020 Human Rights Day must inspire Ghana to among other things continue to uphold, protect, and allow for the universal rights outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Joseph Kobla Wemakor is a multiple award-winning freelance journalist, a blogger and ardent online news editor. He also doubles as a human rights activist, a youth leader, a climate change proponent and a sustainable development goals advocate in Ghana.
He has over a decade of experience in journalism and strongly believes in using his platform to bring about change and give a voice to Ghanaian minorities.
Joseph is also the Head, Media and Communication at the PLO Lumumba Foundation, Ghana Chapter as well as the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Greater Accra Regional Youth Network (GARYN).
In line with his passion as a human rights activist, Joseph set up the Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG). This is a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) which seeks to promote, defend and bring an end to human rights abuse against women, girls, children and persons living with disability including the marginalized in the society both within and out of Ghana. He also leads HRRG in the capacity of Executive Director and currently working assiduously to impart knowledge on human rights to the Ghanaian populace.