The Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG), a non-governmental organization which champions human rights advocacy and education in Ghana has equipped one thousand (1,000) students in the Volta Region with adequate knowledge on their basic rights and freedoms.
The beneficiaries who are students of the Anlo Afiadenyigba Roman Catholic Junior High School including Anlo Afiadenyigba Evangelical Presbyterian (E.P) Primary School and Junior High School were vigorously sensitized on human rights with focused attention on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and its powerful 30 articles which clearly spelt out human rights.
They were also empowered with comprehensive information on teenage pregnancy and drug abuse to guide in their stages of life in order not to fall victims.
The gesture, which seeks to promote human rights and its education with the aim of guaranteeing cultural change was in commemoration of this year’s Human Rights Day.
Mr. Joseph Wemakor, the Executive Director of Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG), who led the sensitization team to the region observed that community sensitization is essential to reducing young people’s vulnerability to kidnapping, teenage pregnancy, drug abuse and other social vices hence the need to always make it a conscious effort to empower the youth with the right information at all times.
While identifying disregard for human rights as the major cause of peace, freedom and justice eluding many regions of the world, Mr. Wemakor admonished the students to always ensure strict adherence to the principles of human rights which embrace respect for the individual, equality and non-discrimination in order to make the world a better place for all.
Human Rights are defined as basic rights and freedoms to which all human beings are entitled, often held to include the right to life and liberty, freedom of thought and expression and equality before the law
Human Rights are based on the principle of respect for the individual. Their fundamental assumption is that each person is a moral and rational being who deserves to be treated with dignity. They are called human rights because they are universal.
Headmaster of Anlo Afiadenyigba E.P School, Mr. James Deyfor speaking on the sidelines of the sensitization exercise lauded the Human Rights Reporters Ghana team for taking time out of their busy schedules to bring education on human rights to the students in the school.
While describing the exercise as a good initiative which would bring about change in the school, he observed that most students unfortunately do not simply understand the meaning of human rights and what contribute to rights abuse therefore often misconstrue it
Citing one of such instances, he averred that some students have misunderstood sweeping of the school environment as an abuse of rights whenever instructed to do so as result of the ban of corporal punishment in schools by the Ghana Education Service (GES) which he identified as a challenge.
He therefore appealed to the HRRG team to intervene and help correct such misrepresentation of facts with their information.
For his part, the Headmaster of Anlo Afiadenyigba R.C. Primary and Junior High School, Mr. Moses Topha-Mills noted the visitation of the HRRG’s sensitization team to the school for the second time is apt and indeed of great relief to the entire students’ body as a result of the impact, exposure and the enlightenment they have enjoyed.
“The sensitization is very useful and I must commend the Human rights reporters Ghana for the initiative”.
“The last time they came, for many months now, we have seen that the students’ attitudes have changed positively and they no longer use to do things that would endanger their future”.
He furthered: “In all, the knowledge level of the students have improved in human rights. It has broadened their horizon and I’ll encourage such exercise to be done on a termly basis”.
This is the second time, the students of Anlo Afiadenyigba Primary and JHS (A&B school) have benefited from the sensitization campaign by the Human Rights Reporters Ghana.
The first time was in May 2019 at a period when the HRRG embarked on the nationwide sensitization campaign on Kidnapping, Teenage Pregnancy and Tramadol Abuse /Drug Abuse (KTT Project) to educate the public particularly school children on the tricks employed by the kidnappers to lure their unsuspecting victims so they can easily foil their attempts.
The KTT campaign focused on addressing the issues of kidnapping, teenage pregnancy and drug abuse but equally set about creating a deeper education on human rights to bring about a cultural change.
Since the roll out of the program in July 2019, the campaign team has managed to reach over 60,000 beneficiaries particularly school children, parents and youth groups in the communities and religious settings within three regions of Ghana.
The positive feedback received from some beneficiaries a year after staging the campaign demonstrated the success of the initiative in saving lives and contributing significantly towards the advancement of the SDGs.
The initiative had won many hearts and attracted commendations towards the HRRG and its amazing team of volunteers both in and outside the borders of Ghana.
Human Rights Day is observed by the International community every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The day is observed via high-level political conferences and meetings by cultural events and exhibitions dealing with human rights issues to enhance public awareness of people’s social, cultural and physical rights, as well as ensure everyone’s wellbeing.
This year’s commemoration is on the theme: “Equality- Reducing inequalities, advancing human rights”.
The sensitization exercise was supported by the United for Human Rights (UHR), an International non-profit (US based )organization dedicated to implementing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at all levels of society.
The Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG) is an initiative of young Ghanaian journalists, editors, lawyers and human rights activists who have joined forces to address human rights violations in Ghana and beyond to bring countries closer to achieving the SDGs.
Watch videos on the exercise below :