The role of human rights reporters cannot be overstated in society. These are the individuals who work tirelessly to ensure that the human rights of individuals are protected and upheld.
In Ghana, the Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG) is one vibrant organization that has earned an honorable reputation for the good works done over the years, and they deserve recognition, not dishonor.
The HRRG, founded in 2019 by a group of passionate human rights advocates, activists, defenders, journalists, editors and lawyers has been at the forefront of reporting human rights abuses in Ghana.
They have worked assiduously to raise awareness of issues related to human rights violations and have earned a considerable reputation for being vocal and unapologetic about their position on these issues.
One of the notable achievements of the HRRG is their fight against abuse of children in schools and at home. They have effectively used their platform to highlight the situation and put pressure on the relevant authorities to take action.
As a result of their efforts, the Ghanaian school authorities are becoming awake to the realities of teachers flouting the ban on corporal punishment in schools and undue harm being caused students and have implemented measures to deal with the canker.
The HRRG has also been vocal about the state of Ghana’s prisons, the treatment of inmates, and the deplorable conditions in which they are kept. They have used their platform to advocate for changes that will ensure the human rights of prisoners are upheld and protected.
Additionally, the HRRG has been an ardent advocate for the rights of women and girls in Ghana, particularly regarding issues of sexual and gender-based violences (SGBVs) including the need for Ghana to have the affirmative action law in place to promote women participation and representation in decision making spaces.
They have been consistent in their demand for the implementation of policies and laws that will result in the prevention and prosecution of the perpetrators of SGBVs as well as the immediate passage of the Affirmative Action Bill (AAB) into law.
It is no secret that reporting on human rights abuses can be a daunting and dangerous task. Often, human rights reporters are subject to intimidation, harassment, and even physical harm. However, the HRRG has remained steadfast in their commitment to reporting these abuses and raising awareness about them. They have done this even in the face of threats to their safety and well-being.
Given the significant contribution of the HRRG in promoting and protecting human rights in Ghana, it is disheartening to see reports of them being dishonored.
Recently, there have been accusations and verbal attacks levelled at the HRRG including attempts by the Ghanaian educational authorities to rubbish its good deeds geared towards upholding the rights and seeking justice for school children whose rights have been abused by teachers in the case of subjecting students to corporal and inhumane punishments in schools.
Corporal punishment per the World Health Organization (WHO) definition is a violation of children’s rights to respect for physical integrity and human dignity, health, development, education and freedom from torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
HRRG is a progressive and committed organization that works in partnership with victims of human rights abuses, human rights organizations, and governmental agencies to promote human rights and social justice. Through their advocacy and activism, they have brought about significant changes in the human rights situation in Ghana.
They put the well-being of people first, irrespective of their background or social class. They have been able to combine the skills of professional journalists with their knowledge in human rights, giving chronicles critical to increasing the accountability of the Ghanaian government.
The organization is devoted to informing and educating the public about human rights and the provisions of international human rights treaties and conventions. This organization has consistently provided the public with human rights news and reports that shed light on the often-opaque issues of human rights abuses in Ghana.
These reports highlight the human face of human rights crisis and give prominence to the people affected by such violations.
As a result, the organization has been able to appeal to the conscience of the Ghanaian public, and this has resulted in a significant shift of attitude towards human rights in Ghana.
In Ghana, the legal system can often be slow and cumbersome, and often the marginalized can find themselves with little recourse. However, Human Rights Reporters Ghana has been able to act quickly and decisively to stop human rights abuses and violations.
They do this through exposing these violations through their reporting, filing legal action, and representing victims of human rights abuses.
Their work has led to the capture of various human rights abusers in Ghana. They have also successfully raised awareness about numerous human rights abuses, including forced evictions, extrajudicial killings, torture, and discrimination within the Ghanaian society.
Human Rights Reporters Ghana has also played a significant role in promoting social justice in Ghana. On the international level, Human Rights Reporters Ghana provides an essential voice for the country.
They have cooperated with several international organizations and have helped shine a light on human rights abuses in Ghana. Through their communication and advocacy, they have been able to hold the Ghanaian government accountable.
Their hard work and bravery in exposing these issues have made Ghana visible on the global level when it comes to human rights.
HRRG is an organization that deserves recognition for the important work they do in Ghana. They have played a critical role in the promotion and protection of human rights and social justice in Ghana. They have been able to use their skillset as professional journalists to shine a light on human rights abuses, and as a result, have had a profound impact on the Ghanaian society. Their work has led to significant changes and has helped to bring needed attention to the issue of human rights in Ghana.
In summary, the HRRG has played a significant role in raising awareness about human rights abuses in Ghana. Their hard work and dedication to this cause have resulted in notable achievements, and they deserve recognition for the good works done. Instead of dishonor, they deserve support and acknowledgement for their efforts in promoting and protecting human rights in Ghana.
The writer is a staunch human rights activist, National SDGs Champion and Founder/Executive Director of Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG)