Mr. Chairman, the board, staff and entire membership of Amnesty International Ghana, invited guests, fellow distinguished advocates, activists and defenders of human rights, stakeholders, lovely partners and well-wishers. A very good morning to you all.
I bring you warm felicitations from the office of Human Rights Reporters Ghana and thanks for having me.
On behalf the Human Rights Reporters Ghana, I wish to say a very big thank you to our very own distinguished partner, the Amnesty International Ghana for the honor and the privilege accorded me to be invited here to grace this historic and momentous launch of its 50th anniversary celebration and equally witness the 2023 annual report launch.
Mr. Chairman, before going ahead to deliver our solidarity message for the day, kindly permit me to briefly introduce our organization, the Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG) whom I represent in the capacity of a Founder and Executive Director for the sake of those who might be hearing of us for the first time.
The Human Rights Reporters Ghana, (HRRG) for short, is an initiative of young Ghanaian journalists, editors, lawyers and human rights activists, advocates and defenders who have come together to help address issues of human rights abuses in Ghana and beyond to bring the country closer to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Agenda 2030 as well as the Agenda 2069.
Beyond the shores of Ghana, HRRG is simply identified as a small vibrant local group of human rights torchbearers with a global reach strongly backed by a powerful motto: “Society for All Without Discrimination”.
HRRG came into the limelight in 2019 with the launch of its ‘historic nationwide sensitization campaign on Kidnapping, Teenage Pregnancy and Tramadol /Drug Abuse dubbed’: “the KTT Project”. This was barely a few months after its inception.
The initiative which gained popularity, made a huge impact at that time was in response to the increasing incidents of kidnappings in Ghana. It equally helped create a cultural change with education on human rights at its height.
Since then, the HRRG team of amazing volunteers whom I led never rested on its laurels but kept making significant strides in the fight and working tirelessly for the promotion and protection of human rights in Ghana and beyond.
HRRG’s affiliation with Amnesty International Ghana dates back to 2019. Indeed, the kind of bond the HRRG shares with Amnesty International Ghana is like that of a mother and a son together which runs deep transcending the bounds of a mere partnership which is noteworthy
It is the reason why our presence here today to give our support to Amnesty International Ghana during the launch of these two all-important milestone events in its lifetime is by no means a coincidence but a necessity.
At this auspicious occasion which marks the launch of your 50th anniversary celebration including the annual report for the year 2023, we at the HRRG wish you well and congratulate you for all your efforts and taking the giant step in putting up this event.
We are equally pledging our support towards all your endeavors aimed at helping achieve a befitting celebration of your upcoming historic event which is about to take Ghana by storm.
Mr. Chairman, in conclusion, the human rights fight should not be lost on us. It appears we are losing the fight despite the gargantuan achievements we have chalked together over the years as the torchbearers of human rights in Ghana.
Indeed, there’s more room for improvement looking at the magnitude of human rights violations the country is bedeviled with which ought to be holistically addressed.
Of course, these developments are so glaring for anyone to see. For example, we have seen these captured in the U.S Department of State 2022 annual Country Report on Human Rights Practices released in this month which cited Ghana for several abuses including arbitrary or unlawful killings, extrajudicial killings, torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment by government or behalf of government among others which raises an eyebrow.
Same can be said of the Amnesty International’s 2023 annual report which painted a vivid picture of the happenings not only in Ghana but beyond which we’ve all been a witness to launched by its Country Director, Genevieve Partington at this event not too long ago.
These are all real-life situations which we must never shy away from but have the courage to confront head-on and ensure we fix them to ensure rights are respected, promoted and fulfilled.
As human rights organizations and torchbearers, we must never give up the fight no matter what, knowing we have chosen for ourselves an arduous task which we will one day be held accountable to therefore we cannot afford to fail.
But this can only happen if we put our shoulders to the wheel and collectively and assiduously work towards the victory of achieving our goals. In other words, adopting the UN principle of ‘leaving no behind’ is the key to winning the human rights fight if we truly want to.
I therefore called on the Amnesty International Ghana to always endeavor to maintain constant touch and effectively collaborate with its partners, stakeholders, CSOs, human rights activists, defenders, advocates, journalists, government, the diplomatic community and faith-based organizations and all others who are passionate about human rights promotion so as to work together to achieve results.