Mr Joseph Whittal, Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), has reiterated the call for the government to allocate more funds to the institution in order to effectively carry out its triple mandate.
Despite operating with multiple responsibilities, CHRAJ receives funding as if it were a single institution, leading to constraints in fulfilling its mandate.
Mr Whittal made these remarks during the Commission's 30th Anniversary Celebration held in Accra. The six-month celebration, themed “CHRAJ at 30: Promoting and Protecting Human Rights and Ensuring Transparency and Accountability in Public Service Delivery,” provides an opportunity to reflect on achievements, and challenges, and strategize for the future.
Highlighting CHRAJ's accomplishments, Mr Whittal mentioned leading the advocacy against the dehumanizing practice of trokosi, which is now criminalized under the Criminal and Other Offences Act.
The Commission also played a significant role in combating Female Genital Mutilation, another dehumanizing cultural practice that has been driven underground and criminalized.
Over the years, CHRAJ has investigated and resolved over 300,000 human rights complaints against public institutions and private enterprises. It has also handled high-level corruption cases against all governments under the 4th Republic.
Mr Whittal stressed the importance of governments going beyond rhetoric and adequately resourcing institutions dedicated to fighting corruption.
Mr Charles Abani, the United Nations Resident Coordinator, commended Ghana for its achievements in transparency during elections and government transitions. He emphasized that transparency, accountability, and good governance, along with the protection and promotion of citizens' rights, are essential for Ghana's progress.
Dr Eric Bossman Asare, Deputy Chair in Charge of Corporate Services at the Electoral Commission of Ghana, praised CHRAJ for its work in upholding the human rights of citizens.
He encouraged the Commission to organize outreach programs to educate rural communities about human rights.
Representatives from various organizations, including the Public Service Commission, Economic and Organised Crime Office, Ghana Chamber of Mines, Amnesty International Ghana, Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition, and Ghana Integrity Initiative, also expressed solidarity messages and reaffirmed their commitment to CHRAJ.