LRC calls on government to invest in State institutions

The Legal Resources Centre (LRC), a Non-Governmental Organization (), has called on Government to invest in State institutions with the mandate to protect the rights of citizens.

It said State institutions, especially the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (), and the (), charged with the responsibility to protect and educate citizens on their fundamental human rights, were under-resourced.

At a workshop at Zuarungu in the East District of the Region, Mr Enock Jengre, a Rule of Law Specialist at the LRC said “The Government should support these institutions.”

“We are doing our bit as a Civil Society Organization with talking and lobbying to get Government's attention to their challenges,” Mr Jengre said.

The workshop was similarly organised in the Talensi, Bongo and Districts, at the instance of the LRC in collaboration with CHRAJ, NCCE and the with funding support from the .

He said the workshops were intended to offer the three State institutions the needed platform to create awareness of their respective mandates on how they collectively assisted citizens' access to justice.

Mr Jengre noted that in the LRC's public education held over the years, “One thing that citizens have mentioned is that they really do not know much about the Government institutions and the role that they play in terms of access to justice when their rights are violated.

“We are very much aware that CHRAJ and other institutions are carrying out their mandate, but sometimes, they are actually cash traps for community engagements,” the Rule of Law Specialist added.

Government, according to him, sometimes pretended it was not aware of some of the challenges State institutions faced in their line of duty, and urged the Government to ensure that these critical State institutions got their share of resources to function.

He said Government resources should not be misused, insisting that “We would vehemently fight against any misuse. We are calling on the Government to support these institutions. Because without them, how will we as citizens know our rights.”

“If a law is enacted today, the assumption is that every citizen is supposed to know every detail of that particular law. How can this happen without these State institutions,” he asked.

Mr Jaladeen Abdulai, the Upper East Regional Director of CHRAJ, said the Commission in the Region had over the years assisted in reducing the number of cases in the Courts, “But for CHRAJ, our Courts would have been inundated with cases, because some of the cases that we handle, hitherto would have been in Court.”

He said for the past seven years, CHRAJ recorded not less than 220 cases in the Region, “So assuming CHRAJ was not there, these would have been cases in Court and taking longer periods to handle.”

Mr Abdulai said CHRAJ's presence in Municipalities and Districts had increased from five offices in March 2015 to 10, adding that the Commission was working to cover the remaining five Districts in the Region.

He used the opportunity to appeal to the rest of the District Assemblies without CHRAJ offices to provide office accommodation for the Commission to set up so that the services of CHRAJ could be brought closer to citizens across the Region.

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