The Human Rights Clinic was set up by the Human Rights Advocacy Centre to give free legal support to the public. The Human Rights Clinic aims to address human rights cases in Ghana. HRAC established the Human Rights Clinic to serve as a walk-in centre for survivors of human rights abuses. Unfortunately most Ghanaians do not know what their rights are, and nor do they know the correct action to take when their rights are infringed upon.
The Human Rights Clinic is always available to give free legal advice to anyone who needs it; our doors are always opened to the public for legal counseling. The Human Rights Clinic also aims to ensure access to justice for all Ghanaians. On top of the face that many Ghanaians are not aware of their rights, a lot of people do not have the necessary resources to take legal action against people who abuse their rights, so they are unable to seek recourse and often ‘give up’. To ensure that all Ghanaians have equal access to justice, the Human Rights Clinic gives free legal support to the poor and vulnerable in society. To lodge an official complaint, a client will have to provide the Human Rights Clinic with basic personal information such as name, nationality, date of birth, occupation, contact address, hometown and marital status. Lodge a complaint HERE.
Kinds of Cases We Have Dealt With
Kinds of Cases We Have Dealt With The Human Rights Clinic has been of great help to the public since its establishment in 2008. In 2011 alone, lawyers at the clinic attended to 165 cases. As at July 2012, the Human Rights Clinic had received 669 at cases. This is only a fragment of the number of cases of human rights abuses that exist in Ghana, but it is reflective of the efforts of the Human Rights Clinic in trying to right some of these wrongs.
The Human Rights Clinic has dealt with diverse cases in the area of human rights protection. This ranges from family-related issues such as Custody of children, Forced Marriage, Divorce, Child Maintenance, Child Abuse, Access to family members, and adoption, crimes such as armed robbery, theft, arson, assault, battery, threats, violation of rights by traditional practices, abduction/kidnapping, murder, infanticide, child trafficking, and extortion.
We also deal with sexual crimes such as rape, incest, sexual assault, defilement, and sexual harassment. Other cases we deal with include employment, property, refugees, access to justice, abuse of authority, estates and private law. The Human Rights Clinic also fights for the rights of remand prisoners. HRAC’s advocacy and research had noted that indigent and remand prisoners face a number of challenges in the legal system particularly due to their inability to afford and access justice. For this reason the Human Rights Clinic decided to include the fight for the rights of remand prisoners in its work.
Specific Cases We Have Dealt With
A typical case that the Human Rights Clinic has helped resolve is a case which involves a young girl who was abandoned by her father, along with her mother and siblings. She was living under very harsh conditions, she lived with her step mum who maltreated her, she was almost defiled by a man who lived in the same house she was living in with her step mother and when she reported she was accused of being a bad girl who is making up stories just to put the man in trouble. She reported her father to the Human Rights Clinic at the Human Rights Advocacy Centre. The lawyers at the Human Rights Clinic took the case on, and fought for the rights of the girl, her mother and siblings until the father agreed to take total responsibility for them.The father agreed to pay the girls’ mother an amount of money to take care of herself, he also agreed that the girl and her siblings will live with him and he will take care of them.
The Human Rights Clinic also assisted a woman who was abandoned by her husband after she gave birth to twins. When the twins were born, the women’s mother (grandmother) came to the house to assist in their care. The husband was not happy with this situation, so abandoned the family. The Human Rights Clinic assisted the client to file her non-maintenance case against her husband at the juvenile court in Ghana. The court ruled the children be given an amount of money at the end of every month and also be enrolled in school when they are at school going age, the husband of the client is also to provide accommodation for her and the twins.
Another case that the Human Rights Clinic assisted in is employment related. It involves a young man who was wrongfully suspended and dismissed at his workplace. He reported to the Human Rights Clinic at the Human Rights Advocacy Centre. The lawyers at the Human Rights Clinic helped him to take his employers on, and he was able to get the compensation that was due him.
The Human Rights Clinic is helping Ghanaians to deal with human rights related issues. We are always ready to assist anybody who needs help!
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The Human Rights Clinic can boast some wonderful success stories. Take for example Jo and Josephine, who came to HRAC for help earlier this year. Read their story below, and the attached video. Thank you.
Jo and Josephine - Work Benefits Claim
Josephine and Joseph came to the Human Rights Clinic at the Human Rights Advocacy Center in 2009 as a last roll of the dice. Find out how HRAC helped the brother and sister in their legal battle.
In 1986, Josephine Armah and Joseph Amarboye heard on the radio that they had lost their jobs at the Central Revenue Service (now Internal Revenue Service). No warning at all, no reason given and their jobs were gone. Eventually, they found out they had been accused of accepting bribes, an allegation that was so ridiculous it would be laughable, were the repercussions not so devastating.
To make matters worse, Joseph and Josephine did not receive the service benefits they were entitled to under the law. Since then, they have been fighting for these benefits, and coming up against endless brick walls in their fight for justice.
Despite a series of wins in the courts, Jo and Josephine never actually saw the money that was awarded to them. Because they were retired, they couldn't afford to appeal, and came to HRAC for free advice on how to receive their benefits.
Josephine describes HRAC's efforts to recover their money as "QUOTE." After writing "letter after letter after letter" for three years, HRAC managed to recover the redundancy entitlements for our clients.