Education and Programs
Nana giving a presentation at a workshop to educate people about their human rights
Human Rights Education
Human rights education is an integral part of the HRAC. It is premised on the principle that human rights standards can only be met through an informed and continued demand by people for their protection. Human rights education constitutes an essential contribution to the long-term prevention of human rights abuses and represents an important investment in the endeavour to achieve a just society in which all human rights of all persons are valued and respected.
The HRAC-coordinated human rights education focuses on activities that have short, medium and long term goals relating to the promotion of values, beliefs and attitudes which encourage all individuals to uphold their own rights and those of others. It seeks to promote an understanding of everyone’s common responsibility to make human rights a reality in each community.
In Ghana, incidents of human rights violations are embedded in cultural practices (such as child/forced/early marriages, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), ‘trokosi’ widowhood rites), attitudes and institutional failures which undermine the rights of individuals, especially women and children. Domestic violence, human trafficking, police brutalities, forced evictions, maternal mortality and lack of access to basic facilities (education and health) are a common place. Violations of the rights of Most-At-Risk Groups including Persons Living with a Disability and HIV/AIDS, refugees and ‘recently’, Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) are issues confronting the country.
The HRAC is also committed to supporting and promoting human rights education by developing and publishing literature materials. For example, the HRAC has published three posters on Maternal Mortality (a major developmental challenge facing Ghana, with 451 women per 100,000 dying annually from pregnancy-related causes) to compliment the UN Millennium Development Goals (Goal 5) of reducing MM by 75% by 2015.
Participants from the Takoradi Workshop, advocating for the rights of Most At Risk Populations (MARPS)
Community Based Programs and Sensitisation
In order to help and support the people of Ghana, particularly vulnerable groups, to know more about the rights that they have, HRAC conducts community-based sensitisation workshops. Community programs help HRAC to know more about the issues which are affecting the community, and the best ways to go about helping community members to realise their rights, as well as being a great opportunity to educate Ghanaians about issues that they may have previously not know anything about.
In 2012, HRAC has conducted two workshops to help women know more about their sexual and reproductive rights (read press statement HERE). For more information on our Sexual and Reproductive Rights project, have a look HERE.
We have also conducted workshops, and participated in marches to push for the amendment and passing of the Right to Information Bill. HRAC has been a strong advocate in this area, read more HERE.
In 2012, HRAC also conducted workshops for the LGBT (lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual) community, and to promote LGBT rights among advocates and stakeholders such as CHRAJ, the Police and the Military. Visit our LGBT page to find out more about what HRAC is doing in this area, HERE.
In the coming year, HRAC will also conduct workshops in schools, to help children protect themselves against gender based violence. Following our research in 2012, HRAC created a website, www.beempoweredghana.org, in order to give students a platform to learn more about their rights, share their experiences and seek help if they need it. Have a look at our Gender Based Violence in schools project HERE.