UN UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW
The UN Universal Periodic Review [UPR] Process is a mechanism for reviewing the Human Rights situation of member countries of the United Nations. It is a universal process that deals with all areas of Human Rights and applies to the then 193, now 194 member states [with the inclusion of South Sudan] of the UN. Ghana’s Human Rights record has been reviewed twice by the Human Rights Council in 2008 and 2012. The 1992 Constitution of Ghana enshrines and upholds the human rights of its people. It guarantees access to justice, protects Human Rights, ensures the autonomy of the media and permits its citizens to contribute to the development of the nation.
At the last UPR cycle in 2012, Ghana accepted more than 120 Recommendations and made some progress in their implementation. This presents an opportunity for Ghanaian Civil Society Organisations to hold the Government accountable for both their successes and failures on the Human Rights front in the international sphere dating from the second UPR cycle in 2012 to the present one in 2017.
The Ghana Human Rights NGOs Forum secretariat at the POS Foundation, the KASA Initiative Ghana, and the UPR Info Africa Office, Kenya, with funding from the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) led Civil Society Organizations whose work directly deal with Human Rights and the Natural Resource and Extractive Sector to document CSOs reports and submitted them to the UN.
Two key outcomes were the submission of 10 reports by indigenous CSOs in Ghana, a landmark achievement, and an understanding that the UPR is a process and not an event – a meeting between diplomacy and Human Rights for a five year journey, which requires continuous engagement and monitoring to hold the government accountable and to improve Human Rights in Ghana.
With the above, POS Foundation has championed the five year process with series of activities to monitor the process in adherence to upholding the human rights of Ghana’s citizens.
Thematic Areas Submitted to the Office of the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner
Ø Right to Health
Ø Corruption and CHRAJ
Ø Access to Justice and Right to Life
Ø Women and Children’s Rights
Ø Natural Resource and Extractive Industry
Ø Freedom of Expression and the Right to Information
Ø LGBT Rights
Ø Right to Labour
Ø Ghana’s obligations under international Laws