Government urged to adjust prisoners feeding fee

Ghana PrisonsMr Jonathan Osei Owusu, the Executive Director of Perfector of Sentiments Foundation (POS), a local Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), has called on government to adjust the feeding fee of prisoners.

He said the GH¢1.80 pesewa feeding fee for prisoners a day was an abuse of their fundamental human rights.

“Prisoners being fed on GH¢1.80 pesewa a day was a clear torture and infringement on their human rights,” he said.

Mr Osei Owusu made the call when he addressed a national consultation meeting on the implementation of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in Ghana on Thursday.

He called for the separation of remand prisoners from convicted prisoners, since keeping them together was against their health rights due to the congestion in the prisons cells.

“The Justice for All programme, since its inception in 2007, has helped solve the human rights issues of prisoners so we should not be complacent and make better changes in the various prisons of the country,” he said.

Ms Wendy Abbey, the Technical Advisor at the Human Rights Advocacy Centre (HRAC), organisers of the meeting, told the Ghana News Agency that the programme was an opportunity for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to build their capacities on how best to contribute to national review of documents, improve human right situations in Ghana, empower human situations at the international level and influence the behaviour of government.

“This is a session where we are engaging CSOs to respond to the list of issues the United Nations Human Rights Committee has adopted towards the implementation of Ghana’s status on the ICCPR,” she said.

Ms Abbey said the HRAC had engaged 25 human rights organisations to deliberate on issues concerning women and children’s rights, prisoners, the freedom of expression and rights of the media as well as the right of all the citizenry.

She said: “With all these efforts, there will be a coherent and collective response from the CSOs on the list of issues from the United Nations Human Rights Committee and also make them aware of the processes involved on the Government’s side”.

Ms Abbey said the engagement would also give the CSOs the opportunity to present an alternative solution to the Government for a balanced opinion and perspective to be met at the international level.

Mr Andre Kangni Afanou, the Regional Co-ordinator at the Centre for Civil and Political Rights (CCPR), Togo, advised CSOs to be involved in the implementation of human right laws for effective contribution in the assessment of the ICCPR review in Ghana.

He lauded HRAC for the engagement with the CSOs saying it would help raise human rights violation issues in the country.

“This meeting shows a unique way CSOs can put pressure on government through their extensive deliberations for informed policies to be made,” he said.

Mr Kangni Afanou urged CSOs to lead the discussion for more relevant issues to be addressed.
Participants discussed challenges in the implementation of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights in Ghana, Administration of Justice, Rights to Life, Torture, Liberty, Security of Persons and Slavery, Civil Liberties and Child and Women’s Rights.

Source: GNA

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