Kaneshie District Court disability unfriendly; judges meet litigants halfway  

Court users who are physically challenged or aged find it difficult to access the Kaneshie District Court. This is because it is disability unfriendly. 

Consequently, such people are often carried to the Court to seek redress.  

Judges, occasionally descend to use a different room on the building for cases involving physically challenged persons.  

The aged, some, very weak, have the difficult task of climbing the first or second floor of the building to access justice.  

The staircases on the building have long intervals, making it impossible for people with severe disabilities to access the courtrooms. 

Ghana’s Constitution demands that justice delivery should be granted to all without leaving anyone behind just as the Sustainable Development Goal Nine.  

The United Nations adopted the SDGs or global goals in 2015, as a universal call to action in ending poverty, hunger, discrimination against the vulnerable, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030, everyone enjoyed peace and prosperity. 

The goals, which are 17, are intertwined and their actions affect each other’s outcomes  and their development must balance social, economic and environmental sustainability. 

Among the goals are one-poverty reduction, nine-industry, innovation and infrastructure, 10-reduced inequalities as well as goal 16-peace, justice and strong institutions. 

Under goal nine, resilient infrastructure is supposed to be built, promote inclusive, that is, the global fast growing economy and increasing inequalities, sustained growth must encompass industrialisation that will make opportunities accessible to all as well as resilient infrastructure. 

To achieve this, government and other stakeholders must invest in buildings or improve structures accessible by all and sundry such as the aged, people with disabilities, and the sick. 

Goal 16 is to promote peaceful and inclusive societies, providing access to justice for all and building affection accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. 

People everywhere should be free of fear from all forms of violence and feel safe as they go about their duties irrespective of their ethnicity, sexual orientation, faith or physical status. 

However, unfriendly court structures, for instance that of the Kaneshie District Court, is an impediment to achieving peace and justice for all- aged, people with disabilities. 

High level civil conflicts as a result of people taking the law into their hands because there is lack of access to the law court would have negative impact on Ghana’s development. 

Equal access to justice is important in protecting individual rights, resolving conflicts and ensuring that the vulnerable- physically challenged or aged, were not marginalised or discriminated against. 

The court would be crippled in delivering public service to all in a short time without delay if these issues are not addressee.  

To side-line or discriminate against the minority such as people with disabilities in justice delivery violates their human rights, and can lead to violence. 

Action is needed to resolve structural injustices to restore trust in the court for justice delivery towards ensuring sustainable peace. 

By Gifty Amofa  

Source: GNA 

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