Human rights in Ghana

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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Ghana
Constitution

Human rights are "rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled". Proponents of the concept usually assert that everyone is endowed with certain entitlements merely by reason of being human.[1]

Ghana is a sovereign country in West Africa. It was a British colony until the 6 March 1957 when it became the first country south of the Sahara to gain independence.

LGBT rights[edit]

LGBT rights in Ghana are heavily suppressed.[2] Physical and violent homophobic attacks against LGBT people are common, often encouraged by the media and religious and political leaders.[2] Reports of young gay people being kicked out of their homes are also common.[2] Despite the Constitution guaranteeing a right to freedom of speech, of expression and of assembly to Ghanaian citizens, these fundamental rights are actively denied to LGBT people.[2]

Religious freedom[edit]

Freedom of the press[edit]

Although the constitution and law provide for freedom of speech and press, the government sometimes restricts those rights. The police arbitrarily arrest and detain journalists.[3] Some journalists practice self-censorship. The constitution prohibits arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home, or correspondence, and the government respects these prohibitions in practice.[4]

In 2002 the government of Ghana censored Internet media coverage of tribal violence in Northern Ghana.[5]

Prison conditions[edit]

The almost 400 years old James Fort Prison in Accra was in use as a prison until 2008. It was originally built for 200 slaves, but housed over 740 male and female prisoners.[6]

Squalid conditions, poor food and overcrowding in Ghana's prisons were called "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment," by the UN in 2013.[7] The extent of prison overcrowding is estimated to be higher than the government's official figures.[7] Prison authorities use a system where inmates known as "black coats" whip other misbehaving prisoners with canes.[7]

Historical situation[edit]

The following chart shows Ghana's ratings since 1972 in the Freedom in the World reports, published annually by Freedom House. A rating of 1 is "most free" and 7 is "least free".[8]1

Year Political Rights Civil Liberties Status President2
1972 6 6 Not Free Kofi Abrefa Busia
1973 7 6 Not Free Ignatius Kutu Acheampong
1974 7 5 Not Free Ignatius Kutu Acheampong
1975 7 5 Not Free Ignatius Kutu Acheampong
1976 7 5 Not Free Ignatius Kutu Acheampong
1977 6 5  Partly Free   Ignatius Kutu Acheampong 
1978 5 4 Partly Free Ignatius Kutu Acheampong
1979 4 4 Partly Free Fred Akuffo
1980 2 3 Free Hilla Limann
1981 6 5 Not Free Hilla Limann
19823 6 5 Not Free Jerry Rawlings
1983 6 5 Not Free Jerry Rawlings
1984 7 6 Not Free Jerry Rawlings
1985 7 6 Not Free Jerry Rawlings
1986 7 6 Not Free Jerry Rawlings
1987 7 6 Not Free Jerry Rawlings
1988 6 6 Not Free Jerry Rawlings
1989 6 5 Not Free Jerry Rawlings
1990 6 5 Not Free Jerry Rawlings
1991 6 6 Not Free Jerry Rawlings
1992 5 5 Partly Free Jerry Rawlings
1993 5 4 Partly Free Jerry Rawlings
1994 5 4 Partly Free Jerry Rawlings
1995 4 4 Partly Free Jerry Rawlings
1996 3 4 Partly Free Jerry Rawlings
1997 3 3 Partly Free Jerry Rawlings
1998 3 3 Partly Free Jerry Rawlings
1999 3 3 Partly Free Jerry Rawlings
2000 2 3 Free Jerry Rawlings
2001 2 3 Free Jerry Rawlings
2002 2 3 Free John Kufuor
2003 2 2 Free John Kufuor
2004 2 2 Free John Kufuor
2005 1 2 Free John Kufuor
2006 1 2 Free John Kufuor
2007 1 2 Free John Kufuor
2008 1 2 Free John Kufuor
2009 1 2 Free John Kufuor
2010 1 2 Free John Atta Mills
2011 1 2 Free John Atta Mills
2012 1 2 Free John Atta Mills
2013 1 2 Free John Dramani Mahama

International treaties[edit]

Ghana's stances on international human rights treaties are as follows:

Treaty Organization Introduced Signed Ratified
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide[9] United Nations 1948 - 1958
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination[10] United Nations 1966 1966 1966
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights[11] United Nations 1966 2000 2000
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights[12] United Nations 1966 2000 2000
First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights[13] United Nations 1966 2000 2000
Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity[14] United Nations 1968 - 2000
International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid[15] United Nations 1973 - 1978
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women[16] United Nations 1979 1980 1986
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment[17] United Nations 1984 2000 2000
Convention on the Rights of the Child[18] United Nations 1989 1990 1990
Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty[19] United Nations 1989 - -
International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families[20] United Nations 1990 2000 2000
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women[21] United Nations 1999 2000 2011
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict[22] United Nations 2000 2003 -
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography[23] United Nations 2000 2003 -
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities[24] United Nations 2006 2007 2012
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities[25] United Nations 2006 2007 2012
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance[26] United Nations 2006 2007 -
Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights[27] United Nations 2008 2009 -
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communications Procedure[28] United Nations 2011 - -

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

1.^ Note that the "Year" signifies the "Year covered". Therefore the information for the year marked 2008 is from the report published in 2009, and so on.
2.^ As of January 1.
3.^ The 1982 report covers the year 1981 and the first half of 1982, and the following 1984 report covers the second half of 1982 and the whole of 1983. In the interest of simplicity, these two aberrant "year and a half" reports have been split into three year-long reports through interpolation.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Feldman, David (1993). Civil liberties and human rights in England and Wales. Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 5. ISBN 978-0-19-876232-4. 
  2. ^ a b c d Human Rights Violations Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) People in Ghana: A Shadow Report
  3. ^ "Ghana". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 2018-03-31. 
  4. ^ "Ghana", Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. Department of State, 25 March 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
  5. ^ "Ghana Internet Censorship 2008". NIBII. 15 December 2008. 
  6. ^ "UN official: Ghana jails cruel and inhuman". www.prisonministryghana.org. Archived from the original on 25 August 2011. Retrieved 15 May 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c "Ghana Prison Conditions". 
  8. ^ Freedom House (2012). "Country ratings and status, FIW 1973-2012" (XLS). Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  9. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 1. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Paris, 9 December 1948". Archived from the original on 20 October 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  10. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 2. International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. New York, 7 March 1966". Archived from the original on 11 February 2011. Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  11. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 3. International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. New York, 16 December 1966". Archived from the original on 17 September 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  12. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 4. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. New York, 16 December 1966". Archived from the original on 1 September 2010. Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  13. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 5. Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. New York, 16 December 1966". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  14. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 6. Convention on the non-applicability of statutory limitations to war crimes and crimes against humanity. New York, 26 November 1968". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  15. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 7. International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid. New York, 30 November 1973". Archived from the original on 18 July 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  16. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 8. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. New York, 18 December 1979". Archived from the original on 23 August 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  17. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 9. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. New York, 10 December 1984". Archived from the original on 8 November 2010. Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  18. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 11. Convention on the Rights of the Child. New York, 20 November 1989". Archived from the original on 11 February 2014. Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  19. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 12. Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty. New York, 15 December 1989". Archived from the original on 20 October 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  20. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 13. International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families. New York, 18 December 1990". Archived from the original on 25 August 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  21. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 8b. Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. New York, 6 October 1999". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  22. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 11b. Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict. New York, 25 May 2000". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  23. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 11c. Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. New York, 25 May 2000". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  24. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 15. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. New York, 13 December 2006". Archived from the original on 19 August 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  25. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 15a. Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. New York, 13 December 2006". Archived from the original on 13 January 2016. Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  26. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 16. International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. New York, 20 December 2006". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  27. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 3a. Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. New York, 10 December 2008". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  28. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 11d. Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure . New York, 19 December 2011. New York, 10 December 2008". Archived from the original on 25 August 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-29. 

External links[edit]