Joseph Kobla Wemakor, a seasoned Ghanaian human rights activist and journalist, has been selected among 30 African renowned human rights activists for an intensive training session on regional and international human rights systems and mechanisms taking place from October 13–15, 2023, at the Palace Hotel in Arusha, Tanzania.
Dubbed: “African Human Rights Training of Trainers on the Participation in and Engagement with the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights” is a 3-day capacity building workshop which seeks to build the capacity of the selected participants including offering them the opportunity to participate and engage with the regional human rights mechanisms in Africa.
The training is being organized by the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS) with support from the African Commission for Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU), United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner and the Open Society Foundations including other partners.
According to the Executive Director of the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS), Hannah Forster, the objective is to consolidate closer collaboration among NGOs, CSOs, Journalists, and Human Rights Defenders with the African Commission of Human and People’s Rights to promote and protect Human Rights in Africa.
Wemakor is one of the only two Ghanaians among 30 participants selected from 23 countries across the African continent to benefit from this program.
The beneficiaries, according to the Training and Advocacy Support Manager of the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), Salomé Boucif, were carefully selected out of a pool of over 2,000 applications received for entries.
Wemakor's participation in this program reflects his dedication to the promotion of human rights and justice, as well as his commitment to influencing society through his profession.
The knowledge and experience he will gain from this training will add significant value to his work and enhance his contributions to the field of human rights.
Joseph Kobla Wemakor, who is also the founder and executive director of Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG), a vibrant NGO, is a distinct voice in the realm of human rights advocacy in Africa.
His various accomplishments and contributions are fuelled by a deep-seated passion for justice and an unwavering dedication to upholding the rights of the marginalized and vulnerable in society.
This unique selection speaks to his mastery of journalism, advocacy, and his strategic position within the human rights discourse.
The training course will feature in-depth discussions on regional human rights issues and concerns, exploring the International Human Rights System, the African Human Rights System among others.
These are crucial platforms for global efforts towards upholding human rights and mitigating violations.
Participants will be exposed to intensive sessions on the wide range of mechanisms and policies engineered to address human rights issues and promote justice.
The primary intended benefits from the training are to strengthen human rights reporting, bolster the capacities of human rights advocates, and build a strong network of dedicated individuals who are proficient in addressing these issues strategically through journalism and advocacy.
The Human Rights Reporters Ghana’s boss selection for this high-profile training course is also a reflection on Ghana's continually improving human rights landscape.
It speaks to the work being done by dedicated professionals like Wemakor in raising awareness and affecting change within the human rights framework, demonstrating the recognition of their efforts on regional and international platforms.
While in Tanzania, Wemakor is also expected to participate in the NGOs Forum which will be held from 16th-18th October as well as the Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) from 20th to 24th October 2023.
The NGOs Forum offers a platform for networking and sharing updates on the human rights situations in Africa by the African and international NGOs community with a view to identifying responses as well as adopting strategies towards the promotion and protection of human rights on the continent.
According to the organizers, participation in the Ordinary Sessions of ACHPR will also give participants a practical taste of the work of the Commission.
Participants in the forum will comprise human rights organizations from Africa and beyond, numbering over a hundred Resource persons for the Forum are eminent activists and experts dealing with human rights issues in Africa.
The African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS) will also organize the 42nd African Human Rights Book Fair, which will run simultaneously with the Forum.
The Book Fair enables NGOs to network and initiate or renew the exchange of materials and information, as well as to publish their activities. Participants in the forum will actively participate in the Book Fair by displaying publications or documentaries of their organizations.
As we reflect on this notable achievement, it is critical to remember the broader context of human rights work.
The defence of human rights remains an ongoing battle due to persistent violations. It is essential to educate individuals, communities, and governments about the importance of upholding human rights and the mechanisms available to protect and promote these rights.
Joseph Wemakor's selection for this training opportunity is a step forward for both the individual and the broader human rights activism landscape in Africa.
With news like this, there is renewed confidence in the field's future, a testament to the hard work of tireless advocates like Wemakor.
In conclusion, the human rights landscape needs more passionate voices like Joseph Kobla Wemakor. With his selection for this unique opportunity, it is clear that he has the influence, professionalism, and dedication required to continue serving as a powerful advocate for human rights.
This exceptional chance is anticipated to give him an extraordinary insight into the Commission's work and further equip him with crucial knowledge about regional and international human rights systems and mechanisms, thereby enhancing his contributions and influence in this area, which is of utmost significance to society as a whole.
Source: Joshua Elikplim Adjei