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17.05.2007 General News

International forum on human rights ends

An International forum on human rights has ended in Accra with a call on civil society organizations to increase capacity to eliminate the worse forms of human rights violations and abuses in Africa.

The three-day forum, which was on the participation ofNon-Governmental Organizations in the 41st Ordinary Session of the African Commission in Human and People (ACHRP), provided a platform to promote networking among NGOs for the promotion and protection of human rights.

The forum co-organized by Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), an Accra based NGO, and the African Center for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS) based in Banjul, Gambia, attracted over 150 delegates from Africa.

The forum, which preceded the 41st Ordinary Session of the African Commission will present resolutions made to African Commissioners for further deliberations.

Richard Quayson, Deputy Commissioner, Commission for Human Rights and administrative Justice (CHRAJ) who launched the 2004/2005 Inter African Union Human Rights Report, said the contribution of NGOs in the fight against human rights abuses must be recognized since the situation would have been worst without their effort.

He said since the task to curtail such abuses in Africa was onerous, there was the need for civil society to support NGOs in the fight against injustice and inhumanity.

He stated that human rights issues should also be given the necessary government policy support to deal with issues such as tribal sentiments and cynicism that often led to abuses.

Mr Quayson encouraged the participants to work hard and to begin sensitizing children at the grassroots level on such rights to create future democrats who would be more sensitive to human rights issues.

Professor Kwame Karikari, Executive Director, MFWA, said the formation of the African Commission to promote the protection of human rights was commendable, since the rate of human rights abuses remained high on the continent.

He said Africa was eventually making progress of building institutional set ups to guarantee human rights protection, adding that the financial support being granted to most NGOs, had increased efficiency in their work.

Prof. Karikari called for strengthened solidarity between member countries in the ACHRP, to chalk success in the implementation of resolutions made at the forum.

He urged NGOs to build a strong social movement against human rights abuses and incorporate human rights protection into all endeavors.

Source: GNA