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26.07.2005 General News

Minister urges action against human rights abuse

GNA

Cape Coast, July 26, GNA- The Central Regional Minister, Mr. Isaac Edumadze, on Tuesday, called for a collectively initiated changes and modification of cultural practices that particularly infringe on the rights of women and children.

He stressed that this was imperative, since human rights abuses were still "widespread in the country in spite of the fact that she had ractified the international human rights convention and put structures in place to deal with human right issues.

The Regional Minister, made the call when he opened a two-day workshop on "domestic human rights abuse: using female teachers as agent and guides."

The workshop, which is being organised by the Foundation for Future Leaders International, has girls' education unit coordinators in the region attending, and is geared towards equipping them to enhance human rights education at the basic school level.

Mr. Edumadze expressed concern that most of such cases are not reported due to societal norms and beliefs, and that the side-effects of some of these abuses could be permanent, with some even resulting in death.

Mr. Emmanuel Dei-Tumi, Executive President, for his part described the lack of access to basic amenities, particularly in the rural areas, as "discrimination and an abuse of their human rights." He therefore, called on the government to do more, by providing the more amenities for rural communities to enable them to "enjoy life like their counterparts in the urban areas."

Mr. Dei-Tumi, also noted that any action or inaction on the part of government, which precludes any community from accessing the resources of the state, based on factors like gender or ethnicity, was tantamount to abuse of their rights.

He said it was the wish of the Foundation to help build a socially inclusive society, based on the values of equity and non-discrimination. Mr. Dei-Tumi in this regard, stressed the need to ensure that the rights of women and children in particular, are protected, since the issue of human rights, was central to the realization of the developmental goals of any country.

Dr Tamara Somers, direct aid programme coordinator of the Australian High Commission, sponsors of the workshop, said there was a link between the status of women in a society and the level of economic development that takes place and therefore their rights must be protected and respected.

She urged the participants to share the experience they would gain with those in their communities.

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