December 4, 2020

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COVID 19: Call NIA, EC to order – CHRAJ Tells Akufo-Addo

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The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) wants President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to call the National Identification Authority (NIA) to order following its continuance of the mass Ghana Card registration exercise in the Eastern Region in the face of the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Ghana.

The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) wants President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to call the National Identification Authority (NIA) to order following its continuance of the mass Ghana Card registration exercise in the Eastern Region in the face of the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Ghana.

CHRAJ similarly wants the President or the Inter-Ministerial Committee on COVID-19 to advise the EC on the potential public health risk and safety associated with the planned Voters’ Registration.

A press statement signed by the Commissioner of CHRAJ, Mr Joseph Whittal, said the body was worried that in spite of the President’s directives on social gatherings and the existing WHO precautionary measures aimed at containment and combating COVID-19, the NIA is relentlessly embarking on a registration exercise in the Eastern Region.

“…the Commission is of the considered view that the President or the Inter-Ministerial Committee calls the NIA to order by suspending forthwith its ongoing registration exercise in the Eastern Region until the COVID-9 pandemic normalises,” the statement said.

“In the same vein, the Commission calls on the President or the Inter-Ministerial Committee on COVID-19 to advise the EC on the potential public health risk and safety associated with the planned Voters’ Registration due to the danger or threat that any mass gathering arising from such an exercise can pose to the health and life of the people”.

The statement further stressed that the EC’s “posture and intransigence” would undermine WHO protocols/benchmarks on COVID-19 and violate the Constitution of Ghana.

NIA

Acknowledging the recent mitigating measures taken by the Government aimed at containment and combating COVID-19, the Commission said it was worried that the National Identification Authority (NIA) is carrying out a registration exercise in the Eastern Region.

“The Commission is however worried that in spite of the President’s directives and the existing WHO precautionary measures aimed at containment and combating COVID-19, the National Identification Authority (NIA) is relentlessly embarking on a registration exercise in the Eastern Region,” the statement said.

“This has been exacerbated by reports in the media that the registration officials are poorly equipped with hand sanitisers, gloves and nose masks”.

The statement added that the NIA’s action is a clear violation of the right to health and ultimately the right to life as stipulated under Articles 34(2), 13(1) and 33(5) of the 1992 Constitution (Constitution) respectively, which are premised on Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Articles 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), Article 16 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR).

EC

The EC statement further explained that the EC’s posture and intransigence would undermine the World Health Organization’s (WHO) protocols/benchmarks on COVID-19, urging the President or the Inter-Ministerial Committee on COVID-19 to advise the EC on the potential public health risk associated with the planned Voters’ Registration.

“Concerning the Electoral Commission (EC), the Commission’s attention has been drawn to a Press Statement dated 17th march, 2020 issued by Sylvia Annoh (Mrs), EC’s posture and intransigence would undermine WHO protocols/benchmarks on COVID-19 and capable of violating the above mentioned provisions of the Constitution, international and regional human rights instruments and the SDGs for which Ghana is a State Party and a signatory,” the statement said.

“In the same vein, the Commission calls on the President or the Inter-Ministerial Committee on COVID-19 to advise the EC on the potential public health risk and safety associated with the planned Voters’ Registration due to the danger or threat that any mass gathering arising from such an exercise can pose to the health and life of the people.

“The Commission further recommends that Government as a matter of urgency provide protective gear and equipment to all hospitals and health facilities both private and public and to all health professionals directly handling Covid-19 suspected cases to mitigate the looming contagion in the protection of the rights to health and life of these professionals who are exposed to serious risks of contracting the deadly virus in the line of duty on a daily basis”.

Read the entire statement below;

Source: Graphic Online

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