The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) on Monday opened the 2012 Human Rights and Integrity Camp for Schools in Accra to educate students on human rights, peace and democracy.
The annual camp, the second in the series, is being attended by 100 students from 50 selected schools nation-wide for five days on the theme: “The Youth as Ambassadors for Social Change”.
Ms Lauretta Vivian Lamptey, Commissioner, CHRAJ, in a speech read for her by Mr Joseph Whittal, a Deputy Commissioner, CHRAJ, said participants were also members of human rights and integrity clubs in their respective schools, who were selected with the assistance of the Ministry of Education, a principal stakeholder of the camp with DANIDA as the major sponsor.
She explained that, the camp had been fashioned as a forum for participants to “converge, brainstorm, discuss and learn about fundamental human rights issues, salient to grooming students into the desired agents of change in schools and communities”.
Participants would also be prepared towards the acquisition of soft skills such as self-esteem, assertiveness, respect, non-discrimination and we-feeling attitudes.
Ms Lamptey said in line with CHRAJ’s public education function, Article 218(f) of the 1992 Constitution mandates the Commission “To educate the public as to human rights and freedom by such means as the Commissioner may decide, including publications, lectures and symposia”.
She said the Commission was committed to engage school children as agents of change in the advancement of human rights and integrity issues to gain pre-eminence in the country in conformation to CHRAJ’s mandate as enshrined in the Constitution.
The Commissioner said the Commission therefore decided to organise a pilot camp for 10 senior high schools from the Greater Accra and Eastern Regions in 2011 and a follow-up on that camp recorded significant improvements in the lives of participants who had developed the zeal to respect, promote and protect their own rights and freedoms as well as that of others, especially their classmates and family.
She expressed hope that participants would serve as true human rights ambassadors to affect their friends, family and community members positively to uphold the human rights values that “we hope for”. “Let’s continue to work assiduously to develop a culture of human rights in the entire Ghanaian society,” Ms Lamptey added.
Ms Bernice Naana Biney, Director General, Ghana Education Service(GES) in a speech read for her by Ms Bernice Juliet Adu, Assistant Director, at the GES Secretariat commended CHRAJ for the initiative in support of the GES to help develop the child holistically.
She said the GES appreciated the fact that CHRAJ was committed to building the capacity of students to understand, appreciate and uphold human rights principles, values and integrity, and urged the youth to serve as a powerful agents of change “Who should actively work together to find solutions to the present-day problems in order to create a better future”.
Ms Glora Adona, a student of Bolgatanga Girls High School told the Ghana News Agency that she expected to learn more on human rights issues and become a true agent of change at her school and community upon her return.
Among the participating schools are Presbyterian Boys Senior High School, Legon, Greater Accra Region, Adventist Girls Senior High School, Ntonso, Ashanti region, Wesley Girls Senior High School, Cape Coast, Central Region, Sunyani Senior High School, Brong Ahafo Region, Ghana Secondary Technical School, Takoradi, Western and Nkwanta Senior High School, Volta Region.
Others are Nifa Senior High School, Adukrom Eastern Region, Bole Senior High School, Northern Region, Notre Dame Seminary Senior High School, Upper East and Eromon Senior High School, Nandom, Upper West Region.
Topics to be discussed include “Human Rights in Ghana: History, Achievements, Challenges and the Way Forward”, Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms, Principles and Values”, “Gender Equality”, “The Rights and Responsibilities of Children as well as “Human Rights and Culture”.
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