Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (Ghana)

The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative in Ghana works for access to justice particularly for those in pretrial detention.

Although the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative is a global organisation, it has an office an Africa office in Accra, Ghana, which works predominantly on justice issues.

At the CHRI Africa office, the focus is on improving and promoting human rights in Africa. CHRI opened its Africa Office in 2001. Since then, CHRI Africa has quickly evolved into a strong NGO and an important part of the struggle for human rights in Ghana with staff, as well as a vast network of volunteers and interns.

Both individually and in partnership with other organization, CHRI Africa has upheld its mandate using a range of different methods. Although CHRI is interested in all aspects of human rights, CHRI Africa is focused on three main areas concerning human rights: Right to Information, Access to Justice and Human Rights Advocacy.

This work includes providing expert advice and advocacy for individuals and the representation and articulation of human rights issues in court, the media and communities. CHRI Africa also holds an observer status from the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

In January 2009, the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative received a grant from the Australian Government’s Human Rights Small Grants Scheme to conduct awareness and advocacy campaigns across five regions in Ghana on the Rights of Arrested Persons in Ghana.

The CHRI Africa Office has also undertaken a project to establish Justice Centers in Ghana.The mission of these Centers is to assist impoverished persons who have been arrested. CHRI enhances the availability of legal personnel to such people upon arrest. CHRI trains both lawyers and law students (pre-trial advocates) so that they are able to provide pro bono legal services to people immediately upon their arrest and educate them about their rights.

Pre-trial advocates visit police stations according to a rotation approved by the Program Officer to provide legal advice to suspects and arrested persons. They assist in obtaining bail for suspects, assist with the writing of statements, conduct relevant follow-ups and provide general legal advice. In addition, the advocates monitor violations of rights of detainees and prepare reports on any findings.

CONTACT: 

Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative – Africa Office:
House No. 9 Samora Machel Road
Asylum Down
Box CT 6136 Accra, Ghana
Telephone: 233 0302 971170
Fax: 233 0302 244819
E-mail: chriafrica@humanrightsinitiative.org

Justice Centres:

Accra Office: 233 0302 971170
Kumasi Office: 289 953 2132

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