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The United Nations Association of Ghana Commission for Women and Children Affairs of the United Nations Association of Ghana wish to use this medium to unilaterally condemn the lynching of a 90-year-old woman, which has brought dent on the international image of Ghana. The Commission   has   noticed   with   concern, increase in gross   abuse of women with spiritual attachment in Ghana, a phenomenon that results in such occurrences, such as the gruesome murder of the 90-year-old woman.

Even more  worrying  is  the  continuous  existence  and  operation  of  witches  camps  in certain parts of the country, despite being known to authorities. The Commission, which is an arm of the United Nations Association of Ghana, (the people’s movement of the United Nations), identifies that, the inherent dignity, equal and inalienable rights of  all members  of the human family  is the foundation of  freedom, justice and peace in the world, as identified by the UN Declaration on Human Rights. Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as adopted and signed to by member states of the United Nations (UN) states that “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person”. Member states in the same Charter also pledged to “promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom” among other things. Additionally, Chapter 5 of Ghana’s Constitution states that, “(1) The fundamental human rights   and freedoms   enshrined   in   this   chapter   shall   be   respected   and   upheld   by   the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary and all other organs of government and its agencies and, where applicable to them, by all natural and legal persons in Ghana, and shall be enforceable by the Courts as provided for in this Constitution. 2) Every person in Ghana, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinion, color, religion, creed or gender shall be entitled to the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual contained in this Chapter but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest.

Also, Article 13 of same chapter states that, (1) No person shall be deprived of his life intentionally except in the exercise of the execution of a sentence of a court in respect of a criminal offence under the laws of Ghana of which he has been convicted. The Commission is saddened about the inaction by successive governments in tackling the issue of witches’ camps in certain parts of the country, even though the atrocities and human rights abuses against women in these camps are very evident. Even more worrying is the activities of certain pastors, prophets and other spiritualists who abuse the rights of women and children in the name of spirituality in most cases on national   television   and   other   gatherings,   causing   social   hatred,   disunity,   anger   and pitching families against each other. 

The Commission therefore demands the following from the Ghana government, Policymakers and implementers and subsequent governments: That   there   should   be   a   legal   framework   making   these   witches   camps   and   its operations illegal, with stringent punitive regime.

Government should as a matter of urgency disband all witches and like camps across the country. 

That government through its related agencies builds shelters and places of abode for  the  aged   in   these  communities  and   helps   them  integrate   into   society   with guaranteed security. That government takes steps to regulate the activities of spiritualists and enforce human rights laws in those regard. The Commission sends condolences to bereaved family of the 90-year-old woman and call for a greater sense of brotherhood, unity, concern for each other and commitment towards the protection of each other’s human rights.

Elishama Fred Aggrey

Communication Director for
UNA-Ghana Commission for Women and Children Affairs


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