Justice Emile Short calls for strict enforcement of laws

Julius K. Satsi, GNA

Accra, Sept. 23, GNA –
Justice Emile Francis Short, the Former Commissioner of the Commission on Human
Rights of Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has called on state institutions to
ensure the enforcement of laws in the country to promote fairness.

He said although the
country had ratified 51 Conventions of the International Labour Organisation
(ILO) and had a number of well written laws, the problem has been the
enforcement of the laws.

Justice Short was
speaking at a public lecture at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public
Administration (GIMPA) on the topic: “Human Rights in Business” organised by
the Legal Resources Centre and the States of the Netherlands as part of the
‘Promoting Human Rights Awareness in Business’ project.

He said, for instance,
although the country has a Disability Act, little has been done to achieve
equality for all persons adding that the country could enforce the laws that
has been beautifully drafted by paying attention and will-power to sacrifice.

Justice Short said
during his tenure of office as the CHRAJ boss, he did the best to ensure
implementation of the laws under his jurisdiction even if there was the need to
step some toes.

He said many public
servants were unwilling to pay the price of sacrifice to discharge their duties
with regards to the full implementation and enforcement of the laws in the

Justice Short urged
the media to activate their roles in creating much awareness on human rights
and the need for citizenry to adhere to their responsibility and demand for
their rights as well.

He said human rights
were the standards or conditions that were necessary for living a decent life
with the basic entitlements that protect the ability to satisfy basic human

Justice Short said
businesses in the country impacts on human rights both positively and
negatively, identifying the positive impacts as employment, skills development,
contributions to economic development at local and national levels.

He identified the
adverse impacts of businesses on human rights as interference with the rights
to health, property, poor standards of living, exposure to environmental
contaminants, as well as resettlement without adequate consultation and/or

Justice Short urged
the state to provide adequate assistance to business enterprises to assess and
address the heightened risks of abuse, paying special attention to both
gender-based and sexual violence.

He said the country
must deny access to public support and services for a business enterprise that
is involved with gross human rights abuses and refuses to corporate in
addressing the situation.

Justice Short said for
the country to achieve human rights in business, the state must ensure that the
current policies, legislation, regulations and enforcement measures of
businesses were effective in addressing the risk of involvement in gross human
rights abuses.

He urged corporate
entities to respect human rights as espoused in the International Bill of Human
Rights and Principles concerning fundamental rights set out in the
International labour Organisation’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and
Rights at work.

Justice Short said
there is the need for greater awareness by all of the negative impact business
operations can have on violation of the human rights of the citizenry as, for
instance, enumerated in the findings of CHRAJ’s mining report.

He said there is need
for greater commitment of companies in the area of human rights and called for
the need to move from principles to practice.


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