Monday, July 24, 2006
I have been having a lot of fun recently however. There has suddenly been an influx of interns, in totall there is about 6 of us now, when I started I was the only intern so suddenly I have been having very entertaining lunch breaks as we all (interns) share our experiences in coping with the new life here in Ghana.
Well, my internship is about to end officially on July 31st. However, I will still be hanging out in Ghana most likely still coming to CHRAJ and helping out if needed. This will give me the opportunity to do further travels within Ghana or perhaps even to other West African countries, we shall see how events play out.
I will be required at the end of my internship to turn in a report to Mr. Lartey my supervisor, I have started working on this report and will be turning it in soon as it is completed.
Thursday, July 06, 2006
So back to work.
Since its inception, the Anti-Corruption Unit of CHARJ, now Anti-Corruption Department has been investigating allegations of Corruption and Abuse of power among public officials as a way of protecting the Ghanaian community against any form of corruption.
In line with this policy the Anti-Corruption Department held its pilot training program on Corruption for Anti-Corruption Officers and Investigators from Thursday 15th June to Friday 16th June 2006. The Training Program on Corruption aimed to: Increase knowledge in helping to identify Corruption, Strengthen the Capacity of the Anti-Corruption Department in handling allegation of Corruption, Consider new strategies to achieve the vision of a corrupt-free environment, Strengthen the coalition of individuals and organizations against corruption, Exchange information and ideas between Professionals, Management and Investigators. I have been developing the report for the Anti-Corruption Training, I should have it completed by the end of the seventh week which will be Friday July 7th.
I was able to visit the courts with Deputy Director of the enforcement Unit Mr. Annan. The session was uneventfull since we were in attendance just to get a date to appear in court again, it was interesting however, to see the proceedings and watch how the lawyers interacted with themselves and the Judge. The old British style court system was all apparent; the Lawyers with their black robes and funny looking white wigs, it was a site worth noting. I managed to get in a few pictures from my camera without being caught. i beleive I would have been held in contempt of the court of I had been caught (The judge did not look very amused), my coleague was given the contempt warning she was told if she laughed in court again she will get the full reward. I don't think I want to know what the full reward is. Altogether this brief trip to the courts was pretty amusing to say the least.
As part of the capacity building frenzy, the CHRAJ's Legal and Investigative Department held its own training, I was slightly releived when I found out I did not have to write a report for this training (I had not even finished the last report). In any case I must say I learn't a lot of legal jargon. Prior to the training we were given decisions on cases to read and I must say I had to read over the decisions at least three times to understand the language. Of-course it was the English language but obviously a different kind of English (Oh lord why do Lawyers love to confuse normal people????). Anyway I figured it out (I guess I graduated from college for a reason).
Well it is now the seventh week. I am still waiting to hear from the Attorney Generals Office so I can finally make my visit to them. I will start working on the internal bulletin for the month of July. I worked on a project for Ms. Bossman realting to the Effectiveness of National Human Rights Institutions; she is using some information I gathered to do a presentation at an ECOWAS (Ecnonomic Community of West African States) meeting on the Effectiveness of such institutions drawing on the Ghanaian example.
I have nearly completed the research on prostitution and will hope to present my findings to Ms. Bossman next week.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
I must say that the work load these two weeks have been quit heavy, however, I am not complaining I am always welcoming new work and experiences, I do not wish to get to any point in this experience where I am scrambling for work to do, so I am enjoying the recent work load.
I am yet to visit the Attorney Generals Office, however, I was able to draft an introduction letter which was signed by Ms. Bossman. I am hoping to be at the Attorney Generals Office during the week of June 19th to follow up on the signing and ratification of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention Against Torture and gather as much information as possible regarding the process.
On June 7th and 8th I was able to sit in at the Richard Anane hearing. This is an ongoing panel hearing involving allegations of corruption, abuse of office and conflict of interest against Dr. Richard Anane, Minister for Road Transport. Dr. Anane was unable to attend the first day of the hearing he was able to make it the second day and was questioned along with two of his co-workers by CHRAJ, investigations continue and final decisions on the case will be made in July.
I have also been following up on Ghana’s reporting procedures to certain UN documents, as a Human Rights agency CHRAJ role is important in not only getting the government to sign and ratify documents, but to fulfil its reporting obligations. I have also been working on an internal news bulletin which is a forum where all CHRAJ staff can exchange information about activities at the Commission, the bulletin is complete is ready to be distributed to all regional offices.
Acting Commissioner Ms. Bossman will be travelling out of the country and has assigned to me a research project on Prostitution. There have been recent issues in
I also had the opportunity to attend a training session for the CHRAJ Anti-Corruption Department. This training is designed to increase knowledge on corruption and how it manifests and also to enhance and strengthen the capacity of the department in investigating such allegations. This two day retreat started on Thursday June 15th and ended on Friday June 16.
Monday, June 05, 2006
My second week at CHRAJ was busy yet rewarding. On 29th May, 2006, Mr. Jean Baptiste Niyizunigero, the Africa Program Officer for the Association for the Prevention of Torture and Mr. Philippe Tremblay Optional Protocol to the UN Convention Against Torture Campaign Co-ordinator, arrived for a meeting at the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) main Office Accra. A meeting I was very surprised to be allowed to sit in. The purpose of their visit was to promote
My participation involved observing the meeting and taking notes which was to be used in a later report. The report, which I completed the same day was handed over to Mr. Lartey my assistant supervisor for proof reading and then later to Ms. Bossman, my supervisor.
During the week I was introduced formally to the work of the Legal Registry and research departments. I have been able to read over some of the CHRAJ cases and final decisions. This is in preparation for my own experience with live cases.
On Wednesday, May 31st, Mr. Tremblay and Mr. Niyizunigero arrived again at CHRAJ for a panel discussion with local and international NGO’s,
I was have been assigned to work on a research project on Children’s Rights with anemphasize on Education and Healthcare. I would be spending majority of my time next week hopefully working on this project.