Universal Periodic Review – MEDIA BRIEF


Tuesday, 23 October 2012 (afternoon)

(Disclaimer: The following brief is intended for use of the information media and is not an official record.  The note provides a brief factual summary of the UPR Working Group meeting with the State under review and does not cover all points addressed.  An official summary of the meeting can be found in the Working Group report.)

State under review

Represented by 15-member delegation headed by Mr. Ebo Barton Odro, Deputy Attorney-General and
Deputy Minister for Justice of Ghana.


To access national report, compilation of UN information, and summary of stakeholders’ information, visit the Ghana page on UPR website.

Troika *

Angola, Qatar, Norway.

Opening statement by State under review

Few points raised in the  opening statement of State under review:
 (See full statement on the Ghana page on UPR website )

  • The obligation of the Government of Ghana to uphold human rights of it people was enshrined in the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana;
  • The Government accepted the recommendation of the Constitutional Review Commission to abolish the death penalty, which will be subjected to a referendum;
  • Ghana has established the National Council on Persons with Disability and has enacted the Mental Health Bill;
  • The Ministry of Women and Children (MOWAC) developed a national policy and plan of action to support the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act;
  • There was also a national survey underway to update data on the incidence and prevalence of domestic violence in the country; 
  • A number of training, sensitization and awareness raising programmes on domestic violence and discriminatory practices against women was also be carried out;
  • The MOWAC was working on a gender action plan to specifically address gender inequality that persisted;
  • Specialized courts have been set up at the High Courts to deal with human rights cases and a national Legal Aid Programme was created to provide legal aid for indigent persons including women;
  • Ghana has made significant progress in the health sector and in 2011 the Ghana AIDS Commission launched the National HIV Strategic Plan 2011-2015;
  • There has also been a steady increase in female enrolment in school;
  • A number of legislative measures have been taken to address instances of corruption in all its forms in the public sector;
  • Several measures have also been taken to improve the conditions in prisons and detention centres.


In total 76 States participated in the dialogue: 33 HRC members and 43 observers  (Statements available on the Ghana page on UPR website).

Positive achievements

Positive achievements noted by delegations included, among others:

  • The establishment up of the National Review Commission in 2009;
  • Admirable school enrolment rates, particularly of girl children;
  • Ghana’s achievement of MDGs, including the eradication of extreme poverty and the provision of universal primary education;
  • The ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;
  • The establishment of the Domestic Violence Secretariat in 2008;
  • Steps to combat HIV/AIDS and the establishment of the National HIV Strategic Plan 2011-2015.

Issues and Questions

Issues and questions raised by the Working Group included, among others:

  • Access to education, particularly girl children;
  • Steps to address and combat child labour
  • The practice of female genital mutilation;
  • Steps to combat acts of violence against women and domestic violence;
  • The respect of human rights of LGBT persons;
  • The abolition of the death penalty.


States participating in the dialogue posed a series of recommendations to Ghana. These pertained to the following issues, among others

  • The guarantee of free primary education for all, with a particular focus on vulnerable groups and girl children;
  • Measures to eliminate child labour and the implementation of a legal framework for prohibiting child labour and the full implementation of the Child Labour Monitoring System;
  • The prevention and elimination of human trafficking with a view of investigating and bringing perpetrators to justice and rehabilitating victims;
  • The implementation of the Domestic Violence Act, in view of investigations and accountability and measures to investigate, bring to trial and punish perpetrators of acts of violence against women;
  • The prevention and prosecution of female genital mutilation and steps to address accusation and discrimination in relation to witchcraft in the country;
  • Steps to protect women’s rights and their participation in political life;
  • Efforts to ensure the rights of people with disabilities were protected and the provision of a domestic legal framework in that regard;
  • The decriminalization of sexual activities between consenting adults and awareness raising in that regard and consideration of the recommendations in the report of the High Commissioner of Human Rights on sexual orientation and gender identity;
  • The adoption of the Freedom of Information Bill;
  • The establishment of a moratorium on the death penalty and eventual abolition;
  • Legal advice and assistance for all detainees and for people in need especially in rural areas and the improvement of prison and detention centre conditions; 
  • Ratification of human rights instruments:  the OPCAT, the second OP of the ICCPR, the OPs of the CRC on children in armed conflict and the sale of children, prostitution and pornography, and ILO Convention 189 on domestic workers.

Adoption of report of Working Group

The adoption of the report of the UPR Working Group on Ghana is scheduled to take place on Monday, 29 October 2012.

The troikas are a group of three States selected through a drawing of lots who serve as rapporteurs and who are charged with preparing the report of the Working Group on the country review with the involvement of the State under review and assistance from the OHCHR. 

Media contact: Rolando Gómez, Public Information Officer, OHCHR, + 41(0)22 917 9711, rgomez@ohchr.org.