Accra, Nov. 30, GNA - The leadership of the Citizens’ Movement Against Corruption (CMaC) has said that it was joining the Right to Information Coalition’s‘ for the observance of its RTIRed Friday’ campaign to demand passage of the Right to Information (RTI) bill.
The coalition has declared, Friday November 30, 2018, and every other Friday before Christmas as RTIRed Friday against the delay by Parliament in passing the Right to Information (RTI) Bill.
The right to information is a fundamental human right guaranteed by the country’s 1992 Constitution and recognized as a right under International Conventions on Human rights.
The bill will give substance to Article 21 (1) (f) of the Constitution, which states, “All persons shall have the right to information subject to such qualifications and laws as are necessary for a democratic society”.
Mr Edem Senanu, Convener of CMaC, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said the coalition would hit the street and visit Parliament on selected days within this period to press home the demands.
He noted that many international legal instruments which Ghana was a signatory to including Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights state that the fundamental right of freedom of expression encompasses the freedom “to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
Again, he recalled that the UN Sustainable Development Goals’ target 16.(10) enjoined member nations to “ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms in accordance with national legislation and international agreements.”
Mr Senanu remarked that it was the right of the public to have access to public information, however, successive governments had failed to give legal backing to their promises to pass the Right to Information Bill into law, two decades on.
“As Ghana’s choice of democratic governance requires an active participation by all in the governance process, thereby making the right to information particularly relevant, it behoves on us as citizens to join hands to demand the passage of a credible Bill. It is only when those who are to participate in governance are well informed that they can contribute meaningfully,” said.
He called on all Ghanaians across the country to wear anything RED on all these Fridays to demonstrate to Members of Parliament to resolve to the passage of the RTI Bill.
The Civil Societies coalition includes OccupyGhana, the Media Coalition on RTI and all member organizations of the Coalition on the Right to Information, Ghana, including the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) Africa Office, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), PenPlusBytes and SEND-Ghana.
The others are, Civil Society Platform on SDGs, Alliance for Women in Media Africa (AWMA), Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC), Human Rights Advocacy Centre (HRAC), POS Foundation, Centre for Employment of Persons with Disabilities (CEPD), Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Coalition of NGOs in Health, Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), Legal Resources Centre, Media Foundation for West Africa and Parliamentary Network Africa (PNAfrica).