Ethiopia Human Rights Council Rights of Non-Citizens Oct. 2012

This submission addresses developments in the human rights situation in Ghana, particularly with respect to non-citizens. It calls attention to the legal status of and conditions affecting Liberians living in the Buduburam refugee settlement in Ghana. During the last Universal Periodic Review in 2008, Ghana rejected only two recommendations, one of which urged Ghana to “[c]ontinue upholding the rule of law, raising public awareness of human rights standards, and fighting against discrimination, in particular against minority groups, immigrants, and children with disabilities.”

The Advocates notes with concern that Liberian refugees living in Ghana face discrimination with respect to employment, education, housing, and access to health care, as well as violations of their rights to health, food, wate
r, and education. The Advocates is concerned that Liberians may be selected for local integration on an arbitrary or discriminatory basis. The Advocates is also concerned that Liberians living in Ghana will become increasingly vulnerable to discrimination and other human rights violations after cessation. Moreover, there is a danger that Liberians—including those with legitimate asylum claims—will be deported without due process of law. The Advocates urges the Ghanaian Government to ensure that no Liberian is forcibly repatriated and to protect and promote the rights of all Liberians remaining in Ghana. At the end of 2011, 11,301 Liberian citizens were registered with UNHCR and the Ghana Refugee Board (GRB).

Since Ghana’s first Universal Periodic Review, Liberians living in the Buduburam settlement have faced many challenges. The cessation clause has been invoked effective 30 June 2012, meaning that Liberians in Ghana will no longer be deemed refugees after that date. Policies and practices of the Ghanaian government directly affect the lives of
Liberians, with respect to both living conditions and cessation-related issues.