To mark the International Day for Universal Access to Information on 28 September 2022, CHRI held a virtual forum to launch a compendium titled: ‘Implementing Anti-Human Trafficking Legislation: A Guide to Accessing Information through Right to Information Laws'. The aim of the compendium is to provide additional tool for anti-trafficking advocates to use right to information/ access to information (RTI/ ATI) laws in their countries to access relevant information, records/data that are created by public agencies in the cause of implementing the provisions of the Human Trafficking Act.
The virtual forum had the following objectives:
· To highlight the importance and value of RTI in the efforts to combat human trafficking
· To showcase the documents, data and records that are created by public institutions in their efforts to tackle human trafficking, which anti-trafficking advocates have the right to access under the RTI/ ATI law.
· To make the case for CSOs to constantly view their advocacy work through the RTI/ ATI lens which will help to strengthen and expand the right to information regime in their countries.
1) CHRI launched the compendium which is the first cross office research product, implemented with the support and involvement of all three offices. The compendium identifies the records/data/information that are held by specific public institutions in Ghana and Kenya and identifies whether those records /data/information fall within the scope of the RTI law in the country.
2) The compendium was launched by CHRI’s Africa Office Board Chair, Mr Sam Okudzeto who noted that with the compendium, anti-trafficking in Ghana and Kenya can have the tool to seek information that is needed to hold governments to account, while also ensuring the relevancy of their own programming efforts.
3) The external resource persons - Mr Eric Peasah, Founder/Director, Right to be Free (Ghana), and Winnie Mutevu, Programme Manager, HAART Kenya, and a member of the Commonwealth 8.7 Network (Kenya), who reviewed and provided comments on the compendium, commended CHRI’s work and noted that actors in the fight against trafficking in persons need to have access to information and data from relevant governmental and non-governmental organizations to be able to act.
4) The launch event received very positive feedback from the participants.
The compendium focuses on Ghana and Kenya, however, should funding be available, CHRI can apply similar analysis to other Commonwealth jurisdictions with RTI/ATI laws.