The Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has flawed the processes being used by city authorities in carrying out ongoing demolition exercises across the country.
In recent times, the Ashaiman, Tema and Accra Metropolitan Assemblies have pulled down hundreds of structures despite heated protests by their occupants.
According to CHRAJ, although some structures are erected on waterways, city Authorities need to exercise restraint since most of the demolitions amount to forced eviction under the International Covenant of Economic and Social Rights, which Ghana has ratified.
In an interview with Citi News, Commissioner of CHRAJ Emile Short mentioned that some conditions that have to be considered before such evictions include adequate consultation with the persons affected, and the provision of alternative resettlements in safe and appropriate locations.
CHRAJ is also urging the government and relevant institutions to provide acceptable compensation and resettlement packages to the victims in cases where the state authorities have consented to the construction and occupation of the so-called illegal structures.
“Those structures should never have been allowed to be built in the first place. Those who have the responsibility to ensuring that people do not build in the wrong places, should not sit down unconcerned and allow these structures to be built and completed before taking steps to demolish them” he said.
Mr. Short said occupants must be given the opportunity to challenge the decision to demolish their structures since some of them often claim to have permits and insist that their buildings are not on waterways.
“We also take the view that even where structures have to be demolished, care should be taken to preserve and protect the property of the individuals who occupy these structures. So we think that it is wrong for some of these demolitions to take place at dawn in the absence of the occupants” he added.