The facilitators of the Justice For All Program, the POS Foundation, have gained international recognition at the just ended World Justice Forum held in the Hague, Netherlands, from the 30th of May to 3rd June 2022.
The World Justice Forum is the premier international event for the rule of law where global and community leaders – from an array of sectors and interests share insights, explore strategies, and develop solutions for advancing justice, opportunity, and peace.
The Executive Director, Mr. Jonathan Osei Owusu, of the POS Foundation made a video presentation on the Organization’s role as facilitator of the ‘Justice For All Program’ (JFAP) being implemented in Ghana. During the presentation, the he highlighted the impact of the program in contributing to the reduction of Ghana’s remand prisoner population from 33% as at 2007 to 9.5% in 2022.
Making reference to the fact that Kenya had come to understudy the program in Ghana, and is implementing their own (similar) model known as ‘All For Justice’ the Executive Director touched on the replicability of the program in other countries and adoption “as a model to decongest Africa’s congested prisons.”
He also touched on the use of technology to complement the stalled activities of the Program during the Covid-19 pandemic. He pointed out that with the aid of technology, the JFAP has been able to set up virtual Courts to adjudicate remand prisoner cases from respective prisons and that this ingenuity had contributed to the feat of no Covid-19 case recorded in any of Ghana’s traditional prisons.
The Foundation battled it out with other organisations within the Access to Justice category for the award.
On the final day of the forum, presentations by the various finalists were assessed. In awarding the 5 winners out of the 30 finalist, and according to the World Justice Challenge criteria, requirements and votes, the 5 winners were selected from India, Nigeria, Ghana, Cambodia and the United States of America.
The POS Foundation was declared winner of the World Justice Challenge Alumni Award and among the top 5 overall winners.
Upon receiving the award, Mr. Jonathan Osei Owusu, during his speech highlighted the impact the “Justice For All Program”(JFAP) project has made despite the numerous challenges and dedicated the award to all prisoners in Ghana. He then thanked the Chief Justice of Ghana, His Lordship Justice Kwasi Enin-Yeboah, for the privilege given the organisation to serve as facilitator for the program and commended the efforts of the JFAP Steering Committee made up of the Judicial Service, the Ghana Prisons and Police Service, the Attorney-General’s Office, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the Ghana Legal Aid Commission and Civil Society.
“World Justice has put a spotlight on us and so we dedicate this award to all prisoners back home, the Justice For All” (JFAP) steering committee and once again to my team, for the little work we’ve been able to do. What baffles us is reducing the remand population – pre-trial prison population from 33% to currently 9.5% in Ghana and that is what we are happy for. Thank you.” he said.
Winners for World Justice Challenge, 2022.
Cambodia Bridges to Justice Organisation received the World Justice Challenge Access to Justice Award. Their work was to ensure access to legal aid and represent people in the appeals court.
Red Dot Foundation from India received the World Justice Challenge’s Equal Rights Award. Their intervention known as “The Safety App Platform” has exposed sexual and gender based violence that went unreported.
Asylum Connect, now identified as (@weareinreach) received the World Justice Challenge Data for Justice Prize. Their app provided LGBTQ+ people who flee persecution with vital legal aid and support.
The POS Foundation from Ghana received the World Justice Challenge Alumni Award. This award recognized the “Justice For All” project which addressed prison overcrowding and decongestion in Ghana. The award was based on votes from previous World Justice Challenge winners and finalists.
Finally, the World Justice Challenge Anti- Corruption Award went to Transparence ITng. Their intervention monitored cases of corruption in Nigeria and ensured that gaps in the fight against corruption was addressed.
About The World Justice Challenge
The World Justice Challenge is a global competition which brings together selected organizations all over the world to share, recognize and honor their hard work and life impacting interventions in the human rights, equality and non-discrimination, anti-corruption and open governance, and access to justice space. This is to promote good practice in high impact projects and policies that protects and advance the rule of law.
The winning projects criteria for this year addressed structural inequalities, and governance, weakness in access to Justice, anti-corruption and open government, equal rights and non – discrimination. After about 305 applicants were received from 118 countries from all over the world, 30 finalists were selected from which 5 winners were awarded. The organizations demonstrated impact based expansion in their various fields and while showing strong prospects for replication and expansion of their projects in other regions/countries.
From David Afum, Kumasi