How can Ghana avoid risk losing it's annual 36 million pound development aid from Britain? Background
Britain is using it's international development funds to reward countries with good human rights records. Ghana is under review for possible cuts in it's 36 Million pound annual aid due to the way that the NDC Government members and ministers have spectacularly mishandled the debate over 'gay rights' and failed to repeal the 19th Century colonial law that remains part of the Ghana Criminal Code on 'unnatural carnal knowledge.' That law originated under Queen Victoria, and imposes prison sentences for penile penitration in any oriface other than a vagina. Most Commonwealth countries repealed it decades ago. It still remains in Ghana's Criminal Code.
Consequences of this bad law
The law is rightly seen as an outrage against our right to privacy in the bedroom. This Victorian era law it is used today in a totally discriminatory way with prosecutions only ever against gay men. Further, the law is serving no public interest, diverting scarce police and judicial resources on a victimless crime. By its mere presence in the Criminal Code of Ghana and its long history of abuse in Ghana, this obnoxious law runs counter to UN initiatives against homophobia and the initiatives Kofi Anan instigated when he was General Secretary of the UN. All these factors, accumulate and tarnish Ghana's otherwise good human rights reputation. The international consequences, apart from puting Ghana's considerable aid funding at risk, also highlights to the world a nasty side to Ghana, a lack of social inclusiveness that most people expect of governments today and this has in turn a negative impact on the attractiveness of Ghana as an investment and tourist destination. David Cameron's campaign for gay rights in Ghana and other Commonwealth Countries has put the international spotlight on Ghana. All these issues beg the question: Is it all worth it?
What is nasty about it?
The law has been applied by police in Ghana only against gay and bi-sexual men, often after 'confessions' beaten from suspects. The law is frequently used by blackmailers and criminals to shield serious assaults and robbery against members of the GLBT community in Ghana. The Government has had a head-in-the-sand attitude to the policy conundrums created by this unjust and stupid law. Isn't it time for a reality check?