Thu 9 Feb 17
A human rights champion from Ghana is the first of five University of Essex graduates up for British Council Alumni Awards.
Isaac Annan is being recognised for using his experience of studying in the UK to make a positive contribution to the protection and promotion of human rights in relation to Ghana's Ministry of Justice and Attorney General's Department
He will find out if he’s won the prestigious Social Impact category of the Ghanaian awards at a ceremony on 11 February.
Isaac Annan graduated from Essex’s Human Rights Centre in 2005 with an MA Theory and Practice of Human Rights, and is now Director and Chief Investigator, Human Rights Department, at the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice Ghana.
Speaking about his time studying at Essex, Isaac said: “I had the rare privilege of being taught and supervised by lecturers and professors of international repute. The blend of theory and practice, especially the mechanisms for implementing human rights at both international and regional levels, shaped and assisted my understanding regarding practical implementation of human rights in Ghana.
“The UK is endowed with a multicultural study environment which I found very useful. It enriched my appreciation of the peculiarity of cultural values and their impact on promoting and protecting human rights in diverse socio-cultural contexts.”
In his role at the Commission in Ghana Isaac has monitored the implementation of human rights programmes, designed public education programmes targeted at the most marginalised groups in rural areas, and served as technical adviser to state departments including the Ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs.
Most recently he chaired the launch of the Advocacy Toolkit for Abolition of Death Penalty in West Africa which assists the media, civil society and activists working to end capital punishment.
The British Council Alumni Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of alumni and showcase the impact and value of a UK higher education. The winners and finalists are leaders in their fields who have used their experience of studying in the UK to make a positive contribution to their communities, professions and countries.
For the second year running Essex has punched above its weight, with its five finalists making it the highest-ranking non-Russell Group university based on number of finalists. The five 2017 Essex graduates are among 148 finalists, from more than 1,200 applications and representing 65 UK universities, attending ceremonies around the world in the coming weeks.