11 May 2018

Cameroon: Human Rights Commission - Encouraging Social Dialogue for Progress

This featured on the agenda of the 24th Ordinary Session of the Commission held in Yaounde on May 8, 2018 besides the follow-up of recommendations of the last session.

The National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms, NCHRF, on May 8, 2018 held its 24th Ordinary session. Presided at by its Chairperson, Dr. Chemuta Divine Banda, the agenda of the session centred on the adoption of the 2017 Activities Report and the report on the state of human rights in Cameroon of the NCHRF in 2017, examination and adoption of administrative and management accounts, follow up of the resolutions and recommendations of the 23rd ordinary session and the presentation of the 2019 draft budget of the Commission.

In a speech Dr. Chemuta Divine Banda, said the session is holding in a context where the country is grappling with security challenges. "We are holding this session amid national human rights challenges, paramount of which is upholding the right to security of persons manifested in internal and external displacement.

Security threats also lead to a degrading economic situation characterized by the inability of populations to circulate and undertake activities freely. Cameroon will be undergoing the Universal Periodic Review this May in Geneva and this requires the participation of all stakeholders in human rights in the country," he stated.

Concerning an overview of the human rights situation in the country, he stated that the statistics are worrisome and recommended the organisation of peaceful dialogue as a way forward. "When pirates and Boko Haram threatened the security of the country, the entire nation mobilised to fight the common enemy. Using violence to address internal conflict is not the best method because it rather leads to numerous deaths. Social dialogue should be used as a solution out of this crisis situation. Peaceful dialogue will help everyone understand the principles of careful planning and decentralisation," he said.

As regards the protection of human rights, the Commission treats complaints, initiates investigations on cases and conducts field visits. Prison visits were carried out in the Centre, East and Far North regions in the month of January. Dr. Chemuta Divine Banda regretted the fact the NCHRF is being denied access to some detention centres in Yaounde. This according to him hinders access to information.

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