Cameroon: Senate - Reformed Human Rights Bill Adopted

This was during a plenary sitting on July 5, 2019 chaired by the Senate President, Marcel Niat Njifenji.

Bill No 127/PJL/ SEN/2L relating to the establishment, organisation and functioning of the Cameroon Human Rights Commission (CHRC) was on July 5, 2019 adopted by the Senate during a plenary sitting chaired by the House President, Marcel Niat Njifenji in the presence of the Minister Delegate at the President in charge of Relations with Parliament, Bolvine Wakata. The adopted bill states that the Commission shall be an independent institution for consultation, monitoring, evaluation, dialogue, conciliation and deliberation in the promotion and protection of human rights in the country.

Going by the explanations given by the Minister Delegate to the Ministry of Justice, Jean de Dieu Momo who defended the bill before the Committee on Constitutional Laws prior to its adoption in plenary, the bill gives the Commission the responsibility to champion the course for the prevention of torture in all places of detention.

Explanatory notes on the bill indicate that the Commission which is a reformation of the existing National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms, shall amongst other duties in the promotion of human rights raise public awareness on various human rights topics including gender issues as well as the rights of vulnerable groups, advocate the improvement of the legal and institutional framework for human rights promotion and popularise human rights legal instruments.

As concerns human rights protection, the Commission shall contribute to strengthening the rule of law and combating impunity in the domain of human rights by handling petitions and denunciations of alleged human rights violations, monitoring the human rights situation and providing human rights advice and guidance to the population and authorities. In respect to the prevention of torture in places of detention, the Commission, according to the bill, shall carry out regular visits to all places of detention while equally initiating dialogue with authorities in charge of the administration and management of place of detention or any other authority.

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