Home » Human Rights @75: CSOs Laud Cameroon Gov’t’s Efforts but Want More

Human Rights @75: CSOs Laud Cameroon Gov’t’s Efforts but Want More

by Atlantic Chronicles

Some civil society organisations, drawn from the conflict-rocked Anglophone regions of Cameroon, have applauded the initiative taken by the government to foster human rights in the country but want more.

This was during a two-day session in Buea on April 19 and 20.

The session, which was still part of commemorating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that clocked 75 last year, was called “Human Rights 75 Initiative Outcome: Feedback Session for Cameroonian Civil Society Organisations.”

During the commemoration in August last year, the same CSOs made a series of proposals to the Cameroon government on how human rights can be strengthened in the country.

The UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner in Central Africa, as a champion of the initiative, took the proposal to the government.

After deliberation with the Minister of External Relations, the Presidency of the Republic selected three and pledged to implement them by 2030.

So, the United Nations Human Rights Central Africa Regional Office needed to update those who made the proposals.

That is why the feedback session was held in Buea. There, the 25 human rights organisations committed, through an annual action plan, to implement actions to support and follow up on the implementation of those pledges made by the Cameroon government.


Cameroonian Civil Society Organisations stakeholders and UN Human rights officials after deliberations

Nsono Josephine, founder of the PEARL Foundation, was one of the human rights defenders who took part in the session.

She said Cameroon had had recommendations from Canada, other countries, and many organisations on augmenting human rights practices, especially ratifying global conventions that protect and promote human rights in the country.

“So it was a privilege for us to discuss the feedback that Cameroon pledged during this celebration. Cameroon had three pledges, including ratifying all global conventions that relate to the protection of human rights in Cameroon,” she said, adding that from the instrument in the pledges, they were going back satisfied because they have developed an action plan that will be rolled out by CSOs specifying their interventions on the promotion and protection of human rights.

According to Beatrice Titanji, founder of the Women’s Guild for Empowerment and Development, the two-day event gave them a kind of forward for the work they have been doing in the community in that they are strategising to work in partnership with many CSOs and essentially to work with the government on policy implementation, the rights of human beings, gender equality, and all stakeholders.

During their session, they devised an action plan of six points on how to better foster the implementation of human rights in the country.

“The six-point action plan that we have taken is not something that can be done tomorrow. So as time goes on, we have given ourselves four years. We are going to do regular retreats and meetings to strategise more on how to hold hands and work efficiently with the government,” said Beatrice Titanji.

So the CSO agreed to meet monthly online and physically after a quarter of a year to review and track the implementation of the action plan they took.

“I am so delighted by the commitment, enthusiasm, and engagement with which the civil society organisations reviewed the pledges, developed the action plan, and supported and monitored the implementation of these pledges,” said Kiven Fonyuy, Human Rights Officer at the United Nations Human Rights Central Africa Regional Office.

This kind of engagement and commitment, he said, “is something you don’t see everywhere.”

He said the CSOs in the Northwest and Southwest deserve credit for ensuring that they work on very legal grounds.

“I can only say thank you to the CSOs that gathered here these two days to review the Human Rights 75 pledges made by the government of Cameroon and chat about a way forward for supporting and monitoring the implementation of these pledges,” he added.

By Njodzeka Danhatu 

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