HRC Summary - Cameroon

Six points of the summary are about education and one of them (point 33) deals explicitly with Human Rights education.

Excerpts of the summary established by the High Commissioner for Human Rights

9. CNDHL (Commission Nationale des Droits de l’Homme et des Libertés), says the strategy implemented by the State for people with disabilities aims at insuring their education, training and socio-professional integration through the creation of a special legal and institutional frame and several diverse supports.  CNDHL adds that the main challenge is in the actual implementation of all these measures, especially since Cameroon still has not ratified the 2006 Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, and since these persons lament discrimination, under-education, under-employment, non recognition of their problems in the development of policies, near absence of structures adapted to their condition, under-representation in decision taking bodies and poverty(12).

19. Franciscans International underlines that the phenomenon of street children in Cameroon is frightening (31), that the minimum age of admission to employment isworrying because the rules of Convention nr. 138 of the BIT, which Cameroon ratified in 2001, are not respected, and this very common situation has an influence on the education of the children who are victims of such practices (32). Franciscans International recommends the Government of Cameroon to take any measure necessary in order to abolish child labor (33) and prevent and fight child trafficking (34). FI also recommends the implementation of a national policy for an improved protection of the children of divorced couples by establishing, i.e., schools with psycho-social centers with the aim of detecting bad treatment of and discrimination-like practices against children in families (35).

20. CNDHL adds that the protection of the rights of the child in Cameroon is still teinted with many problems such as: infanticide, corruption of youngsters, indecent exposure in the presence of persons below 16 years of age, violence on children, kidnapping of minors, trafficking, exploitation, lack of schooling, in partticular for girls and disabled children, juvenile crime, social maladjustment, exclusion, female genital mutilations, street children, abandoned children, malnutrition and infant mortality (36).

33. With the help of other partners, CNDHL has prepared Pedagogical manual for Human Rights education at all levels of teaching, thinking of the implementation of the recommendations by the two UN Decades for Human Rights Education (1995-2004 and 2005-2014). Nevertheless, according to CNDHL, many challenges remain in matters of education in Cameroon, in particular: too little infrastructure in rural areas; high costs for school books; existence of compulsory additional fees such as fees for adhering to the pupils' parents associations (APE) (despite elementary education being for free); high costs for preparing the personal file for the preparation to official competitions and exams; absence of teachers in certain rural areas; budget owed preference given to boys over girls;  suspension of schooling of young girls because of early marriage (59).

34. Franciscans International underlines that in 2004 the Government of Cameroon has made elementary education free according to article 28 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, yet certain practices voluntarily or involuntarily ancouraged  by the Governement seem to go against this measure (60). Franciscans International adds that schools in Cameroon are ill-equipped in technical and didactic material and suffer from a lack of infrastructure, all of which causes overcrowding in school classes of up to 150 pupils per class (61). According to Franciscans International, despite legislation, pupils are not at all made to be closer to schools (62), and disabled children are ever more marginalized even though they should benefit from special help and an effective access to education (63). The school enlistening rate of girls compared to boys is still low, and the country still suffers from the preference given to educating the boys rather than the girls, especially in rural areas (64).

35. Franciscans International recommends the Government: to implement the recommendations of the UN Committee for the Rights of the Child concerning health, forceful marriage, child labor, children trafficking and children conflicting with the law (65); to actually implement free elementary education by eliminating unexpected expenses which influence the children's education (66); to adapt the competences and the role of the pupils' parents associations so that elementary school may actually be free (67); to accompany the buildinng of schools with the recruitment of a sufficient and well trained teaching body, and to insure the availability of needed material (68).

Read the summary by thee HCHR

(12)  CNDHL, p.5.

(31)  FI (Franciscans International), p.5, para.4.1.

(32)  FI, p.5, para.4.2.

(33)  FI, p.5, para.4.4.

(34)  FI, p.5, para.5.2.

(35)  FI, p.6, para.9.2.

(36)  CNDHL, p.5.

(59)  CNDHL, p.4.

(60)  FI, p.3, para.1.1.

(61) FI, p.3, para.1.2.

(62)  FI, p.3,para.1.3.

(63)  FI, p.3, para.1.4.

(64)  FI, p.3, para.1.5.

(65)  FI, p.3, para.1.8.

(66)  FI, p.3, para.1.9.

(67)  FI, p.3, para.1.10.

(68)  FI, p.3, para.1.11.