NGO report

Cameroun: NGO Report on the Implementation of the ICCPR

By Gender Empowerment and Development / Association de Lutte contre les Violences faites aux Femmes / Centre for Civil and Political Rights / Solidarité Pour la Promotion des Droits de l’Homme et des Peuples / Association pour la défense de l’homosexualité / Syndicat National des Journalistes du Cameroun, on 1 January 2010

Cameroon, with a population of approximately 18 million, has a multiparty system of government, with the current ruling party Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) in power since it was created in 1985. The president retains the power to control legislation or to rule by decree. Although the civilian authorities do generally maintain effective control of the security forces, security forces sometimes act independently of government authority. Authorities arbitrarily arrest and detain citizens for different reasons. Among those arbitrarily arrested and detained are human rights defenders and other activists and persons not carrying government-issued identity cards. There are incidents of prolonged and sometimes incommunicado pretrial detention and infringement on privacy rights. The government restricts freedom of speech, press, assembly, and association, and harasses journalists and human rights defenders. Other problems include widespread official corruption, societal violence, discrimination against women, the trafficking of children and girls, and discrimination against homosexuals. The government restricts worker rights and activities of independent labor organizations. The diverse cultural beliefs and ethnic groups promote to a large extend discrimination against and violations of women and young people, widows and the divorced. This report specifically highlights violations in 2008 and 2009, with a few violations in other years.