A platform of Cameroonian civil society organizations for the promotion and protection of the rights of the child, Saw the day and Mr. ENAMA Leon Bertrand, lawyer, Cameroonians Child rights activist, was elected as President.
Yaoundé, Cameroon, 17 July 2015. About twenty leaders and representatives of the Cameroonian civil society organizations for the promotion and protection child` rights, as well as independent activists met in Yaoundé under the auspices of “ Cameroon Child Rights Civil Society Organizations Network” (CAM-CRIN), a platform of Cameroonian civil society organizations for the promotion and protection of rights of the child.
After having reviewed the progress made in the legislative areas and implementing policies aimed at the protection of children in all sectors of activity in accordance with the two legal instruments ratified by Cameroon including, the United Nations Convention on the rights of the child (CRC) and the African Charter on rights and welfare of the child (CADBE). The participants, however, had reservations on the improvement of the overall situation of children, given the mismatch between the needs and the resources allocated for children. They are also concerned about the lack of interest in monitoring the implementation of the provisions of these two instruments, as well as poor dissemination and implementation of the recommendations by treaty bodies.
Besides capacity building, participants did not only want more collaboration and collective action among CSOs, but more coordination of promotional activities and the protection of children's rights in Cameroon.
The Constitutive general Assembly held two preparatory meetings, on the six (06) and thirteen (13) of July 2015 respectively in the conference room of the National Commission for the rights of man and freedoms (CNDHL). According M.ENAMA Leon Bertrand, President, the context and the process of the creation of the CAM-CRIN, comes from the lack of a CSOs platform for the promotion and protection of the rights of the child in Cameroon, he recalled that it was after the organization of five (05 ) Capacity building workshops for civil society organizations, officials of Public Administrations, the National Commission of Human Rights and Freedom and parliamentarians in 2014 on several themes on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights by the United Nations Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa ( CNUDHD -AC) it was recommended that Civil Society organizations promoting and protecting human rights should establish or develop a thematic networks.
Thus, it was on May 16, 2014. CSOs gathered in Limbe by CNUDHD -AC decided to create a platform for CSOs on the Rights of the Child. . This commitment was reinforced on the consultation day with civil society organizations on the development of a strategy for monitoring the recommendations of November 6 the same year by the CNDHL. The organization of five (05) CSOs Capacity building workshops on trafficking and smuggling of human beings by Plan Cameroon and the Embassy of France triggered the calling and holding of such meeting.
The Constitutive Assembly permitted members to amend and adopt the constitution of the platform whose general objective was to ensure the promotion and protection of the rights of the child; and specifically, will be for members to create a framework for the Exchange of experiences, observation, dialogue, consultation, consultation, coordination, advocacy, collective action, building capacity and collaboration between the civil society organizations , promote research , education for all, maternal, adolescent and child health - prepare alternative and/or complementary civil society reports on the implementation of child rights - Follow the implementation of the recommendations of treaty bodies to improve compliance , protection of children's rights, create international , regional and national awareness and give recommendations to organ trafficking, organize and support child victims of violence and abuse.
For this to function well, a team of leaders were elected to the Management Board of the Platform for the term of three years. Mr. ENAMA Leon Bertrand, “IDAY Cameroun Network”, member of the Board and Representative of the Pan-African movement for children «Africa wide movement for Children" for Central Africa,lawyer; children's rights activist was unanimously elected President . Followed by the Secretary General Ms. TCHOKOUAFFI TCHEUDJI Colette, planner and president of Groupe d’Actions pour les Personnes Handicapées ( GAPPH ) ; Mr. NKULU ATANGANA Jean Pierre Loïc, PhD in Political Science and Executive Director of Children rights Cameroon ( CRC ) was elected Deputy Secretary General; Miss ADA Bertha Manuela,lawyer,expert in gender and women's human rights , also Executive Director of women in Development ( WID ) was acclaimed as Secretary of Administration and Finance . The program coordinator was Miss NGAH Sabine Natasha, Sociologist and expert in gender and women's rights, representative and member of the Steering Committee of the Cameroon NGO Coalition for the Rights of the Child (COCADE).Ms. MOTO ZEH Catherine, General Education Teacher ( PLEG ) , expert in Human Rights , President of EQUITAS –Cameroun, General Secretary of “Ecole instrument de la paix” ( EIP-Cameroun ) and Mr. ABANDA NGON Georges , Psychologist , editor, researcher and National Coordinator of the Cameroon Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect ( CASPCAN ) were elected councilors by acclamation.
Members of the CAM- CRIN pledged to work more closely together and with other local, national, regional and international partners to join the Cameroon government in its various commitments to improve on the rights and well being of children in Cameroon.
According to Mr. ENAMA Leon Bertrand, «change and progress for the well being of Cameroon’s children will not come from themselves; we must mobilize to ensure that it occurs. The reason why CAM- CRIN was initiated was that CSOs should come together and take collective action to support the government in order to respect its commitments towards the children.
At the end of the general assembly meeting, the president of the CAM- CRIN shared some pressing concerns including: the development of alternative reports from civil society on the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Child Rights (CRC) and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC) for the period 2010-2015 and dissemination of recommendations that will be derived from Cameroon’s periodic reports for the above period. He invited civil society members present to act in a collective solidarity to promote the best interests of the child in Cameroon. « CAM- CRIN according to him is an advocate voice of children in Cameroon if we present ourselves as a unified voice » he said all these in his closing remarks in the constituent assembly held in Yaoundé.