Promoting Children's Rights Against
In Cameroon, children are victims of all forms of abuse and neglect including trafficking, bondage, sexual violence, corporal punishment and exploitation. Cameroon is not only a transit country for the trafficking of persons, it is a source and destination for women and children trafficked for exploitation despite the numerous national and international laws in force. Most victims are trafficked within the country, girls trafficked for servitude and sexual exploitation, while both boys and girls are trafficked to work in bars, restaurants, on tea and cocoa plantations, in mines, street vending, and forced begging of children in Quranic schools also known as the talibés.
The talibés are muslim children, usually below 15 years, never been to a formal school, sent by their parents to study the Quran. The marabouts (Quranic School teacher) force them to go begging on the streets for subsistence. Many are vulnerable to trafficking, sexual and labour exploitation, and as well as find themselves in conflict with the law. The talibés and children from the three northern regions made up more than 60% of children in conflict with the law, who were in custody in the two major prisons of Koundengui (Yaoundé) and New Bell (Douala) as per a baseline survey carried out by CYJULERC in Cameroon’s biggest cities of Yaoundé and Douala in 2009.
584 children were identified in both prisons, and 325 released by the end of the project in 2011. Some were reinserted into heir families, others taken over by two Catholic centers which cater for street children. 227 stakeholders (Magistrates, Judicial Police Officers, Prison Officers, Social workers and 116 members of Civil Society Organizations were trained on various laws & topics on Juvenile Justice, and Procedures applicable in Cameroon. Two networks of actors (Juvenile Justice Chain) to promote juvenile justice were created in the two cities. Read more from our project reports.