United Nations


International Convention on the Elimination of A ll Forms of Racial Discrimination

Distr.: General

15 October 2019

Original: English and French

English, French and Spanish only

Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Combined twenty-second and twenty-third reports submitted by Cameroon under article 9 of the Convention, due in 2017 *

[Date received: 18 July 2019]

Abbreviations and acronyms

BEPCBrevet d’Etudes du Premier Cycle

ACHPRAfrican Charter/Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

CEMACEconomic and Monetary Community of Central African States

CERDCommittee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

CISPAVIntersector Committee for Programmes and Projects involving Indigenous Peoples

CFICourt of First Instance

NCHRFNational Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms

CPCCriminal Procedure Code

DGSNGeneral Delegation for National Security

CFCommunity Forests

ELECAMElections Cameroon

ENAMNational School of Administration and Magistracy

NEFNational Employment Fund

UNHCRUnited Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

HCHigh Court

MBOSCUDAMbororo Social and Cultural Development Association

MINACMinistry of Arts and Culture

MINASMinistry of Social Affairs

MINATDMinistry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization

MINDEFMinistry of Defence

MINEPDEPMinistry of Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development

MINEDUBMinistry of Basic Education

MINESECMinistry of Secondary Education

MINESUPMinistry of Higher Education

MINFOPRAMinistry of Public Service and Administrative Reform

MINDUHMinistry of Housing and Urban Development

MINJUSTICEMinistry of Justice

MINEFOPMinistry of Employment and Vocational Training

MINREXMinistry of External Relations

ILOInternational Labour Organization

NGONon-Governmental Organization

PPDPPygmy People Development Project

PNDPNational Community-driven Programme

UNDPUnited Nations Development Programme

PRECESSEEnergy Sector Social and Environmental Capacity Development Project

PLWHIVPersons Living with HIV

SEDSecretariat of State for National Gendarmerie

UNICEFUnited Nations Children’s Fund

PEAPriority Education Area


1.At its 2305thand 2306th meetings held on 18 and 19 August 2014, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination considered the 19th to 21st Periodic Reports submitted by Cameroon in a single document.

2.At the end of the consideration, the Committee made concluding observations which contain both satisfactory aspects and concerns.

3.Regarding positive aspects, the Committee took note of the legal and institutional progress made, in particular the establishment of the Senate following the elections of 14 April 2013, the signing on 28 November 2011, of Decree No. 2011/389 to implement Law No. 2005/6 of 27 July 2005 on the Status of Refugees in Cameroon, and the acceptance by Cameroon of the amendment of Article 8 (6) of the Convention.

4.The concerns pointed out by the Committee include the following:

•Lack of statistics on the ethnic composition of the population;

•Failure to fully incorporate the prohibition of racial discrimination in the national legislation;

•Failure of the national commission on human rights and freedoms (nchrf) to fully comply with the Paris Principles;

•Failure to consolidate social harmony and the fight against racial discrimination;

•Lack of effective participation of all socio-cultural components in political and public life;

•Failure to effectively guarantee equal opportunities and treatment in employment;

•Failure to guarantee effective bilingualism;

•Failure to guarantee the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples through a definition and recognition of their rights, access to education, land rights, and access to justice;

•Inadequate protection of the rights of refugees and asylum seekers; and

•Access to citizenship and the risk of statelessness.

5.While focusing on progress made on the different issues raised since the submission of the last Report, the State Party will in this Report, provide additional information on the implementation of Articles 1 to 7 of the Convention in accordance with the Directives contained in Document CERD/C/2007/1 of 13 June 2008.

6.Where and whenever necessary, references will be made to both preceding Reports and the Common Core Document on relevant information for proper understanding of efforts made by the State in implementing the Convention.

Part I Information on Articles 1 to 7 of the Convention

Article 1

7.Information contained in the preceding Report is still relevant. However, the planned reform of the Penal Code resulted in the adoption of Law No. 2016/7 of 12 July 2016. The legislator has widened the scope of criminalization of discrimination by increasing the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination by including medical status among the traditional criteria such as race, religion and sex (see §177 of the Common Core Document).

Article 2

8.In addition to the measures referred to in §176 to 193 of the Common Core Document aimed at prohibiting discrimination and promoting equality between persons living in its territory, the State has enhanced the institutional framework to promote living together and eliminate discrimination with the signing of Decree No. 2017/13 of 23 January 2017 to lay down the establishment, organization and functioning of the National Commission on Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism.

9.Article 3 of the said instrument which defines the duties of the Commission provides:

“(1) Under the authority of the President of the Republic, the Commission shall be responsible for promoting bilingualism and multiculturalism in Cameroon with a view to maintaining peace and consolidating the country’s national and strengthening its people’s willingness and day-to-day experience with respect to living together. (2) In this capacity, it shall be responsible notably for:

•Submitting reports and recommendations on issues relating to the protection and promotion of bilingualism and multiculturalism to the President of the Republic and the Government;

•Monitoring the implementation of constitutional provisions establishing English and French as two languages of equal status, and especially ensuring their use in all government services, semi-public bodies as well as any State-subsidized body;

•Conducting any study or survey and proposing measures likely to strengthen Cameroon’s bilingual and multicultural character;

•Preparing and submitting to the President of the Republic draft instruments on bilingualism, multiculturalism and togetherness;

•Popularizing the regulation on bilingualism, multiculturalism and togetherness;

•Receiving petitions against discriminations arising from non-compliance with the constitutional provisions on bilingualism and multiculturalism, and reporting thereon to the President of the Republic;

•Performing any other task assigned to it by the President of the Republic, including mediation”.

Article 3

10.In addition to information contained in the previous Report (§15), it should be noted that community-driven development of territories is one of the fundamental options of the territorial development policy which aims to consolidate the unity of the nation, promote solidarity among citizens and enhance integration of the people. Thus, Law No. 2011/8 of 6 May 2011 on sustainable development in Cameroon provides for a National Sustainable Development Plan under preparation based on a participatory approach involving Administrations, Councils, and socio-economic stakeholders, and taking into account consistence with development strategies implemented at the regional and sub regional levels. The goal is to boost investment and help rationalize public and private expenditure.

11.In order to implement this vision in the urban sector where freedom of choice determines spatial occupation and in order that enjoyment of such freedom does not result in segregation and ghettoization, the National Urban Policy is under preparation since 2016 with the support of UN-HABITAT. The goal is to promote more compact, socially inclusive towns with properly connected and integrated territories for the promotion of a sustainable urbanization resilient to climate change.

12.Enhancement of social cohesion, community welfare, construction of good streets, achieving high and sustainable density, functional mixing of urban space, quality developed space/public space ratio, and adequate distribution of land use are some of the expected results of the said Policy.

13.While waiting for the designed Policy, the State intends to implement the Inclusive Towns Development Project with the financing of the World Bank. The overall goal of the Project is to enhance access of urban population especially those living in poor quarters, to basic social infrastructure and services. The Project further targets the following inclusion issues: (i) space inclusion through enhancement of access of the population in under-equipped quarters to urban services; (ii) economic inclusion by promoting access especially of youths to economic opportunities; and (iii) social inclusion through community-driven mechanisms in decision-making and local management.

Article 4

14.Since the submission of the previous Report, issues of discrimination brought before the courts concern discrimination in access to jobs and treatment in working environments (see §76–79).

Article 5

15.In addition to information contained in the previous Report (§21 to 51) and the Common Core Document (§176 to 193), and considering that since 2014, the State is faced with terrorism, information in this Report will focus on steps taken to ensure that measures to combat terrorism do not aim at effecting discrimination based on race, colour, ascendance or national or ethnic origin, and that no one is the subject of racial or ethnic profiling or stereotyping.

16.As concerns legislation, Law No. 2014/28 of 23 December 2014 on suppression of acts of terrorism was adopted to punish authors of acts of terrorism. The said Law provides a material definition of acts of terrorism, and excludes identification of a terrorist as per his ethnic, racial, or religious profile.

17.Furthermore, justice stakeholders involved in combating terrorism were provided with working tools during a capacity building seminar on investigations, prosecution and trial of acts of terrorism. In this connection, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has been providing support to Cameroon since 2015 as part of criminal justice response to terrorism. Judicial and Legal Officers, police, customs, and intelligence officers attended a workshop organized from 8 to 11 March 2016 in Yaounde during which modules on international and national legal framework on combating terrorism, collection of evidence, respect for Human Rights and non-discrimination in combating terrorism were developed.

18.Aspects on combating discrimination in the sectors of employment and education are presented below.

Article 6

19.In addition to information already provided in the previous Report relating to the competence of the National Human Rights Institution to receive and examine petitions from persons or groups of persons on violation of any right provided for by the Convention as developed under Article 4, courts heard and determined matters on discrimination in the area of access to jobs and working conditions (See §76).

Article 7

20.Information contained in the Common Core Document (HRI/CORE/CMR/2016, §146–150) and the previous Report (§54–55) are still relevant. Since measures to guarantee inclusive education have been widely presented below, additional information provided in this sector will focus on culture and information.

21.The role of institutions and associations working towards developing culture and national languages, combating racial prejudices, and promoting understanding, tolerance and intra-national and intra-cultural friendship between all the groups is worthy of note.

22.In order to promote and encourage understanding between the mosaic of cultures nationwide, Government continued to organize during the reference period, cultural festivals aimed at discovering and enhancing national cultural diversity. In this connection, the 8th edition of the National Festival of Arts and Culture was organized from 18 to 21 June 2016 in Yaounde bringing together artistic and cultural groups from the 10 Regions representing their cultural area. During the Festival, a cultural carnival was organized in the streets of Yaounde, theatre representations and an exhibition of the big names in the history of Cameroon. Another major innovation of the Festival was the organization of an art and culture reopening held from 19 to 22 January 2016 that brought together Cameroon artists in a moment of reunion and promotion of culture. These events helped the population consolidate friendship and understand its cultural heritage.

23.Government further promoted culture by supporting artistic creation or the organization of cultural events. Thus, in a bid to restructure the sector of artistic creation, a national register of copyright and neighbouring rights holders was drawn up in 2016. In addition, Government allocated funds distributed to support artists and the development of cultural activities (See Appendix 1).

24.The linguistic policy focuses on promotion of bilingualism (see §80–115) and national languages.

25.In addition to celebrating the International Day of the Mother Tongue, many other activities were carryout by the Ministry of Basic Education (MINEDUB) and the Ministry of Secondary Education (MINESEC).

26.The experimental phase of teaching national languages in schools was effectively launched at the beginning of the 2013/2014 academic year in the 35 pilot schools selected in Centre, Littoral, Far North, and West Regions. It was accelerated during the 2014/2015 academic year with the designing and setting up of the teaching of national languages project in 360 pilot primary schools on the basis of 1 school per Council, and evaluation of pupil performance in the pilot schools. These proactive actions have made it possible in partnership with ELAN CAMEROON, to promote national languages. The project was launched during the 2015/2016 academic year in 150 multilingual classes in 50 public primary schools nationwide with 5 schools per Region. Besides, designing teaching aids for national languages is underway.

27.Concerning MINESEC, focus was on training teachers of national languages and cultures at the Higher Teacher Training College (ENS). The teachers were later posted to secondary schools (See Appendices 2 and 3).

28.In a bid to raise the awareness of the population and media professionals on their obligation to combat racial prejudice and propagation of information that implicates persons belonging to a group protected by the Convention that may throw responsibility on the whole group, Government instructed mobile telephone operators to warn their customers of the criminal consequences of disseminating false information or statements that may lead to racial hatred.

Part IIResponses to Committee Recommendations

29.This Part is devoted to responses to both the recommendations and other concerns raised by the Committee.

A.Recommendations of the Committee

Reply to paragraph 6 of concluding observations (CERD/C/CMR/CO/19-21)

30.While waiting for the outcome of the ongoing studies that will help provide a definition and officially identify minorities and indigenous peoples in Cameroon, the Constitution protects minorities and indigenous peoples.

Statistics on the main ethnic groups

31.Based on paragraph 11 of the updated General Guidelines and as indicated in the previous Periodic Report (§72), and the updated Common Core Document (§3 to 12) (HDI/CMR/CORE/2016), Cameroon is among countries that do not take into account racial or ethnic variables when conducting population census. Such data are considered less relevant and discriminatory as per the national unity and integration policy advocated in public life. That is why they have not been available during the last 3 General Population Censuses conducted in 1976, 1987, and 2005. This vacuum will be filled during the 4th General Population and Housing Census underway. In this connection, Decree No. 2015/397 of 15 September 2015 to institute the Fourth General Population and Housing Census sets the goal of determining the global population, its geographical, socio-demographic, and cultural distribution, housing characteristics, household production equipment and tools, and natural and migratory movements.

32.However, the census questionnaire contains a national language indicator and an indigenous peoples’ indicator (Mbororos and Pygmies). The results will provide data on the number of people who speak national languages and the number of indigenous peoples.

Migration statistics

33.Migration statistics collected during the 3rd General Population and Housing Census and contained in the Common Core Document (§10) are still valid. The ongoing 4th General Population and Housing Census is taking migration data into account and will help analyze previously indicated figures.

34.Nevertheless, security concerns caused by atrocities committed by the terrorist group Boko Haram in North East of Nigeria and the Far North Region of Cameroon, and the political crisis in the Central African Republic have resulted in a massive influx of refugees in Cameroon. In April 2017, more than 370,000 refugees from different nationalities were identified, the majority of who hail from Nigeria and the Central African Republic broken down as follows: 280,000 refugees from the Central African Republic (spread out thus: 190,000 in East Region, 72,000 in Adamawa Region, and 7,000 in North Region), and some 85,000 refugees from Nigeria (spread out as follows: 60,000 in Minawao Camp and more than 24,000 in border localities in the Far North Region). As at that date, there are some 200,000 internally displaced persons in the Far North Region.

Reply to paragraph 7 of concluding observations

35.In addition to information contained in §7 above and in order to comply with Recommendation No. 35 of the Committee, any press article that disseminates ideas based on racial superiority or hatred or inciting discrimination shall be seized and the media house banned by decision of a competent court.

36.Furthermore, as per the provisions of section 77 of Law No. 2010/12 of 21 December 2010 relating to cybersecurity and cybercrime in Cameroon, any person who treats a race or religion with contempt through electronic communication or information system shall be punished with imprisonment for from 2 to 5 years or a fine of from CFAF2,000,000 to CFAF5,000,000 or both of such fine and imprisonment.

Reply to paragraph 8 of concluding observations

37.Law No. 2004/16 of 16 July 2004 to set up and lay down the organization and functioning of the National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms (NCHRF) was adopted by Parliament and as such complies with the Paris Principles, in particular, Article 2 (A) that gives States Parties the latitude to define the powers of Human Rights promotion and protection institutions in a constitutional or legislative provision.

38.Besides, Government’s priority is to consolidate the independence and financial autonomy of the NCHRF. Thus:

•Regarding human resources, in addition to its 30 statutory members, the NCHRF has a permanent secretariat, 6 operational branches out of the 10 set up in the different Regions of the country, and a staff strength of 107 members; and

•Concerning financial resources, the NCHRF has a budget provided for in the Finance Law. Although the said budget is insufficient, it is on the increase and with the simplified disbursement procedures, it is expected to enable the NCHRF to discharge its duties with more ease.

39.Cooperation between Government and the NCHRF is in many forms. The NCHRF takes part in drawing up Cameroon Reports submitted to different Treaty Bodies. In this connection, the NCHRF coordinates consultations with Civil Society Organizations (CSO) on the draft Report by Government.

40.Moreover, Government supports the NCHRF in the discharge of its duties especially by easing access of its members to detention places and ensuring their security during investigations.

41.Furthermore, under the National Human Rights Education Programme in Primary and Secondary Schools, the NCHRF drew up and provided Government with a Log Book and a Teacher’s Handbook. In all, 667 Log Books and Teacher’s Handbooks were distributed to teachers and students by the NCHRF.

42.Similarly, Government and the NCHRF collaborate closely in awareness-raising and capacity building activities for Judicial and Legal Officers, health, security, Penitentiary Administration, and media staff.

Reply to paragraph 9 of concluding observations

Legislative provisions relating to racial discrimination and measures on awareness raising for the population

43.In addition to the response provided in §7 of this Report on the recommendation of the NCHRF and its observations contained in the Common Core Document (HDI/CMR/CORE/2016, §82 to 88), awareness-raising and dissemination of the law are the strategic thrusts public authorities use to inform all citizens including indigenous peoples and minorities on their Human Rights and freedoms, and remedies in case of violation of such rights and freedoms.

44.Thus, some Ministries such as the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and the Family have weekly radio programmes broadcast on Cameroon Radio Television (CRTV) on the rights of the child, persons with disability, indigenous peoples, and women in particular. The Ministry of Basic Education also has a bi-monthly programme broadcast on CRTV to raise the awareness of the education community on Human Rights. Most of these radio programmes are broadcast in national languages through community radios and Regional Stations.

45.Furthermore, there are Social Welfare Services at the Courts and Police Stations in charge of assisting and protecting vulnerable litigants such as children in distress, the elderly, abandoned women, and indigenous peoples. Social Welfare Services staff raise the awareness of such litigants and help them compile files for legal aid, social mediation, as well as in psychological, moral and mental analysis.

Prosecutions initiated, convictions for offences relating to racial discrimination and compensation resulting therefrom

46.It is important to delve into the developments referred to in Article 4 (§14 above).

Reply to paragraph 10 of concluding observations

47.A National Solidarity Policy Paper is under preparation and contains the concerns of indigenous peoples. While waiting for the outcome of the process, an Intersector Committee for Programmes and Projects involving Indigenous Peoples (CISPAV) was set up by Order No. 22/A/MINAS/SG/DSN of 6 August 2013. The Committee is a coordination, monitoring and evaluation platform on the implementation of programmes and projects on the promotion and protection of the Human Rights of vulnerable and indigenous peoples. The goal is to ensure consistency between actions, resources and beneficiaries to guarantee visibility and efficiency of activities for the said groups.

48.The Committee is headed by the Minister of Social Affairs or her representative. It comprises 24 members representing Public Administrations involved in the promotion and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples; the United Nations Indigenous Peoples’ Partnership (UNIPP); Plan Cameroon; any other bilateral or multilateral partner involved; each of the programmes or projects involving vulnerable indigenous peoples (1 per programme or project); representatives from vulnerable indigenous peoples; and representatives from the civil society.

49.Any other person may be invited depending on their skills relating to the items on the agenda of the session. The Technical Secretariat of the Committee is run by the Department in charge of the fight against social exclusion in the Ministry of Social Affairs.

50.CISPAV holds 2 sessions per year during which Plans of Action are adopted. Sessions held in 2015 and 2016 helped envision major guidelines of the different projects in order to avoid overlapping decried during the execution of projects at the local level. The sessions further helped the Committee take into account the specificities of indigenous peoples in all major projects executed at the national level, and encourage a wider involvement of stakeholders at the level of platforms geared towards harmonizing management of indigenous peoples at the local level.

Reply to paragraph 11 of concluding observations

51.As recalled in the Common Core Document (§191), the State of Cameroon has taken steps to guarantee that all citizens enjoy political rights, in particular, the right to participate in the management of public affairs.

52.In addition to laying down conditions to ease access to official documents, birth certificate and National Identity Card (See Recommendation 19 below), consolidation of an inclusive approach in the organization of elections and recruitment into the Public Service resulted in actions geared towards the effective participation of indigenous peoples and minority groups in the management of public affairs.

53.Regarding elections, compliance with the legal provisions (sections 151 and 171 of the Electoral Code) on consideration of the sociological composition of electoral constituencies on voters registers during the council and legislative elections of 2013 facilitated the registration of persons from indigenous groups in voters’ registers and consequently, some of them acceded to elective positions. An example is the election of a Mbororo as Mayor of Ngaoui Council, Mbere Division. Besides, 4 Mbororos are Deputy Mayors and many of them Councillors in different Councils in the country, amongst which 48 in the North West Region.

54.The inclusive approach in the management of elections was implemented through awareness-raising of the public in national languages, proximity registration campaigns, and collection of voter’s cards following the calendar of cultural activities of such category of voters, setting up of proximity polling stations, and recruitment of Mbororos (10) and Pygmies (7) at Elections Cameroon (ELECAM), the body in charge of organizing elections.

55.With regard to support to political parties, elected members of political parties benefitted from capacity building activities on compliance with the Gender Approach and participation of vulnerable groups.

56.The Public Service in Cameroon guarantees the principle of equal access to public service employment, with senior staff of Public Administrations recruited without discrimination, from amongst Cameroonians who fulfil civil and academic requirements.

57.Such absence of discrimination is further seen in the languages used in competitive examination (English and French) and the admission of successful candidates. Data on recruitment into the Public Service through direct competitive examinations in 2016 show that out of the 1,165 candidates recruited in different sectors of activity, 238 are English-speaking; for example, 2 Pharmacists out of the 5 recruited are English-speaking, and 28 out of the 50 Agricultural Technicians recruited are English-speaking.

58.With regard to promotion of multiculturalism in the Public Service, attendant measures were taken to ease access thereto, of candidates from some vulnerable groups. One of the major concerns of the 2016 Session of CISPAV (see §53–55) was to continuously advocate socioprofessional integration of young Pygmy and Mbororo graduates from training schools. Such support includes payment of competitive examination fees, assistance in compiling candidate’s file and advocacy by the Ministry of Social Affairs before different Administrations for consideration of vulnerable people.

59.These actions are gradually bearing fruits. A Pygmy Nurse’s Aid was recruited into the Public Service amongst the 15 Pygmy children identified and trained in education and health. As at April 2017, there were some 200 Mbororos 50 who are women in the Public Service.

60.More access of children of indigenous peoples to education will help consolidate such achievement. While examining the possibility of determining quotas in application of the General Recommendation No. 32, the State of Cameroon has increased the number of institutions that combat discrimination with the establishment of the National Commission on Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism already mentioned above.

Reply to paragraph 12 of concluding observations

Amendment of the Labour Code

61.The amendment of the Labour Code is ongoing.

Consolidation of the principles of equal opportunities and treatment in employment

62.As a State Party to the 49 Conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO) amongst which Convention No. 90 on equal remuneration and Convention No. 111 on discrimination (Employment and Occupation), Cameroon guarantee respect of equal opportunities and treatment on vocational training, employment placement, and working conditions. Thus, one of the priorities of the Decent Work Country Programme for Cameroon (PPTD) 2014–2017 designed in collaboration with social partners and the International Labour Office focuses on improving the normative framework and working conditions for all. Its indicator is the percentage of settled conflicts on discrimination.

63.In practice, in the event of unequal treatment and discrimination in the workplace, remedies are available and effectively resorted to by victims. Two matters examined by the courts are quite illustrative.

64.In Massango Epie v . Herarkles Farmscasebrought before the High Court of Fako, Mr. Massango Epie, recruited in December 2012 as Senior Vice-president Finance and Office Operations at the American Company Herarkles Farms based in Cameroon, was dismissed in January 2013 on the ground that he did not possess the professional qualifications required for the position. Meanwhile, before the signing of the employment contract, the employer took steps to dissuade Mr. Massango from accepting a job offer at the Banjul Oxygen Limited Company.

65.The Court held that the grounds raised by the employer were trumped-up and indicated flagrant discrimination against Plaintiff, considering that he was replaced at the same position by a person of white race who did not show proof of prior experience in internal audit, transparency, mastery of spreadsheets and agricultural projects. Such action is deemed contrary to Article 7 (c) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), Articles 1 and 2 of Convention No. 111 of ILO on Discrimination (Employment and Occupation), and Articles 5 and 6 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

66.The employer was ordered to pay Plaintiff the sum of CFAF2,034,588,517broken down as follows: CFAF2,000,000,000 for the discrimination the victim suffered, CFAF13,346,400 for unfair dismissal, and CFAF21,242,117 as special damages (See Judgment in Appendix 4).

67.In Okala Roger v . World Wide Fund (WWF) case (Judgment No. 69/SOC of 15 October 2012) Plaintiff, recruited by WWF as Programme Administrator, Senior Finance Officer, claimed that his salary was purely discriminatory. He prayed the Court to order his employer to pay him the sum of CFAF 51,355,558 representing the total sum he would have received just as those who like him, performed duties of regional and international level as per the remuneration system in force in the Organization. The High Court of Mfoundi dismissed his claim on the grounds that his employer used the following laid down criteria to grant the other colleagues of the same level a different remuneration: seniority, rank and level of responsibilities in WWF (See Judgment in Appendix 5).

Reply to paragraph 13 of concluding observations

68.Although by heritage from the administration of Cameroon by France and England under the League of Nations Mandate and later United Nations Trusteeship, the North West and South West Regions may be qualified as English-speaking Regions besides the other 8 Regions known as French-speaking Regions, since reunification in 1972, the Constitution makes English and French the official languages of equal value. The Constitution has brought about a national bilingualism policy that promotes the training of citizens in any of the education systems without distinction. The outcome is that there are citizens who hail from the so-called French-speaking Regions but are of English-speaking culture and vice versa.

69.In spite of Government action on bilingualism and consideration of the interests of the 2 English-speaking Regions (North West and South West), some challenges are still obvious. Government has taken steps to provide sustainable solutions on bilingualism and multiculturalism in terms of employment, education, and court proceedings.

Employment Measures

70.The Constitution of Cameroon provides for equal access to employment without discrimination.

71.Thus, announcements for vacancies into training schools are in both English and French. Examination questions are also set in the 2 official languages. Although there are, sometimes, translation deficiencies from one language into another, Government is trying to correct the situation. The outcome will depend on the intellectual skills of candidates and the so-called principle of regional balance based on Decree No. 2000/696/PM of 13 September 2000 to lay down regulations on administrative competitive examinations. This principle implies that candidates for official competitive examinations are admitted taking into account the demographic ratio of each Region and the level of schooling. The latter case often results in positive discrimination.

72.Data on recruitment into the Public Service through direct competitive examinations in 2016 is as follows: number of positions advertised: 1,320; number of successful candidates: 1,165: number of successful French-speaking candidates: 927 and number of successful English-speaking candidates: 238. The results of successful candidates per Region are as follows: Adamawa, 46; Centre, 182; Far North, 107; East, 95; Littoral, 93; North, 53; North West, 156; West, 262; South, 96; and South West, 71.

Education Measures

73.As per Law No. 98/4 of 14 April 1998 to lay down education guidelines in Cameroon, the education system comprises an English-speaking subsystem and a French-speaking subsystem. Every Cameroonian, notwithstanding their Region of origin, freely choose the subsystem under which they intend to educate their children, be it at the preschool, primary, secondary or university level. The State makes every effort to guarantee all citizens the right to education.

74.At the level of Basic Education, the State has allocated significant resources to guarantee access to basic education and this has helped increase schooling indicators.

75.In 2013/2014 academic year, the number of nurseries stood at 8,267 including 3,088 English-speaking nurseries. In 2014/2015 academic year, the number increased to 9,175 with 3,405 English-speaking nurseries, and in 2015/2016 academic year, it further increased to 9,660 with 3,660 English-speaking nurseries (See Appendix 6). The increase in the number of schools was followed by an increase in human resources.

76.The teaching staff strength at the French-speaking preschool level increased from 7,369 in 2014/2015 academic year to 7,780 in 2015/2016 academic year. In the English-speaking subsystem, the teaching staff strength increased from 2,841 in 2014/2015 academic year to 2,906 in 2015/2016 academic year. In all, the teaching staff strength in charge of supervising the 555,810 pupils registered nationwide at the preschool level increased from 10,210 in 2014/2015 academic year to 10,686 in 2015/2016 academic year.

77.At the primary school level, the number of primary schools progressively increased in the last 3 academic years from 18,135 in 2013/2014 academic year (of which 5,071 in the English-speaking subsystem) to 19,136 in 2014/2015 academic year (of which 5,430 in the English-speaking subsystem), and further to 19,711 in 2015/2016 academic year (of which 5,693 in the English-speaking subsystem) (See Appendix 7).

78.The number of pupils in primary school also increased from 4,136,912 in 2013/2014 academic year (that is, 904,364 in the English-speaking subsystem) to 4,481,235 in 2015/2016 academic year (that is, 987,129 in the English-speaking subsystem). There was an increase of 344,323 pupils in absolute terms and 7.68% in relative terms (See Appendix 8).

79.The number of teachers in public primary schools also increased from 60,357 in 2013/2014 academic year (that is, 12,609 in the English-speaking subsystem) to 66,264 in 2015/2016 academic year (that is, 13,602 in the English-speaking subsystem). This represented an increase of 5,907 teachers in absolute terms and 8.9% in relative terms. (See Appendix 9).

80.English-speaking education is spread nationwide with many public, private and lay education schools. It has a body, the General Certificate of Education (GCE) Board, in charge of organizing examinations in the English-speaking subsystem. In 2014, 164,712 candidates registered for GCE examinations and 67,058 passed, representing a percentage pass of 44%. In the same year, 334,959 candidates registered for Office du Baccalauréat du Cameroun (OBC), (the French-speaking equivalent of the GCE Board) examinations and 130,187 passed, representing a percentage pass of 42%.

81.In 2015, 180,231 candidates registered for GCE examinations and 81,830 passed, representing a percentage pass of 49.78%, while 348,771 candidates registered for OBC examinations and 146,314 passed, representing a percentage pass of 43.19%.

82.In 2016, 170,132 candidates registered for GCE examinations and 105,392 passed, representing a percentage pass of 61.94%, meanwhile, 360,666 candidates registered for OBC examinations and 144,603 passed, representing a percentage pass of 40.99%.

83.At the university level, 2 of the 8 State Universities in Cameroon are Anglo-Saxon (University of Buea and University of Bamenda). They comprise Faculties and Professional Schools such as the Higher Technical Teacher Training College (HTTTC), Kumba and the Higher Teacher Training College, Bambili.

84.Nevertheless, on 21 November 2016, English-speaking teachers’ trade unions launched an indefinite strike action in the North West and South West Regions geared towards seeking solutions to a number of problems on the dysfunction of the English-speaking subsystem of education. The following claims made by them were contained in a memorandum:

•Marginalization of English-speaking holders of GCE Advanced Level who cannot be admitted into professional schools of their choice, whereas same does not apply to French-speaking students;

•The high number of French-speaking students in professional schools under Anglo-Saxon Universities (90% at HTTTC, Kumba and 80% at the Faculty of Health Sciences, Buea); whereas the reverse phenomenon does not obtain in the same schools in French-speaking areas;

•Poor orientation of young English-speaking students who apply for admission into Faculties of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in French-speaking zones causes a lot of failure or abandonment of studies;

•Lack of English-speaking technical education teachers and the systematic posting of the existing small number to French-speaking schools;

•Posting of French-speaking teachers who do not master the English Language to English-speaking schools. Consequently, lessons are taught in very poor English causing a lot of failure in examinations;

•Transforming the University of Buea and University of Bamenda into French-speaking universities;

•Poor translation of technical education examination questions causes a high level of failure of English-speaking candidates at Certificat d ’ Aptitude Professionnel, Probatoire, and Technical Baccalauréat examinations;

•The high number of English-speaking jobless graduates who become motorcycle riders, call box operators, and recharge card sellers;

•Lack of State subvention to English-speaking private schools;

•Difficulty of English-speaking holders of GCE Advanced Level in 2 subjects including Religious Knowledge to be admitted into the University or sit for a competitive entrance examination;

•Appointment of University Authorities without complying with Anglo-Saxon procedures; and

•The systematic refusal to harmonize the 2 education subsystems.

85.In addressing the issue, the Prime Minister, Head of Government signed Order No. 124/CAB/PM of 29 November 2016 to set up and lay down the organization and functioning of an ad hoc Interministerial Committee to examine and propose solutions to the concerns raised by the English-speaking teachers’ trade unions.

86.The said Committee was further in charge of proposing measures to the Prime Minister, Head of Government, to help seek sustainable solutions to the concerns raised by the English-speaking teachers’ trade unions, and propose conditions for the implementations of the selected solutions.

87.One of the solutions proposed by the said Committee is that the Minister of Secondary Education immediately post 131 teachers among who 106 English Language teachers to the English-speaking zone. In addition, the President of the Republic ordered the recruitment of 1,000 bilingual teachers and the disbursement of CFAF2, 000,000,000 for private education as subvention.

88.Furthermore, the Minister of Higher Education has announced the establishment of a Polytechnique for English-speaking students, and other measures taken to improve the functioning of judicial services. This will give rise to reforms in Higher Education (See §93 below).

89.Besides, the holding of a national education forum is scheduled for 2017.

Justice Measures

90.Some lawyers working in the North West and South West Regions raised concerns on the dysfunction of judicial services that affect the equality of access of English-speaking Cameroonians to justice. The concerns include relative availability of legal instruments in the English Language, lack of English-speaking judicial staff and interpreters in the Courts.

91.With regard to access to justice and in particular, the relative availability of legal instruments on Business Law in the English Language, Uniform Acts of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA), following the publication of the translated English version of the said Acts in its Official Gazette on 24 November 2016, were handed to the President of the Cameroon Bar Association, representatives from other judicial professions, all Judicial and Legal Officers working in the jurisdictions of the Courts of Appeal of the North West and South West Regions, members of Government concerned, the Central Administration of the National School of Administration and Magistracy (ENAM), the Division of Magistracy and Registry at the said school, and the media.

92.Generally, concerning the dysfunctions observed in the administration of justice in the 2 English-speaking Regions, an ad hoc Committee was formed on 22 December 2016 by the Prime Minister, Head of Government to address the situation.

93.Deliberations of the different Working Groups helped the President of the Republic to prescribe the following measures:

•Carry out a reform of the Supreme Court to include a Common Law Division;

•Make an inventory of English-speaking Judicial and Legal Officers to increase the staff strength of English-speaking Judges of the Supreme Court;

•Conduct an evaluation of Common Law Judicial and Legal Officers in the English-speaking Regions, and Droit C ivil Judicial and Legal Officers in the French-speaking Regions with a view to redeploying them on the basis of their mastery of the commonly used official language in the duty station;

•Continue lectures in courses that are not yet harmonized in English-speaking Universities while complying with Common Law specificities;

•Open a Faculty of Law and Political Sciences at the University of Buea. In a follow-up to this measure, the Minister of Higher Education signed Order No. 17/36/MINESUP of 21 April 2017 to open a Department of French Private Law at the Faculty of Social and Management Sciences, University of Buea, and Order No. 17/29/MINESUP of 21 April 2017 to open a Department of French Private Law at the Faculty of Law and Political Science, University of Bamenda;

•Open a Department of English Law at the University of Maroua. As a follow-up to this measure, the Minister of Higher Education signed Order No. 17/33/MINESUP of 21 April 2017 to open a Department of English Law at the Faculté des Sciences Juridiques et Politiques, University of Maroua;

•Open a Department of English Law at the University of Douala. In implementation of this measure, the Minister of Higher Education signed Order No. 17/34/MINESUP of 21 April 2017 to open a Department of English Law at the Faculté des Sciences Juridiques et Politiques, University of Douala;

•Open a Department of English Law at the University of Ngaoundere. In implementation of this measure, the Minister of Higher Education signed Order No. 17/37/MINESUP of 21 April 2017 to open a Department of English Law at the Faculté des Sciences Juridiques et Politiques, University of Ngaoundere;

•Open a Department of English Law at the University of Dschang. As a follow-up to this measure, the Minister of Higher Education signed Order No. 17/35/MINESUP of 21 April 2017 to open a Department of English Law at the Faculté des Sciences Juridiques et Politiques, University of Dschang;

•Envision the teaching of Public Law in the Universities of Buea and Bamenda;

•Capacity development through tailor-made training in Universities and at the request of the Ministry of Justice, of English-speaking Judicial and Legal Officers and Registrars so that they can work in Administrative Courts and Audit Courts. In this connection, the Minister of Justice signed Order No. 184/MJ/DAG/SDPJ/SFS of 19 April 2017 to form a Working Group on capacity development of English-speaking judicial staff;

•Form a Working Group to design the content of University courses. In implementation of this measure, the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Higher Education, and the Minister of Public Service and Administrative Reform signed Joint Order No. 276 of 19 April 2017 to form a Joint MINJUSTICE/MINESUP/MINFOPRA Commission in charge of designing courses in Law for judicial careers;

•Form a Working Group to design the content of courses taught at ENAM. In implementation of this measure, the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Public Service and Administrative Reform signed Joint Order No. 275 of 19 April 2017 to form a Joint MINJUSTICE/MINFOPRA Commission in charge of designing courses to be taught to students of the Division of Magistracy and Registry at ENAM;

•Institute from the next competitive entrance examination for the recruitment of pupil Magistrates and henceforth, a common core question paper on already harmonized legal disciplines and a specific question paper on Common Law for English-speaking candidates;

•Open a Common Law Section at ENAM;

•Increase the staff strength of English-speaking Judicial and Legal Officers, and Registrars in compliance with quotas provided for by Decree No. 2000/696/PM of 13 September 2000 to lay down the regulations for administrative competitive entrance examinations, and depending on available funds, organize a special recruitment of English-speaking pupil Magistrates and Registrars over a period of 4 years after taking stock of needs in human resources in the jurisdictions of the Courts of Appeal of the North West and South West Regions; and

•Recruit specialized Interpreters.

Promotion of Bilingual Education

94.In addition to the Constitution, many other legislative and regulatory instruments enshrine bilingualism.

95.Practically, since 2008, the Minister of Secondary Education has launched a Special Bilingual Education Programme (PEBS) implemented in many secondary and high schools. In the classes concerned, a special programme is implemented. Subjects taught in French in ordinary classes are also taught in the pilot classes, while all the other courses are taught in English. The number of schools with the special programme has increased from 40 in 2014/2015 academic year to 102 in 2016/2017 academic year.

96.Nevertheless, the programme has many challenges: for example, students reading Science subjects do not continue the programme in high school. Only students reading Arts subjects continue the programme in high school. PEBS is reserved only for the best 60 students carefully selected through a test organized when they are in Form One in both the English-speaking and French-speaking subsystems.

97.Furthermore, since 2005, a National Bilingualism Week is celebrated in all schools nationwide. In 2017, the 12th edition of the National Bilingualism Week was celebrated from 30 January to 3 February under the theme “Bilingualism: a driving force for the promotion of excellence and social inclusion”. Activities to mark the week were organized in all schools by the Ministry of Secondary Education and the Ministry of Basic Education. The goal was to remobilize students on the advantages of speaking both English and French in a bilingual environment.

98.The following actions were taken at the Ministry of Basic Education to implement bilingualism policies:

•Establishment of a Pedagogic Inspectorate in charge of promotion of bilingualism and consolidation of lessons on the official languages (English and French) in nursery and primary schools;

•Introduction of English and French as second languages at the Certificat d’Etudes Primaires (CEP) and at the First School Leaving Certificate (FSLC);

•Free distribution of readers and mathematics books in English and French to schools with the support of the World Bank; and

•Training of teachers in this area.

99.Concerning the use of English and French in public offices, in November 2016, the Prime Minister, Head of Government reiterated the enforcement of Circular No. 1/CAB/PM of 16 August 1991 on the practice of bilingualism in public and semi-public administrations.

100.The goal of the Bilingual Linguistic Training Programme (PFLB) set up by Decree No. 90/1196 of 3 August 1990 is to train Cameroonians (public officers, students, civil servants, traders, senior personalities and any person who wishes to learn) the use of the 2 official languages (English and French).

101.In order to achieve such goal, the PFLB has a Pilot Linguistic Centre in Yaounde, 9 Regional Centres nationwide and 2 sub centres in Limbe and Douala. During the 4 training Semesters in 2016 at the Pilot Linguistic Centre in Yaounde, 8,000 persons were registered.

102.Some of the challenges the Pilot Linguistic Centre, Yaounde faces include lack of infrastructure due to space or their obsolescence, lack of didactic material, lack of material and financial support from a number of administrations the employees of which undergo training there.

Reply to paragraph 14 of concluding observations

103.Information contained in the previous Report is still relevant.

“Lastly, the Committee calls on the State party to include, in its next report, detailed information on the situation of women and girls of the minority groups and indigenous populations identified and on the measures taken and envisaged to ensure that they can exercise all their rights, including the right to equality and non-discrimination. (Remove in French)”.

104.In 2014, Government adopted a National Gender Policy which is a tool for planning, guidance and consistency in the actions taken by Government and other stakeholders to guarantee gender equality in all sectors of national development. The document that has 6 specific goals streamlines intervention thrusts that involve all categories of women, girls and the most vulnerable persons such as indigenous peoples.

105.With regard to the situation of women from minority groups, Government focused on the economic empowerment of these women through education, capacity building, and reproductive health. Thus, in 2014, 10,260 rural women and 15 women’s groups were trained on modern techniques of production and processing of farm products. This training helped them to obtain income from their activities. Also, 232 female leader poultry farmers were trained in the production of old layers in the Adamawa, Centre, East, North and Far North Regions who later trained their peers in the same production techniques. In addition, in 2014, 4,628 women and girls were trained on how to set up a project and manage an enterprise.

106.Concerning the reproductive health of women from indigenous groups, more than 390 traditional midwives were trained in 2014 under the Pygmy Peoples Development Project (PDPP) conducted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

107.With regard to indigenous girls, see response to recommendation 15 below.

Reply to paragraph 15(a) of concluding observations

108.Chapter IV entitled “Priority Intervention Programme” of the 2005 Education Sector Strategy Paper in Cameroon provides that in order to achieve a balanced development in the education sector, the goal of Government is to step up access to education by all children of school age and maintain them in school until the end of the cycle. Focus will be on consolidating the schooling of girls and boys living in priority education areas, and children from underprivileged or vulnerable groups, and marginalized groups such as Pygmies and Mbororos.

109.In this regard, Government and partners continued to guarantee free access to primary education without discrimination to indigenous children (Pygmies and Mbororos), and ensure that each child has a birth certificate which is a prerequisite to enrolment in schools.

110.During the reporting period 116 schools attended by Pygmy children were furnished with furniture, didactic material and children in examination classes were supported with examination fees. In addition, in 2014, 461 primary school teachers were trained and 47 primary schools mostly attended by Pygmy children received furniture and school manuals. A total of 7,275 Pygmy children attended primary school in the East and South Regions. Some 184 children wrote the CEP during this period and 204 were admitted into 6ème.

111.During the reporting period there were about 200 students at the level of secondary school. In 2016, there was an increase in the number of Baka children writing the baccalauréat (6), probatoire and BEPC (10) in different centres in the East Region. In terms of infrastructure, a dormitory was constructed for young Pygmy students at Lomie. Also, Government through the PNDP signed a Convention with Eseka Diocese to educate some indigenous children for 4 years from primary to high school.

112.Regarding Mbororo communities, in 2014 focus was on the construction of school infrastructure in areas inhabited by this group. In this regard, the following were identified: the construction and equipment of a kindergarten at Sambo, Batouri, East Region; the construction of 256 classrooms, 30 water points and 55 latrines, and the rehabilitation of 58 classrooms.

113.Furthermore, there were 9,398 (3, 768 girls and 5,630 boys) Mbororo pupils in primary school in Adamawa, 8,464 in the East and 23,111 (10,353 girls and 12,758) in the North West Regions. More so, 1,290 scholarships were awarded to pupils admitted into 6ème and form 1 during the reporting period.

114.At the level of higher education, in 2016, statistics from 4 State Universities (University of Yaounde I, University of Bamenda, University of Buea, University of Ngaoundere) indicated that there were 188 Mbororo students including 4 PhD students and a student medical doctor.

115.Furthermore, at the level of professional training, 15 Pygmies were trained in 2013 notably, in forestry, water resources and health sectors.

116.Birth certificates were also established for indigenous children (See Answer to Recommendation 19).

Reply to paragraph 15 (b) of concluding observations

117.Regarding Baka communities, teaching in the Baka language was tested in 8 pilot schools in the East Region, with an enrolment of 734 children, in 2013/2014 academic year as part of the Project called “Baka Rights and Dignity” with the aim of improving the education of Baka children while maintaining them rooted in their culture. To support this project, the Summer Institute of Linguistics produced didactic materials composed of syllabaries (spelling tables) and books on mathematics integrating Baka cultural values and slates with the Baka alphabet on the back among others. This support helped record an increase of 5% of the school enrolment rate of Baka children. Also 19 teachers (5 women and 14 men) were trained to teach in the Baka language in which 8 (3 women and 5 men) are in service.

118.Furthermore, MINEDUB, in partnership with the United Nations Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa, organized a discussion workshop on the “Strategies and Methods of adapting Education to the Culture and Lifestyle of Indigenous Peoples” from 5 to 6 August 2014 in Yaounde.

119.Consequently, in 2015, Plan Cameroon came up with a new Baka schooling project called “Inter-cultural and Multilingual Education”. The Project entails teaching Baka children to read and write in their native language first, before being initiated into the 2 official languages of Cameroon. This project officially launched on 31 March 2015 at Lomie, East Region concerns 54 primary schools in Upper Nyong Division and covers 8 Councils, including, Dimako, Messock, Doume, Abong-Mbang, Mindourou, and Lomie. It is expected that in the next 3 years 1,554 children will use Baka as a language of study in primary school.

Reply to paragraph 15 (c) of concluding observations

120.See development above (b).

Reply to paragraph 15 (d) of concluding observations

121.Under the Education Sector Strategy Paper, Government adopted a strategy in most Regions where indigenous peoples live in Priority Education Areas (PEA) to promote a holistic education for all children without discrimination.

122.In primary schools, foodstuffs and dry rations were distributed to pupils from vulnerable groups and PEAs.

123.The goal of the operation is to consolidate the literacy rate, nutrition level and health of school age pupils with focus on the schooling of the girl child.

124.Thus, 19,459 pupils and students from 84 schools received canteen foodstuffs and 1,728 girls received dry ration from the World Food Programme in the Far North Region (223,610 tonnes) and North Region (149,699 tonnes). Since 2014, the NGO Counterpart which combats malnutrition and encourages the schooling of the girl child, also executed the “School Canteen and Dry Ration” Project in 150 schools in the North Region by distributing dry rations to female pupils in classes CE 2, CM I and CM II. In addition, 2 meals per day were given to children on school days. Bursary grants to girls in class CMII to help them compile their files for the CEP and Concours d’entrée en 6ème examinations in the PEAs was also one of the measures taken to encourage the schooling of the girl child. The impact of the Project was the reduction of early marriages, increased the scholarization and less drop out from school of the girl child.

125.Government and its partners further focused on education of indigenous girls. Between 2013 and 2016, 14,121 Mbororo girls attended primary school in the Adamawa and North West Regions.

126.Baka girls were encouraged to attend school, sometimes with incentives like food rations and awareness-raising of parents to send their children to school. Plan Cameroon also encouraged the education of the Baka girl by establishing birth certificates for 210 girls. Indeed, 3,267 Pygmy girls were in nursery and primary schools in the East and South Regions. During the 2016 CEP examinations in the East Region 23 Baka girls wrote and 8 passed.

127.During this period there were more Pygmy girls in secondary school. A total of 119 Pygmy girls were in 6ème and 4ème in different secondary schools in East and South Regions: 33 girls in Boumba and Ngoko, 44 in Upper Nyong, 41 in Dja and Lobo and 11 in Ocean Divisions.

128.Also in terms of professional training, 1 Bagyieli Pygmy girl was trained as a nurse and works with the public service and 5 other trained to teach in the Baka language thanks to the concerted efforts of PNDP, Government partner in sponsoring these Pygmy girls.

129.At the university level, steps were taken to promote scientific research among young girls in general and from which girls from indigenous groups can also benefit. In this regard, on 16 January 2015, the Minister of Scientific Research and Innovation announced the Youth, Innovation, Science Project that aims at inducing youths and especially girls to take interest in scientific trades. The winner receives CFAF10,000,000 to establish his innovative idea.

130.In the same vein, the Faculty of Science, University of Yaounde I has allocated CFAF100,000to the young girl who will pass all her examinations in a school year without repeating any course.

Reply to paragraph 16 (a) of concluding observations

Participation of Indigenous Peoples in the Review of Land law and Forestry Law

131.The current reform on lands and survey is a process that involves a large number of indigenous peoples (Mbororos and Pygmies) through their associations and representatives from traditional communities. Representatives from the civil society, locally elected representatives and other active forces are also involved within the framework of sector consultations and scheduled discussions. Different consultation frameworks to collect proposals from all stakeholders of this sector were given preference. In this connection, the following activities were carried out:

•Dialogue on land reform between Government and Parliament, in the presence of traditional rulers and csos in Yaounde, 11–12 June 2013;

•A reflection workshop for traditional and indigenous rulers on rural land in Cameroon under the theme “a proposal by traditional rulers on rural land reform in Cameroon” organized from 11 to 12 December 2013 in Yaounde with the support of the Network of Traditional Rulers on Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Management of Ecosystems in Congo Basin (rectrad) and Organizations such as the Centre for Environment and Development (CED) and Rights and Resources Initiatives (RRI);

•An audience granted by the Minister of State Property, Surveys and Land Tenure on 12 December 2013 to a Delegation of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Cameroon (NCTRC), the following csos (CED, COMINDSUD, Foi et Justice, REFACOF), and representatives from forest indigenous peoples (Bagyeli and Baka) during the handing of their proposals on rural land reform in Cameroon. The proposals focused on the following aspects:

•Grant the village collective and inalienable rights on traditional lands without any formality;

•Grant the entire village property through an instrument signed by government;

•Recognize customary rights in the management of village lands; and

•Break the barrier between access to land and compulsory development;

•Consultations between traditional rulers, local leaders and Parliamentarians on rural land reform in Cameroon, held on 13 December 2013 at the National Assembly and jointly organized by REPAR-Cameroun, NCTRC and CED.

132.This participatory approach resulted in the establishment by Order No. 1/PM of 18 January 2015 of the Prime Minister, Head of Government, of an ad hoc Committee in charge of examining proposals made by traditional rulers of Cameroon on land, forest and mines reforms.

Consideration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on Possession, Use, Development, and Control of their Land, Territories and Resources in the Mining Sector

133.The concerns of indigenous peoples in the mining sector were taken into consideration in Law No. 2016/17 of 14 December 2016 on the Mining Code that repeals all provisions of Law No. 2001 of 16 April 2001 on the Mining Code and its subsequent amendment No. 2010/11 of 29 July 2010.

134.Fundamentally, indigenous peoples were taken into consideration by introducing the notion in the Mining Code (sections 44 and 165) and the determination to equitably distribute the spinoffs of mining and environmental protection and preservation. In this connection, local content is contained in mining agreements and there is enhancement in the sharing of income therefrom.

135.Local Content is provided for in the Mining Code (sections 164 to 169) as a result of the determination of public authorities to maximize the social advantages of mining projects and promote smooth relations between promoters of mining projects and residents of project sites and indigenous peoples. It is streamlined in the current mechanism comprising Ad Valorem Tax, extraction tax, and land tax that have all been increased as against the previous law (sections 170 to 176). Income from such taxes and levies are distributed equitably. Besides, levies on capital gains made during transactions have been significantly increased from 5% to 10% (section 105).

136.With regard to equitable distribution of revenue, the law provides for the opening of a special account to develop local capacities (section 233 and 236).

137.Concerning Mbalam Iron Ore Project executed by CAM-IRON, the mining agreement has provided for the following social development activities for the impact area:

(a)Implementation of the environmental and social management plan;

(b)Establishment of a support fund for local communities;

(c)Disbursement of USD 700,000 (about FCFA 417,200,000) per year for community projects, once construction work starts; and

(d)Deduction of 0.75% of net profit after taxes of each company involve in the project to finance long-term community support fund.

138.Concerning Regional Development, the agreement provides for:

(a)Study to design a major development guide for East and South Regions is ongoing since 2013;

(b)Establishment of a Special Development Fund for East and South Regions (FSDES);

(c)Disbursement of USD 800,000,000 (about FCFA4,768,000,000,000) for 5 years for the construction of basic infrastructure once construction work starts. CAM-IRON will disburse USD100,000000 (about FCFA 59,600,000,000) and the State USD700,000,000 (about FCFA 417 200,000,000) during the reference period;

(d)Deduction of 0.75% of the commission of the company in charge of commercialization of the mineral for long-term financing of FSDES; and

(e)Disbursement of USD 112,000,000 (about FCFA66,752,000 000)to tar the project road from Mbalam to Kribi at the end of construction work.

139.Section 106 of the Mining Code provides for prior consultation of the impacted population before the signing of the mining agreement.

Consult the People on the Management of their Resources and Equitable Redistribution of Wealth

140.Any major project that may have an impact on the live of a people must be preceded by a social and environmental impact study. During the study, the concerns of the people are collected first, during public consultations. The dissemination of the Social and Environmental Management Plan is then examined at public discussions. The public discussion Report is attached to the Report of the study and submitted to an Interministerial Committee for the issuance of an environmental compliance certificate. This process makes it possible to consult the population and obtain its consent.

141.In this case, it should be noted that in 2014, a handbook on National Guidelines to obtain a Free, Informed and Prior Consent was validated. The document contains useful guidelines for promoters of REDD+ initiatives in seeking a free, informed and prior consent of indigenous and/or local communities before and during the execution of their projects.

142.The different projects carried out during the reference period fall within this ambit.

143.The Mbalam Iron Ore Project executed by CAM-IRON is quite illustrative. In fact, CAM-IRON prepared a Plan for Indigenous Peoples (PIP) by defining a strategy to protect the culture and means of subsistence of indigenous peoples (Baka Pygmies) in the project area. The goals of PIP are to:

•Take stock of land and forest resources of indigenous peoples so that they can have long-term access thereto;

•Ensure that pip considers food security, education, and health of bakas;

•Provide indigenous peoples with relevant information on the project concerned and the management of forest resources;

•Maintain a long-term participatory approach with the baka community for the duration of the project and help indigenous peoples obtain hunting permits; and

•Use non-timber forest products that are not likely to be extinct.

144.Besides, as part of the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol on access to genetic resources and fair and equitable distribution of the advantages therefrom, ratified in 2014, Government, represented by MINEPDED, the French Company v. MANE Fils S.A. that manufactures aroma and perfumes, and the Kingdom of Magha-Bamumbu in the South West Region jointly signed on 2 April 2015, Accepted Conditions by Mutual Agreement (ACMA) to exploit species of Echinops giganteus, a plant that grows in the locality.

145.As per this Agreement, MANE Fils S.A accepted to implement the following monetary and non-monetary undertakings:

•Purchase 1,000kg of Echinops roots in 2015, 1,500kg in 2016 and 2,000kg in 2017;

•Pay royalties worth 25% of net profits from Echinops to the Kingdom of Bamumbu;

•Prepare an Echinops Cultivation Guide;

•Support local development projects; and

•Award scholarships to Magha-Bamumbu students and especially women.

Granting Compensation to Indigenous Peoples

146.Further to the aspects described above on the social and environmental impact study, it is relevant to note that the study comprises, depending on the situation, a Resettlement Plan in addition to the Social and Environmental Management Plan already referred to above, and a Compensation Plan.

147.This is the case of the Project to construct the Lom Pangar Hydroelectric Dam for which CFAF1,255,162,120 was paid to the evicted persons as compensation and the Project to construct the Industrial Port Complex of Kribi for which compensation amounting to CFAF14,329,752,889 was paid to the resident population including Pygmies.

148.Concerning mining, sections 116 and 117 of the Mining Code provide for the right to compensation, of land owners, land occupants, beneficial owners and usufructuaries who are victims of expropriation for public utility. The compensation includes lands, crops, constructions and any other development duly established.

149.Furthermore, section 118 of the said Law provides for the right of the neighbouring population of a small or industrial mine, to compensation the amount of which shall be deducted from the Ad Valorem tax, while the neighbouring population of an industrial quary shall have compensation deducted from the extraction tax of the quary products.

Reply to paragraph 16 (d) of concluding observations

150.The law on land tenure in force in Cameroon that dates back to 1974 is unique and non-discriminatory. It is englobing and impersonal. The land registration procedure concerns mainly National land and Private land of the State, and takes into account acquired traditional rights over land. That is why traditional authority is included in the Land Consultative Board. The measures in force aim to preserve the “vital space” of communities prevent registration of large areas, preference of concession over direct registration, etc.

151.As contained in the previous Report of Cameroon (§144 and 145), access of indigenous peoples to land was made easier by Decree No. 2005/465 of 16 December 2005 signed by the President of the Republic to amend and supplement Decree No. 76/165 of 27 April 1976 to lay down the terms and conditions of obtaining a land certificate.

152.Similarly, the succession and joint ownership scheme in the land registration procedure falls in line with the process of enculturation of substantive law on land issues.

153.Besides, in its 2nd component, the Cadastral Survey Modernization and Business Climate Support Project (PAMOCCA) provide for technical, institutional and organizational capacity building of land reform stakeholders through support to the Association of Cameroon Female Jurists (ACAFEJ). The goal is to enhance the legal culture of women in rural areas in the North West and East Regions through awareness-raising on economic and social rights.

Reply to paragraph 17 of concluding observations

154.Although equal access to justice is a right, steps are taken to guarantee its effectiveness against obstacles some classes of the population face. Thus, special provisions are laid down to bring justice closer to minority groups and indigenous peoples. Furthermore, interpretation services that are lacking will be provided in all the courts.

Reply to paragraph 17 (a) of concluding observations

155.With a view to reducing the distance between the courts and the people, and in order to compensate for the insufficiency of courts, and in addition to the steps taken and contained in the previous Periodic Report (§137 and 138), assizes were instituted (sections 13 (2) and 16 (2) of Law No. 2006/15 of 29 December 2006 on judicial organization). They are organized by Presidents of Court of Appeal depending on the need of each jurisdiction.

156.With particular regard to indigenous peoples and minority groups, special assizes are held where and whenever necessary in their respective communities.

Reply to paragraph 17 (b) of concluding observations

157.As mentioned in the previous Report of the State Party (§139 and following), guaranteeing fair trial includes the assistance of an Interpreter. This is to enable any litigant to be tried in the language he understands best that ad hoc Interpreters are appointed each time that a litigant does not express himself in the official language of the court.

158.The challenge in implementing the recommendation of the Committee lies in having a sufficient number of Interpreters and Translators in the 2 official languages (English and French). In order to address the situation, the recruitment of specialized Interpreters is among the measures proposed as part of solutions adopted for the proper functioning of the English-speaking judicial system (See § 93 above).

159.The challenge is more complex with national languages estimated at more than 250. This requires a more pragmatic approach considering the local contexts of the different courts.

Reply to paragraph 18 of concluding observations

160.The State of Cameroon has a policy of reception and hospitality towards refugees. In order to step up its option of non-discrimination against refugees, Law No. 2005/6 of 27 July 2005 on the status of refugees in Cameroon highlights the principle of putting refugees and nationals on the same footing regarding enjoyment and exercise of economic and social rights including the right to work.

Enjoyment of Economic and Social Rights of Refugees and Asylum Seekers including the Right to work

161.Government ensures that refugees and asylum seekers enjoy their economic and social rights by guaranteeing them housing, food, health, education, and access to work.

162.With regard to housing, refugees and asylum seekers mostly Central Africans and Nigerians are settled in rural areas in developed Sites where they are provided shelters, and outside the Sites in village communities and urban areas.

163.In 2014, 7,343 semi-permanent shelters were built as against 76 permanent shelters, and in 2015, 2,570 semi-permanent shelters were built. In 2016, 1,163 semi-permanent and 1,552 permanent shelters were built for Central African refugees while 6,341 shelters were built for Nigerian refugees.

164.Concerning the right to health, refugees are vaccinated against measles, poliomyelitis, tetanus, etc., before they settle. In 2015, 9,351 women aged between 15 and 49 received anti-tetanus vaccine, and a vast immunization campaign against measles organized in Bourha and Mora Health Districts included 112,047 refugee children. The campaign continued in 2016 with cholera and some 80,000 persons were vaccinated in the Far North Region.

165.On the whole, in 2016, 254 consultations, 6,326 births, and 3,916 referral cases were registered in health centres and hospitals in the Site and outside the Site. In order to improve access of refugees to health, Government and the UNHCR signed on 10 August 2016, a Framework Agreement on the healthcare of refugees in national health facilities in the Adamawa, East, Far North and North Regions. The Agreement that entered into force in January 2017 clearly provides that the UNHCR shall incur 70% of health charges, and Government, 30%.

166.With regard to the right to food, refugees and asylum seekers receive food kits on the day of their settlement and at the end of every month, in addition to food gifts from the State and development partners on different occasions.

167.A number of methods are used to guarantee water supply such as water trucking which consists in using tankers to distribute water, and drilling of wells and boreholes. In 2014, for example, 235 water points were built and in 2016, some 122 boreholes drilled for Central African refugees. In 2015, 2 generators of 40KWA were installed at the Minawao Site to increase the water pumping capacity and some 30 boreholes drilled. In addition, the 25km drinking water supply project from Mokolo town to the said Site is near completion.

168.Concerning the right to work, Government has taken a number of steps towards training and vocational integration of refugees. In this connection, capacity building sessions were organized for them with award of certificates in some cases.

169.Such training was sometimes followed by significant assistance geared towards the establishment of income-generating activities.

170.The National Employment Fund (NEF) in collaboration with the UNHCR, for example, initiated, as part of the Livelihood Project, a series of seminars for refugees and asylum seekers. The seminars included the Training Workshop organized in Douala from 20 to 22 December 2016 for 59 refugees. This brought the number of urban refugees trained in job search techniques, establishment and management of projects to 128. The process continued in March 2017 with the training of 42 urban refugees with the same modules in Yaounde. In 2015, refugee students benefitted from vocational training and literacy programmes with award of scholarships.

171.Support to refugees and asylum seekers included material and financial gifts, and kits for income-generating activities. Besides, 3,620 refugees received assistance in agricultural and livestock production and the establishment of micro-enterprises. This included supply of quality seedlings, tools, loans, monthly money transfer, etc. In 2016, in the Far North Region, for example, 1,260 households with a population of 11,396 persons were given assistance by the International Rescue Committee for 3 months comprising monthly money transfer of CFAF 66,000to support and help establish an income-generating activity.

172.Furthermore, the PNDP with the support of the UNHCR and under the impetus of German Cooperation, implemented refugee empowerment programmes such as the Support Programme to Host Population and Central African Refugees. In addition, negotiations are underway with the UNHCR to sign Agreements aimed at facilitating assistance and/or support to socio-vocational integration of refugees and asylum seekers.

173.In order to oversee coordination of refugee healthcare-related actions, the Head of State signed Order No. 269 of 13 March 2014 to form an ad hoc Interministerial Committee in charge of managing emergency refugee situations in Cameroon.

Detention of Asylum Seekers

174.As per the principle of non-criminalization of illegal entry of asylum seekers enshrined in section 8 (1) of Law No. 2005 referred to above, once proof of such status is shown by all means and especially by the UNHCR, asylum seekers prosecuted for illegal immigration are generally released by the courts.

175.Since equating refugees to nationals in terms of rights and duties is one of the major principles in managing refugees, both nationals and refugees are prosecuted where they are suspected of committing an offence. Court statistics show prosecution of refugees and asylum seekers for other common law offences such as unintentional killing, theft, forgery and assault. Such refugees are prosecuted as per the procedure provided for in the Criminal Procedure Code that makes freedom of persons the rule and detention the exception. In this connection, detention of refugees and asylum seekers who commit offences is ordered only as a last resort.

176.Both nationals and refugees are detained under the same conditions such as separating men from women and adults from minors. The provision in the Penal Code adopted on 22 July 2016, of alternative measures to detention such as community labour and reparatory sentence (section 26 and 26-1) will help envision such measures both for nationals, refugees and asylum seekers.

177.In order to consolidate the said principle and all the other legal norms on the management of refugees and asylum seekers, capacity development activities were organized for public officials and stakeholders of the judicial chain. In 2014, 2015, and 2016, for example, Cameroon public officials were trained on the international protection of refugees by the UNHCR in collaboration with the authorities. In December 2015, 150 National Security staff were trained on protection of refugees and asylum seekers while a module on the rights of refugees was included in the capacity building Seminar organized by the Ministry of Justice in 2016.

178.Similarly, the UNHCR provides legal assistance to refugees and asylum seekers.

Specific Protection of Refugee Girls and Women

179.Crisis situations increase the vulnerability of refugee girls and women. In order to protect them from double victimization, measures were taken towards girl education, empowerment and protection against violence.

Education of Women and Girls

180.Steps taken by Government made it possible to obtain significant results.

181.During the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 academic years, the number of girls registered in schools in the Minawao refugee Site stood respectively at 1,169 and 6,275 girls between 10 and 14 years old and 717 and 685 girls between 15 and 17 years old.

182.Concerning Central African refugees, 3,323 and 5,822 girls respectively studied in temporary learning areas for children while 10,455 girls enrolled in primary schools at the Site and 330 in secondary schools outside the Site.

183.In 2016/2017 academic year, 22,871 refugee girls are attending school in Adamawa, Far North, East, and North Regions.

Socio-economic Integration of Women

184.In order to address the precarious condition of female refugees, internally displaced persons, and host communities, measures were taken to guarantee their right to work and facilitate their economic rehabilitation. Thus, Government and its partners such as UN Women and the UNHCR trained them in different trades.

185.In 2016, for example, 6,250 refugee women and host communities were trained in agri-food processing, soap manufacture, sewing, knitting, poultry farming, and small businesses.

186.In addition, 593 of them considered more vulnerable received economic kits (sewing workshops, mills, groundnut processing facilities, flour, oil or sugar, etc.).

Protecting Women and Girls against Gender-Based Violence (GBV)

187.In 2014, a survey conducted by UN Women-Cameroon on the impact of humanitarian crisis on men and women showed that refugee women and girls are exposed to many forms of violence especially sexual and physical violence.

188.Thus, between 2014 and March 2016, 882 cases of GBV including more than 83 cases of sexual violence were registered in refugee sites in the Far North, East, and Adamawa Regions.

189.In order to provide a holistic solution to GBV in the context of humanitarian crisis, Government and all humanitarian stakeholders designed an integrated and multifaceted assistance strategy for women and girls based on a “female social cohesion forum” in refugee sites, establishment of Call Centres and Gender Desks, and cross-cutting care of survivors.

190.Female social cohesion forums were established in the sites so as to discreetly provide survivors with psychosocial, medical, legal and security assistance, and form discussion groups amongst them.

191.Furthermore, 4 Call Centres were opened in Centres for Women’s Empowerment and the Family, Maroua, Mokolo, and Mora in Far North Region, and Bertoua in East Region. They are centres for counselling, dialogue, and reference for GBV victims and survivors.

192.With the support of UN Women, 3 Gender Desks were opened in Central Police Stations in Batouri, Bertoua, and Meiganga. Between 2015 and 2017, the Desks were preceded by training of 400 police staff in East, Adamawa, and Far North Regions, on protection and care of female victims of GBV.

193.Besides, awareness-raising activities were organized for communities and refugee sites to influence and change social norms that promote GBV. Based on a community-driven approach which focuses on 142 relay communities, the activities brought together more than 351,218 refugee men and women, and nationals.

Reply to paragraph 19 of concluding observations

194.The documents required to award citizenship to persons include Birth Certificate and National Identity Card.

Birth Certificate

195.Diagnosis of the civil status revealed a number of challenges among which indifference of some classes of the people to civil status. To address the situation, the State and its partners have since 2010, implemented a Civil Status Rehabilitation Programme (PRE2C) which streamlines concerns of vulnerable persons through its different components. The Programme has 5 components among which reform of the legal and institutional framework, and awareness-raising and training of all the stakeholders.

196.Reform of the legal framework resulted in an extension of the time limit for declaration of birth from 30 to 90 days as per section 31 (new) of Law No. 2011/11 of 6 May 2011 to organize the civil status and sundry provisions on the status of persons.

197.Moreover, the institutional framework of the civil status was readjusted with the establishment of the National Civil Status Office set up by Decree No. 2013/31 of 13 February 2013. It is in charge of supervising, controlling, regulating and evaluating the national civil status system.

198.Besides, investments are earmarked nationwide and will benefit vulnerable persons. Thus, PRE2C estimated at CFAF 17,800,000,000 and partly financed by France, will help open 2,649 Main Civil Status Offices, 360 Civil Status Offices attached to Councils, 14 Civil Status Offices attached to City Councils, 45 Civil Status Offices attached to Diplomatic Representations, and 2,230 computerized Civil Status Offices.

199.The reform has also taken the rights of vulnerable and indigenous peoples into account. Steps are taken nationwide including Bakassi to enable every citizen to have a civil status certificate.

200.Regarding awareness-raising and training of stakeholders, in 2016, MINATD organized 90 training sessions for 4,100 Civil Status Officers and Secretaries in 74 communities nationwide. Some 700 other persons including traditional rulers, health staff, staff of the Ministry of Justice, etc. were also trained. The training modules focused on the foundations of civil status, the regulations in force, registration of civil status acts, keeping of registers, and best practices. Each beneficiary received a civil status training handbook.

201.The action involved indigenous peoples and minority groups including those in the Bakassi Peninsula. Awareness-raising campaigns were organized in the 10 Regions of the country and more specifically in remote villages. From 20 April to 22 July 2016, for example, film projection campaigns on the relevance of birth certificates, issuance time limits and the consequences were organized in some 100 communities nationwide.

202.Besides, from 17 to 22 July 2016, an Awareness-raising and Training Workshop was organized for Administrative and Council Authorities in Bakassi on the social and political implications of non-declaration of births. On the sidelines of this activity, a significant batch of material was handed to the Council Authorities to improve their working conditions especially in terms of registration of births.

203.Furthermore, one of the support strategies to enhance access of indigenous peoples to civil status was provision of assistance on procedures. In this connection, special assizes were held to deliver declaratory judgments of birthto Pygmies in many communities in the East and South Regions where they live.

204.Thus, in the East Region, special assizes were held on 28 January and 9 February 2015 in Mindourou, and Lomie with the support of the Ministry of Social Affairs and a CSO “Les Aigles de l ’ espoir”, during which 436 and 455 declaratory judgments were delivered respectively.

205.The following special assizes were also held on:

•13 June 2016 in Ngoyla Camp where 197 declaratory judgments were delivered;

•4 July 2016 in Messamena where 245 declaratory judgments were delivered;

•16 December 2016 in Somalomo Camps where 77 suppletory judgments were delivered;

•19 December 2016 in Atok where 100 declaratory judgments were delivered; and

•29 December 2016 in Doume, and Bonando where 117 and 1,149 declaratory judgements were delivered respectively. The court sessions held in December 2016 were supported by the PNDP and MINAS.

206.In 2015 and 2016, at the initiative of Gari Gombo Council, Boumba and Ngoko Division, and in collaboration with Réseau Camerounais des Organisations des Droits de l’Homme, 367 declaratory judgments were delivered during mobile court sessions held in Gari Gombo, Ndeng, Paya, Gribi Mbatoundou, Mbiali, Kpolikta, Ngoundi, and Mampele for Baka indigenous peoples.

207.The goal of the assizes held for Pygmies in the South Region as in East Region, was to draw up birth certificates for them. In 2016, CFI, Kribi delivered some 200 declaratory judgments of birth.

National Identity Card

208.Law No. 90/42 of 19 December 1990 to institute the national identity card constitutes the legal framework on identification of all Cameroon citizens without discrimination. The said Law was supplemented with Decree No. 2016/375 of 4 August 2016 to lay down the characteristics and terms and conditions of establishment and issuance of the national identity card. Section 6 (a) of the Decree makes it possible to substitute a birth certificate with a civil status attestation issued by an administrative authority of the place of birth of the applicant following a deposition note of the Traditional Ruler of the said place of birth, the Mayor and 2 witnesses who are family members of the applicant.

209.A National Identity Production Centre was opened and inaugurated on 9 August 2016 as part of the process to secure Cameroon nationality. As per Article 3 of the Decree referred to above, the Centre is in charge of producing 600 secure identity cards per hour with unique identity numbers for life for every citizen. The production also includes resident permits for foreigners, refugee cards and resident cards, etc.

210.DGSN Services are deployed in 350 identification offices and in 50 mobile enrolment units nationwide to take identification offices closer to the people. Thus, 20 mobile kits were distributed to Regional Delegations for National Security and which may be used where and whenever necessary especially for Mbororos who live in the remote communities.

211.Bakassi people are requested to go to identification offices in Idenau and Ekondo Titi while waiting for their own offices to be opened. This is as a result of difficult access to the area due to its remoteness.

212.The PNDP action through the PPDP referred to above equally made it possible to issue 1,131 National Identity Cards to Pygmies.

B.Other points raised by the Committee in its concluding observations

213.Regarding the observation made on §5 of the Concluding Observations concerning acceptance by Cameroon of the Amendment of Article 8 (6) of the Convention, the procedure is underway.

Reply to paragraph 20 of concluding observations

214.As per the commitment under the Universal Periodic Review in 2013, Cameroon continues to examine how to ratify many Conventions such as the Convention on Prevention and Repression of the Crime of Genocide (1948), the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education (1960), the Convention on Migrant Workers (1990), the Convention on Stateless Persons (1954), and the Convention on Forced Disappearance (1961).

Reply to paragraph 21 of concluding observations

215.Government has taken general and specific measures that fall in line with the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA).

216.On 15 December 2015, a National Plan of Action for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in Cameroon (2015–2019) was launched. The Plan of Action is intended to implant a Human Rights culture in Cameroon. It sets out a framework to ensure the enjoyment of rights without discrimination. Hence, the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination is a core legal instrument cited in the Plan and particularly in its section 5 which urges States Parties to undertake to prohibit and to eliminate racial discrimination in all its forms and to guarantee the right of everyone without distinction as to race, colour, or national or ethnic origin. The Plan has discussed some specific issues and categories of persons mentioned in the DDPA for example, trafficking in persons, protection of Refugees, rights of indigenous people and women’s rights.

217.Cameroon, host to many refugees and Internally Displaced Persons has been working to afford them protection as required under International Human Rights Law. It is in line with this that the Government together with those of Nigeria, Chad and Niger, signed the Abuja Action Statement on 8 June 2016 in which they agreed on comprehensive actions to enhance protection and respond to the most urgent needs of Refugees. Amongst other programmes to improve on the lives of Refugees, following an Agreement between the State and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, starting January 2017 the State provides for 70% of the healthcare needs of Refugees without discrimination.

218.As concerns indigenous peoples, the country has adopted a Plan for the Development of the Pygmies which takes into consideration their specificities in certain spheres including the right to education and culture as well as citizenship and agricultural issues of indigenous people.

219.With regard to the fight against trafficking in persons, especially women and children, and smuggling of migrants taking into account practices that endanger human life or leads to various kinds of servitude and exploitation, Cameroon has ratified International Human Rights Instruments relating to the subject cited in §70 of Cameroon Common Core Document. At the national level, Law No. 2011/24relating to the fight against trafficking in persons and slavery in 2011 was adopted.

220.Effective media campaigns are launched to enhance the struggle against all manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, inter alia, by disseminating and giving adequate visibility to the DDPA and its follow-up mechanisms.

221.The Governance, Peace and Security Survey conducted in 2014 by the National Institute of Statistics shows that the adult population, about 25.1%, claims to have been discriminated against for ethnic origin, a situation Government is trying hard to avert.

Reply to paragraph 22 of concluding observations

222.With an increased number of CSOs demanding to play a better role in their society and want to be more involved in the economic and social development of the country, it has become necessary for improved collaboration between the State and them.

223.State structures have been collaborating with CSOs on important issues that affect the life of the nation. For example, CSOs working particularly in the field of Human Rights participate in providing data and in the drafting process of the Report of the Ministry of Justice on Human Rights in Cameroon published yearly, the National Plan of Action on the Promotion and the Protection of Human Rights launched in 2015 and Periodic Reports to international Human Rights monitoring bodies. In fact, the drawing up and validation of these Reports has become a traditional framework for dialogue and partnership in the Human Rights domain between Government and Civil Society. CSOs participating have included those representing indigenous populations. To consolidate actions undertaken so far, dialogue with civil society started in 2015 and discussions are underway to set up a formal framework for dialogue between the State and Civil Society.

224.This Report was drawn up following a participatory approach including in particular, CSOs operating on the elimination of discrimination such as Baka Biosphere Consulting, MBOUSCUDA, Association OKANI, and Cercle International pour la Promotion de la Création (See Appendix 10) on list of participants at the Validation Workshop of the 22nd and 23rd Reports of Cameroon to the Committee).

Reply to paragraph 23 of concluding observations

225.Information on this issue contained in the previous Report is still relevant.

Reply to paragraph 24 of concluding observations

226.Information on the Convention and cooperation between Cameroon and the Committee are disseminated during awareness-raising and training activities for Judicial and Legal Officers, Lawyers, and civil society stakeholders. During seminars organized from 2014 to 2017 for Judicial and Legal Officers on Human Rights, for example, modules were taught on equality and non-discrimination, the role of Cameroon Judges in implementing Conventions, and the scope of recommendations of Treaty Bodies.

227.In addition, the Concluding Observations from the previous Report of Cameroon were forwarded by correspondence to Public Administrations, the Judiciary, NGOs, and CSOs for information and involvement in the drafting of the 22nd and 23rd Periodic Reports on the application of the Convention. It is on the basis of their contributions that the drafting Committee at the Ministry of Justice prepared a draft Report submitted for validation to all the stakeholders in a Workshop held on 19 and 20 April 2017.

Reply to paragraph 25 of concluding observations

228.See previous analyses.

List of annexes

Annex 1:Financial Support by Government to Artists, Cultural Associations and Enterprises in 2016

Annex 2:Teachers of National Languages and Culture Trained at the Higher Teacher Training College Yaounde and Transferred to Secondary Schools

Annex 3:Schools Where National Languages and Culture are taught

Annex 4:Massango Epie vs. Herarkles Farms, High Court, Fako Judgement No. HCF/L.008/2013 of 13 December 2013

Annex 5:Okala Roger vs. World Wide Fund (WWF), Judgment No. 69/SOC of 15 October 2012

Annex 6:Distribution of Nursery schools per Subsystem from 2013–2014 to 2015–2016 academic years

Annex 7:Distribution of Primary Schools per subsystem from 2013/2014 to 2015/2016 academic years

Annex 8:Number on roll of preschool pupils per subsystem from 2014 to 2016

Annex 9:Distribution of Teaching Staff in Public Primary Schools during 2013/2014 and 2015/2016 academic years

Annex 10:List of Participants at the Validation Workshop of the 22nd and 23rd Periodic Reports of Cameroon to the UN Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination

Annex 1: Financial support by Government to artists, cultural associations and enterprises in 2016


1 st Semester

2 nd Semester


Amount in CFAF


Amount in CFAF

Support for musical art


37 200 000 (about 56 544Euros)


74 900 000 (about 114 184 Euros)

Support for literature and drama


5 500 000 (about 8 360 Euros)


12 538 000 (about 19 057 Euros)

Support for cinema and audiovisual industry


25 000 000 (about 38 000 Euros)


35 000 000 (about 53 200 Euros)

Support for festivals and other cultural events


253 385 729 ( about 385 146 Euros)


75 210 720 (about 114 320 Euros)

Support for international cultural events




4 302 720 (about 6 540 Euros)

Purchase of books for the Public Reading Centre


1 736 250 (about 2 639 Euros)



Sub total


322 821 979


201 951 440

General total of beneficiaries


Global a mount a llocated

524 773 419

Source : MINAC.

Annex 2: Teachers of national languages and culture trained at the Higher Teacher Training College Yaounde and transferred to secondary schools





















Source : MINESEC .

Annex 3: Schools where national languages and culture are taught


Number of schools










Gradual exten s ion



Gradual generalization



Source : MINESEC .

Annex 4: MASSANGO EPIE vs. Herarkles Farms, High Court, Fako Jugement No. HCF/L.008/2013 of 13 December 2013

Annex 5: OKALA Roger vs. World Wide Fund (WWF), Judgment No. 69/SOC of 15 October 2012 (Attached to French version of the Report)

Annex 6: Distribution of nursery schools per subsystem from 2013–2014 to 2015–2016 academic years



Number of schools 2013/2014

Number of schools 2014/2015

Number of schools 2015/2016



13 064

13 706

14 018



5 071

5 430

5 693


18 135

19 136

19 711

Source : MINEDUB .

Annex 7: Distribution of primary schools per subsystem from 2013/2014 to 2015/2016 academic years



Number of schools 2013/2014

Number of schools 2014/2015

Number of schools 2015/2016



3 088

3 405

3 660



5 179

5 770

6 000


8 267

9 175

9 660

Source : MINEDUB .

Annex 8: Number on roll of preschool pupils per subsystem from 2014 to 2016




No. on Roll in 2014

No. on Roll in 2015

No. on Roll in 2016




153 992

170 002

179 423


153 814

168 439

177 211


307 806

338 441

356 634


English- s peaking


78 974

91 394

98 518


80 457

92 592

100 658


159 431

183 988

199 176



232 966

261 396

277 941


234 271

261 033

277 869


467 237

522 429

555 810

Source : MINEDUB .

Annex 9: Distribution of teaching staff in public primary schools during 2013/2014 and 2015/2016 academic years


Number of Teachers







25 929

28 314

27 781


21 819

25 968

24 881


47 748

54 282

52 662




4 996

5 243

5 203


7 613

8 353

8 399


12 609

13 596

13 602

National Total


30 925

33 557

32 984


29 432

34 321

33 280


60 357

67 878

66 264

Source : MINEDUB.

Annex 10: List of participants at the Validation Workshop of the 22nd and 23rd Periodic Reports of Cameroon to the UN Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination

République du Cameroun

Paix – Travail – Patrie

Ministère de la Justice

Direction des Droits de l ’ Homme et de la coopération Internationale

Sous-direction des Droits de l ’ homme

Republic of Cameroon

Peace – Work – Fatherland

Ministry of Justice

Department of Human Rights and International Co-operation

Sub-department of Human Rights

List of participants at the Validation Workshop of the 22nd and 23rd Periodic Reports of Cameroon to the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination



Public administrations


Ministry of Social Affairs (MINAS)


Ministry of External Relations (MINREX)


Ministry of Economy, Planning and Regional Development (MINEPAT)


Ministry of Secondary Education (MINESEC)


Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINEFOF)


Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization (MINADT)


Ministry of Basic Education(MINEDUB)


Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MINTSS)


Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation (MINRESI)


Ministry of Mines, Industry and Technological Development (MINMIDT)


Ministry of State Property, Surveys and Land Tenure (MINDCAF)


Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and the Family (MINPROFF)


General Delegation for National Security (DGSN)

National institutions


Elections Cameroon


National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms (NCHRF)


Central Bureau of the Census and Population Studies (BUCREP)


National Institute of Statistics


National Employment Fund


National Community Driven Programme for Development


National Employment and Vocational Training Observatory (ONEFOP)

NGOs, Civil Society Organizations and Decentralized Structures


United Nations Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa (UNCHRD-CA)


Plan International-Cameroon


Cercle International pour la Promotion et la Création (CIPCRE)


Réseau Camerounais des Organisations des Droits de l’Homme (RECODH)


Nouveaux Droits de l’Homme-Cameroun (NDH-Cameroun)


Commission Diocésaine Justice et Paix (CDJP)


Mbororo Social and Cultural Development Association (MBOSCUDA)


Centre d’Action pour le Développement Durable des Autochtones Pygmées (CADDAP)


Centre for Human Rights and Peace Advocacy (CHRAPA)


Prison Fellowship International


Association Enfants Jeunes et Avenir (ASSEJA)


Finders Initiative Group


Association OKANI


Integrated Development Foundation (IDF)


Association Baka Biosphère Consulting

Ministry of Justice




Department of Legislation


Department of Civil Matters and the Seal


Protocol and Communication Unit


Department of Human Rights and International Cooperation (DDHCI)

Special g uest


Justice Epuli Mathias



KAMBANG Emmanuel EPOMA (Translation Unit, Supreme Court of Cameroon)