The National Plan of Action for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in Cameroon from the 2015-2019 launched in Yaoundé last December 15th, 2015 by Prime Minister Philemon Yang, have been presented to the South West Region.
The launching ceremony took place Thursday 10 March 2016 in Buea under the patronage of the South West Governor Mr. Bernard Okalia Bilai. The programme of Action which is a recommendation of the world conference on Human Rights adopted in June 1993, stipulates in paragraph 71 that each state should consider the desirability of drawing up of a national plan action identifying steps whereby that state would improve the promotion and protection of human rights.
It is against this backdrop that African states, including Cameroon reaffirmed, at the first OAU Ministerial conference on human rights, held in April 1999 in Grand Bay-Mauritius, their commitment to develop national plans of action. A zoom into the Cameroon national plan of action for the promotion and protection of human rights content into a 404 page document, spotlights major situational analysis on the legal and institutional framework, the current state of affairs that highlights advances and challenges, identifies the strategic issues and presents guidelines based on the different rights.
In the second part wherein the operational framework contains actions, activities and implementing institutions includes technical programmes such as civil and political rights; economic, social, and cultural rights; rights of special groups and cooperation, control, monitoring-evaluation. According to the Assistant Research Officer in the department of human rights and international cooperation in the Justice Ministry Madam Atabong Angeline, the programme is aim at “highlighting a human rights approach in state action and generally to inculcate a human rights culture in Cameroon” she stated.
“In drafting this human rights report, it was important to take stock on what have been done, what were the challenges along the road and what can we do to make the promotion and protection of human rights successful” she noted. In his key note address, Governor Bernard Okalia reiterated the efforts by the Cameroon government in the protection and promotion of human rights in Cameroon. He materialized the presentation ceremony to show case the setting up of The National Commission on human rights and freedoms among others as additional force to the current drive. To him the struggle to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of the national action plan is indispensable to meet up with the objectives set.
He challenged all stakeholders to uphold the successful and efficient implementation of the document while maximizing strategies to combat human rights violation in the South West Region. The National Acton plan is expected to improve on the free exercise of human rights enshrined at local and global charters. The launching ceremony brought together the judicial family in the south west region and members of the civil society organizations.