The Senior Divisional officer of the Ocean Division in the South Region of Cameroon, as published by Le Messager Newspaper on 18 July 2017, signed a release prohibiting the trafficking of children below 14 years in his Administrative setting.
He warned parents who would go against this decision, threatening them with severe sanctions.
The Divisional Administrator makes it clear, “the labour of children below 14 years is strictly prohibited all over the National territory. Every parent is thus called upon not to submit their children to commercial slavery but rather, they should look after them during holidays. Anyone who goes against this will be sanctioned accordingly”.
This decision was not warmly received by a greater part of the population “the SDO is not aware of our realities. My children have to help me prepare to meet up with their school needs. Is he the one who will come and buy their school requirements? I cannot cease from sending them to go and sell. Let him do his worst. If the children are seen and taken off the streets, I will abandon the kids with them and they will be the ones running after me to come and get them” a business woman commented.
While the population is against this move, Associations for the rights of the child, are strongly behind the SDO. They say the administrator should be congratulated for the step taken. “Someone needed to start from somewhere” they added. They further reiterated that, strict measures against child labour should put in place and well respected.