During the discussion of Cameroon’s Human Rights record on May 16, 2018, the UK delivered a statement at the UNHRC Universal periodic review concerning Cameroon.
The UK statement thanked Cameroon for their national report that was presented by the Lejeune Mbella Mbella – minister of external relations and noted the following:
Cameroon’s enactment of a new penal code in July 2016, welcoming the many provisions addressing women’s rights, particularly gender inequality, sexual violence and female genital mutilation.
Welcomed the reconnection of the internet following the three-month shutdown in its North-West and South-West Regions in 2017. And urged the Government and all other parties fully to respect and to safeguard human rights.
The UK statement also gave three recommendations to the Cameroon government:
Ensure full and effective implementation of the 2017 National Action Plan for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor.
Allow and facilitate unhindered humanitarian assistance wherever required to provide relief for the affected population.This is in reaction to recent reports that humanitarian assistant consignments meant for the Anglophone refugees in Nigeria had been blocked by the Cameroonian authorities at the borders with Nigeria for security reasons
Grant the ICRC or other reputable international agency access to Anglophone separatist leaders extradited from Nigeria and detained incommunicado since January.
In his report, Lejeune Mbella Mbella affirmed that apart from the 7 international conventions adopted by the UPR of which his country has duly ratified and other ratifications in process Cameroon has ratified between 2014 to 2016 other instruments at the international and regional levels like
- The African Union convention on the prevention and combating terrorism of 1999.
- The African Union convention on the protection and assistance of internally displaced persons in Africa on 22 October 2009.
“Independence and autonomy of national commission for human rights and freedoms have been strengthened particularly through the identification of human and financial resources” (Lejeune Mbella)
“The consolidation of these positive outcomes is underway in order to enable the national commission better fulfil its missions”. (the minister added)
What is the Universal Periodic Review?
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves a periodic review of the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States.
The UPR is a significant innovation of the Human Rights Council which is based on equal treatment for all countries.
It provides an opportunity for all States to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to overcome challenges to the enjoyment of human rights.