We increase access to justice and other legal services through human rights Education to the populations we serve,
We empower woman for sustainable development and other vulnerable groups with special focus on children.
We Monitor, document and follow-up the respect of human rights, good governance, and the democratic evolution in Cameroon.
Areas of Intervention:
Promotion of Human Rights:
We carry out sensitization and education on human rights through a biweekly radio programme known as ‘The Advocate’, visit constituted groups, communities with peculiar problems, schools, production and dissemination of documents on human rights in general and women rights in particular, issue press releases and Communiqués on striking issues, bulletins and fact sheets and fly outs and publication of a quarterly newsletter called ‘The Advocate’ and organization of side events in UN Conferences.
Protection of Human Rights
We carry out monitoring on human rights violation; intervention in human rights cases, legal assistance to victims of human rights violation and abuses through our Access to Justice paralegal programmes, implementation of national and international human rights instruments.
Lobbying and Advocacy
We lobby competent public authorities to follow up and ratify and implement UN human rights instruments and redress victims of gross human rights violations. We also monitor violations with the purpose of providing clinical counseling to victims. We lobby for the provision of quality elementary education in enclave and forgotten communities where ramshackle huts are used as classrooms by advocating for the construction of substandard buildings.
Access to Justice Paralegal Programme
Rights Based Approach to the promotion and protection of women’s rights
Juvenile Justice Reform Programme
Rights Based Approach to Strengthening Democracy in Cameroon
Access to Justice Paralegal Project:
The access to Justice paralegal Programme is one of CHRAPA’s main activities which have as primary responsibility to provide human rights sensitization and education to the general public. It visits constituted groups and also carry out mass sensitization on human rights issues. This component of CHRAPA also receives document and follow-up complaints. It provides counselling services to victims of human rights and in addition provide legal representation to vulnerable victims who cannot afford justice as well as monitoring of detention centeres. This component of CHRAPA has been largely supported by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) based in the United State.
Promotion and Protection of Women’s Rights.
CHRAPA uses a rights based approach to promote gender equality. Its uses human rights education with focus on national and international laws including CEDAW and its optional protocol, Resolution 1325, 1993 UN Declaration on the Elimination of violence against women, the Maputo Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa to the African Charter on Human Rights to ensure that women’s rights are promoted and protected.
CHRAPA strives to ensure that women’s rights are protected and promoted. Through such actions, it is hope that the incidences of violence and various forms of discrimination against women will be reduced if not eliminated.
Our strategies :
Sensitization and Education on women’s rights
Trainings: to enable communities, women and other stakeholders to understand that women’s rights are guaranteed by law both at the national and international levels, CHRAPA carries out human rights trainings with focus on women’s rights. CHRAPA’s stakeholders and beneficiaries of trainings to combat gender based violence have included; judicial police officers, magistrates, lawyers, traditional authorizes, women group leaders, journalist, local council authorities.
Radio Programmes and Newsletter publication: to complement its human rights training programmes, CHRAPA also runs a radio programme to educate those the can not train on the rights of women and girls. Newsletters published on women’s rights are also distributed to the general public.
Lobbying and advocacy:
CHRAPA has continued to lobby the Cameroon government to better promote and protect the rights of women. Activities in this regard have included press statements, signature collection exercises amongst others.
Celebration of International Days: CHRAPA celebrates international days that speak in favour of women. These activity is carried out in collaboration with the titular ministry in charge of women’s affairs and other civil society organizations interested in promoting women’s rights..
Presentation of shadow reports at the United Nations.
CHRAPA’s commitment to promote women’s rights has remained glaring. It is for this reason that in 2014, with support from IRAW CHRAPA in collaboration with the Union of Northwest Human Rights Organisations, prepare and presented a shadow report at the —-session of the Human Rights Council.
Protection of Women’s Rights
Legal counseling and court representation for women victims of violence
Women and girls have constituted the majority of clients that CHRAPA receives at its paralegal centre. Cases of violation relates to rape, physical assault, economic violence, emotional abuse, neglect by husbands amongst others.
CHRAPA assist these women by offering counseling services, social support and legal representation when necessary.
Success Stories on the promotion of women’s Rights
Some traditional Authorities in the Northwest Region have now recognized that women have rights and thus are respecting them. Women are now can own land and some are title holders a privileges that for so long were reserved only for men.
More women are breaking the silence of gender based violence. With increase awareness, more and more women come out to seek redress for their rights. With an increase demand for justice and collaboration from women, CHRAPA has recorded numerous successes including favorable court judgments on behalf of its female clients both at the customary and statutory courts.
Juvenile Justice Reform Project
Juvenile justice is a serious problem in Cameroon. Cameroon has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, enacted protections in the 2005 Criminal Procedure Code and, with assistance of the European Union (PACDET I and II) and UNICEF, trained and equipped some judicial and ministry officials to protect the rights of children-in-conflict-with-the-law (i.e., children under the age of 18; hereinafter referred to as “children”). Despite these major interventions, major gaps still exist. These gaps relate to insufficient resources whereby children are not adequately tracked after facing legal action against them; children lack legal representation; no programs divert children from the legal action against them or offer those found guilty constructive non-custodial remedies; poor children and those without caregivers are jailed prior to trial; and children in jail lack food, healthcare and schooling and are sometimes mixed with adults in over-crowded cells. Other gaps relate to insufficient capacity: whereby, social workers, police, gendarmes, magistrates, traditional leaders, advocates, local officials, national legislators and the media lack knowledge of children’s rights and the skills to protect them.
The programme addresses this problem by pursuing Overall and Specific Objectives. It does it generally by “strengthening the capacity of Civil Society Actors and specifically by mobilizing key stakeholders (i.e., Non-State Actors; advocates; local authorities; traditional authorities; national, regional and city legislative bodies; other government officials, and the media) to create mechanisms to transform wayward children in Bamenda into productive members of society; namely; 1) letting them opt out of the judicial chain prior to trial for constructive skills-building opportunities (Diversion); 2) offering alternatives to jail prior to trial and non-custodial alternatives for those found guilty of crimes (Alternatives to Incarceration); 3) improving conditions in jail for the incarcerated (Humane Incarceration); and 4) offering mainstreaming programs after incarceration (Social Mainstreaming)
Cameroon is a Tier Two watch country. Despite the fact that Cameroon has enacted a law on Trafficking in persons, its implementation is not only weak but it has not created and implemented programs that are intended to combat trafficking in persons and hence trafficking is on the rise. To combat this ill, CHRAPA has continued to raise awareness on the negative effects of trafficking, especially child sex trafficking which has continued almost unabated. Apart from raising awareness, CHRAPA is also providing capacity building trainings to key stakeholders like magistrates, lawyers, judicial police officers, traditional and school authorities on what constitute trafficking and especially Child Sex trafficking. In 2017, CHRAPA successfully supported two victims of trafficking who won two court judgements in their favour.