On July 6, 2016 76 Crimes reported:
Two groups of human-rights advocates in the United States and Cameroon have joined forces to appeal for recognition of the rights of Cameroonian children, especially girls and LGBTI youths, who are often subjected to discrimination, abuses and inadequate health care.
The Advocates for Human Rights, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., and theCameroonian Foundation for AIDS(Camfaids), based in Yaoundé, Cameroon, issued the appeal in a report this week in preparation for an upcoming meeting of the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child.
The full text of the executive summary of the report, including footnotes, isavailable in PDF format. Below is a long, but slightly abridged version of that executive summary:
Cameroon’s Compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child
Suggested List of Issues Relating to the Rights of LGBTI Children and Violence Against Girls
1. The Government of Cameroon participates in and condones discrimination against people on the basis of perceived and actual sexual orientation and gender identity. In addition to criminalizing consensual same-sex sexual relations, the Cameroonian Government fosters a climate of impunity for officials and other persons who abuse, torture, and murder people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex (LGBTI). This discrimination against people who are LGBTI includes Cameroonian youth, who are especially vulnerable.
2. Discrimination against LGBTI youth is apparent in the criminal justice system, especially due to Cameroon’s laws criminalizing LGBTI people and its lack of a juvenile justice system. Article 347 bis (also known as Article 347a) of the Penal Code outlaws consensual sexual relations between same-sex adults, but has also been used to arrest and detain youth based on their perceived or actual sexual orientation. Children arrested under Article 347 bis are rarely allowed the protections entitled to them as children in conflict with the law. Police and prison officers routinely abuse detainees suspected of same-sex sexual relationships and there is no mechanism to hold them accountable.