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اللجنة الأفريقية لحقوق الإنسان والشعوب

غانا: التقرير الأولي، 1990-1992

تغطية المدة:1990 - 1992

تاريخ التقديم:كانون الأول 10 , 1993

نظرت الدورة:14th Ordinary Session


الملاحظات الختامية والتوصيات - غانا: التقرير الأولي، 1990-1992

اعتمد في الدورة العادية رقم 14 كانون الأول 01 to كانون الأول 10 , 1993 ,Ethiopie.

Forty-Seventh Ordinary Session
12 – 26 May 2010, in Banjul, The Gambia 

Consideration of Reports submitted by States Parties under the Terms of Article 62 
of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

Concluding Observations and Recommendations on the Second Periodic Report of the Republic of Cameroon


I - Introduction

1. The Republic of Cameroon (Cameroon) has been a State Party to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter) since 20 June 1989. Cameroon presented its second Periodic Report during the 47th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission). The present Report covers the period from 2003 to 2008.

2. The Delegation of Cameroon was led by His Excellency Mr. Sébastien Foumane, Secretary General at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and comprised Mrs. Helen Galega FEH, Deputy Director of International Cooperation in the Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Hermine Kembou, Head of Studies Division, Assistant in the Human Rights Division in the Ministry of Justice, Mr. Owono Zang Gabriel, Head of Department in the African Affairs Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

3. The present Concluding Observations take into account not only the information contained in the above mentioned Report, but also the questionnaire prepared and sent to the State Party. They also take into account the discussions and the dialogue the members of the African Commission had with the Delegation during the examination of the Report.

II - Positive Aspects

The African Commission:

4. Lauds the efforts deployed by the State Party in the preparation and presentation of its Report. It congratulates Cameroon for the regularity in the submission of its Reports.

5. Expresses satisfaction with the constructive dialogue that it had with the Delegation particularly the manner of presentation of this second Periodic Report.

6. Notes with satisfaction that Cameroon signed the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa) on 20 May 2009, and urges it to pursue the deposit of the instruments of ratification of the said Protocol.

7. Appreciates Cameroon’s initiative in having organized a Seminar on the Rights of Indigenous Populations, held from 13 to 16 September 2006 in Yaoundé, and considers this Seminar a positive step forward in the struggle for protection of the rights of indigenous populations.

8. Welcomes, with satisfaction, the involvement of the State Party in the combat against corruption and impunity.

9. Congratulates the putting in place of a hot line for the benefit of women in difficulty and victims of violence.

10. Notes further with satisfaction the introduction of human rights in the school curricula in Cameroon, notably the issues of gender and violence against women.

11. Is pleased with the fact that there are laws which guarantee the right to a fair trial, in particular the right to demand and obtain the immediate release of detainees, victims of abusive preventative detention, and the dropping of the case where proceedings are not instituted within the timeframe provided for by the law.

12. Congratulates the State Party for the putting in place of professional training programmes specialized in computer science for persons with disabilities. (1)

III - Factors Restricting the Enjoyment of the Rights Guaranteed in the African Charter

13. The African Commission has identified several factors that hinder the enjoyment of human rights in Cameroon:

i.The persistence of traditional practices and customs could constitute an obstacle for the realization of human rights.
ii.The economic recession and the food crisis, which has struck all the African countries.

IV - Areas of Concern

While recognising the efforts of Cameroon to promote and protect human rights and to create awareness on the principles and provisions of the African Charter, the African Commission remains concerned that:

14. The Report does not take into account the Concluding Observations adopted at the 39th Ordinary Session by the African Commission following the presentation by Cameroon of its last Periodic Report.

15. There is no reference in the Report to the conditions under which the Report was prepared and as to the involvement of civil society in the drafting process.

16. Articles 27, 28, 29 of the African Charter were not covered in the Report.

17. The terminology used to designate the indigenous populations in Cameroon responds neither to the principle nor to the regulations of general international law, or regional law on the rights of indigenous populations.

18. The Report does not indicate any legislative or regulatory measures taken to protect the rights of indigenous populations and in particular to guarantee their economic, social and cultural rights. (2)

19. The Report does not provide sufficient information in relation to the measures put in place by the State Party to guarantee free and transparent elections.

20. Defamation is criminalized under Cameroon’s Criminal Law despite the Declaration of Principles on the Freedom of Expression in Africa, which urges State Parties to reform the laws that provide for criminal sanctions for defamation.

21. It had identified cases of violations of rights of journalists.

22. The Report does not make mention of measures taken to enhance and ensure women’s rights, in particular issues such as maternal and reproductive health of women, the conditions of detention for women and the measures taken to improve this situation; the political representation of women in decision making organs; the situation of women in the informal sector; the prevalence of harmful practices such as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and forced marriages. (3)

23. The Report does not mention the measures taken concerning the fight against poverty, notably in the areas linked to women’s access to housing, to employment, to loans, to free medical care, to education and to revenue generating activities.

24. Several legislative measures related to women’s rights are under preparation, but few mechanisms actually protect these rights.

25. Cameroon still maintains the death penalty in its national laws and does not envisage abolishing it, despite the Resolutions adopted by the African Commission on moratorium and on the abolition of the death penalty.

26. The Report does not contain any information on the measures taken by the State Party for the implementation of the Robben Island Guidelines.

27. The Report does not provide sufficient statistics on the condition of prisons and places of detention.

28. The situation of older persons is not included in the Report.

29. The Report gives no information on the rights of persons with disabilities, especially the statistics on motivating measures for their access to the job market/employment, and those related to their protection and enjoyment of medical and social care.

30. It has received a considerable number of reports about cases of violations of the rights of human rights defenders in Cameroon.

31. The Report is silent on the measures taken by Cameroon regarding the ratification of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Protocol on the Establishment of the African Court) and the Declaration under Article 34(6) of the this Protocol.

32. Cameroon has not ratified the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.


(1) See para 340, at p 118 of the Report
(2) See para 342, at p 121 of the Report
(3) See starting from para 317 of the Report

IV - Recommendations

The African Commission recommends that the Government of Cameroon should:
 

Harmonize the national legislation with the regional and international standards on the rights of indigenous populations/communities. Collaborate and invite the Working Group on Indigenous Populations to undertake a promotional visit to Cameroon to pursue the dialogue on the theme and to find lasting solutions for the effective implementation of the rights of these populations. Adopt as early as possible appropriate legislation for the protection of the rights of indigenous populations. Abandon the use of the term « marginal populations » to refer to indigenous populations, as recommended by the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in its final observations CERD/C/CMR/CO/15-18. Harmonize the land laws and adopt special measures allowing the indigenous populations to fully enjoy all their rights, in particular their right to land, and to work towards the consideration of their cultural peculiarities including nomadism so as to prevent this factor from restricting the enjoyment of their rights. Take all the necessary measures to guarantee to all political parties free and fair electoral campaigns in the run-up to the upcoming elections. Harmonize the national legislation with the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa, notably by decriminalizing libel and adopting a law on access to information. Take all the necessary measures to make effective the right to freedom of expression and to guarantee for journalists all the security required in the exercise of their professional activities. Reinforce the programmes and policies adopted in the area of reproductive health in order to raise the level of access by women and adolescents to family planning and to accessible and good quality health services and to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates. Accelerate the reform of the Criminal Code which provides for the inclusion of punitive clauses related to violence against women and to put in place appropriate measures and programmes for the eradication of all forms of violence against women including the training of Judges, Lawyers and Judicial Police Officers. Take the necessary measures to give full effect to the African Union’s Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality, starting notably with the submission of annual Reports to the African Union on the situation of the rights of women in Cameroon. Put in place a policy of gender representation in the decision making positions, in particular the adoption of 50% quota for women. Take special measures to guarantee the protection and implementation of indigenous women’s rights due to their extreme vulnerability and the discrimination to which they are subjected to. Take the required and urgent measures for the abolition of the death penalty in Cameroon by taking into account the international standards and the Resolutions of the African Commission on the abolition of the death penalty. Guarantee to workers the full and total exercise of all their social and economic rights in order to avoid the infernal cycle of strike action which is liable to paralyse the country’s economy. Collaborate with the African Commission for the implementation of the Robben Island Guidelines which carry provisions relating to Torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, notably by inviting the Commission to carry out a sensitization mission to Cameroon on this tool for the protection of human and peoples’ rights. Provide disaggregated statistics on the condition of prisons and places of detention. Give detailed information on the living conditions of older persons as well as on the measures put in place to guarantee their rights. Provide detailed information on the living conditions of the persons with disabilities and on the measures put in place to guarantee their rights. Guarantee security in the exercise of their activities for the human rights defenders in conformity with the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders and the principles prescribed by the African Charter. Provide reliable statistics and strengthen the policies and plans that promote the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights, in particular the right to food, access to clean drinking water, to housing and to electricity. Take the necessary measures to: Ratify the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance; Ratify the Protocol to the African Charter Establishing the African Court, and to make the Declaration under Article 34(6) of the same Protocol; Deposit the instruments of ratification of the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa in the earliest time possible. Collaborate with the National Human Rights Commission, the members of civil society and all the actors involved in the promotion of human rights in Cameroon in the preparation of Periodic Reports from the beginning to the end. Take all the necessary steps for the presentation of the next Periodic Report in 2012. Take legislative and other measures for the effective implementation of all the rights guaranteed in the African Charter, including Articles 27,28 and 29. Provide disaggregated statistics that depict the state of implementation of the rights prescribed by the African Charter and the evaluation of the progress made and the challenges faced. Inform the African Commission of the steps it has taken to address the areas of concern, as well as how it has implemented the recommendations in this Concluding Observations.


Adopted at the 47th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights held from 12 to 26 May 2010, Banjul, The Gambia.

Forty-Seventh Ordinary Session
12 – 26 May 2010, in Banjul, The Gambia

Consideration of Reports submitted by States Parties under the Terms of Article 62 
of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

Concluding Observations and Recommendations on the Ninth and Tenth Periodic Reports of the Republic of Rwanda


I - Introduction

1. The Republic of Rwanda (Rwanda) is a State Party to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter) having ratified the latter on 17 May 1983.

2. Rwanda submitted its Initial Report to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission) in August 1990 and was considered during the latter’s 19th Ordinary Session. It submitted its combined First to Fifth Periodic Reports in March 2000, its combined Sixth and Seventh Periodic Reports in June 2004 and its Eighth Periodic Report in June 2007.

3. The present Report, which covers the period from 2005 to 2008, combines the Ninth and Tenth Periodic Reports of Rwanda. It was examined by the African Commission during its 47th Ordinary Session held from 12 to 26 May 2010, in Banjul, The Gambia.

4. The Report was presented to the African Commission by Honourable Karugarama Tharcisse, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Rwanda. Other members of the delegation included Professor Joseph Nsengimana, Ambassador to the Embassy of the Republic of Rwanda in Ethiopia, Mr Rusanganwa Eugene, Principal State Attorney, and Mr Nkerabigwi Etienne, Treaty Reporting Project Coordinator at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

5. The Report highlights the developments that have taken place in the country in the area of human and peoples’ rights and measures put in place to comply with the country’s obligations under the African Charter.

6. During the presentation of the Report the delegation provided the African Commission with additional information, and further undertook to provide information which was not immediately available.

7. The African Commission had a constructive dialogue with the delegation, which allowed for a meaningful engagement of the State Party on their compliance with its obligations under the African Charter. In this regard, the African Commission welcomes the positive reaction of the delegation to the suggestions and recommendations made by the African Commission during the dialogue.

8. The present Concluding Observations are drawn from this constructive dialogue based on the content of the Report as well as the oral responses and information given by the delegation during the presentation of the Report.

9. The Concluding Observations highlight the positive aspects identified in the report, outline areas of concern and point out factors that are likely to restrict the enjoyment of the rights guaranteed by the African Charter in the country. They also provide recommendations, which if implemented, are likely to enhance the promotion and protection of human and peoples’ rights in Rwanda.

II - Positive Aspects

The African Commission:

10. Commends the fact that both the format and presentation of the Report are in substantial conformity with the African Commission Guidelines for the Preparation of Periodic Reports.

11. Appreciates the fact that Rwanda is one of the States Parties to the African Charter to submit its Periodic Reports regularly in conformity with Article 62 of the African Charter.

12. Recognises the fact that the 2003 Constitution of Rwanda provides for a wide range of civil and political rights, as well as some economic, social and cultural rights, in particular, the right to form trade unions and the right to strike. The African Commission further notes with appreciation that Article 190 of the said Constitution provides for the immediate application at domestic level of international instruments ratified by Rwanda.

13. Appreciates the fact that the Constitution of Rwanda entrenches the policy and structure of power sharing at all levels of Government and different arms of the State.

14. Appreciates the reform of the judicial sector to bring justice closer to the people through the establishment of Mediation Committees; which mediate between parties to settle disputes before they reach the courts resulting in reducing the backlog of cases in the courts.

15. Further appreciates the community service program introduced by the Rwanda to enhance the rehabilitation of prisoners and ease congestion in prisons.

16. Welcomes the Government’s plan to wind up the gacaca courts in June 2010 with a provision to provide remedies for any injustices that might have occurred during their operation.

17. Welcomes the abolition of capital punishment through law No. 31/2007 relating to the abolition of the death penalty and the injunction not to extradite any suspect to countries where the death penalty is applicable unless they make an undertaking not to apply the death penalty.

18. Welcomes further the abolition of solitary confinement in respect of prisoners serving life sentence and the criminalisation of torture.

19. Notes with appreciation the high number of women in decision making positions at all levels of state institutions.

20. Welcomes the undertaking made by the delegation to ensure that the Robben Island Guidelines on the Prohibition and Prevention of Torture adopted by the African Commission in 2003 are disseminated and implemented by prison and police authorities.

21. Appreciates the measures and efforts taken by the Government to ensure education for all, including the introduction of free and compulsory basic education and free education up to tertiary level to children from disadvantaged groups such as genocide survivors, the Batwas as well as to children with special needs.

22. Further appreciates the measures taken to empower the youth and women through the establishment of the Internship Programme to help students gain experience in their field of study, and the establishment of the micro-credit scheme which has enabled many women, especially in the rural areas to access credit.

23. Commends the progress made by Rwanda towards reconciliation and peace building by using traditional institutions, like the Itorero, the traditional cultural education program designed to build national unity, and Abunzi, which mediate conflicts and advocate reconciliation.

24. Welcomes the various programmes, policies and strategies put in place to reduce poverty with particular emphasis on vulnerable groups, including:
 

Sustainable Growth for Jobs and Exports –which aims at the creation of jobs for young people; Vision 2020 Umurenge - a decentralized integrated rural development program designed to reduce poverty; The national policy for orphans and other vulnerable children and its strategic plan along with a National Program for children; The national population policy for sustainable development; and The policy for the elderly and people with disabilities.


25. Notes with appreciation the attention the Government has given to the health sector by putting in place:
 

A Community Based Health Insurance scheme (mutuelles de santé) which aims at providing health insurance to the whole population; A National Malaria Control Programme and the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission programme; A provision of free ARV drugs to people living with HIV; Psychosocial Consultation Centres in primary and secondary health care; and Health schemes such as the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI), the Reproductive Health and Family Planning, and the Expanded Program on Immunization;


26. Commends Rwanda for ratifying the various international human rights treaties mentioned in the Report.

27. Welcomes the steps taken by Rwanda to ensure a clean and healthy environment, in particular the establishment of the National Program for adaptation on climate change (NAPA) and the training of experts to assess climate change in the country.

III- Factors Restricting the Enjoyment of the Rights Guaranteed in the African Charter

28. The African Commission notes that in spite of the progress made in the promotion and protection of human rights in the country several challenges, including efforts to prevent a repeat of genocide, poverty, limited resources, ignorance, and illiteracy continue to mitigate against the effective enjoyment of human rights.

IV - Areas of Concern

While recognising the efforts of Rwanda to promote and protect human rights and to create awareness on the principles and provisions of the African Charter, the African Commission remains concerned that:

29. The Government continues to deny the concept and very existence of indigenous populations in the country and continues to treat and term the indigenous Batwa community as ‘historically marginalised people’.

30. The continuous denial to recognise the Batwa as indigenous populations does not afford the Government the opportunity to develop appropriate strategies suitable to enhance the welfare of the indigenous community, and this may account for the continuous underdevelopment, marginalisation and discrimination of the Batwa.

31. The meaning given to the concept of divisionism and genocide ideology are too broad and imprecise and have the potential to be misinterpreted and abused if not properly defined. The broad definitions have the potential in particular to restrict freedom of expression and participation, and seem incompatible with an open and democratic society.

32. There is inadequate training of judges, lawyers and prosecutors on the use of human rights in the administration of justice.

33. The conditions of detention remain unsatisfactory.

34. The enactment of the Access to Information Bill into law has been unduly delayed.

35. Reports indicate that the Law Relating to the Punishment of the Crime of Genocide Ideology of 2008 is being used to victimise and intimidate perceived opponents of the regime in power.

36. More than 90% of the Rwandan working population is not protected by any labour laws as they are employed in the informal sector which remains unregulated.

37. There is no special support scheme to child headed households in spite of the large number of such children.

38. There is no specific legislation to regulate legal aid in Rwanda;

39. Rwanda has not ratified certain major African Union human rights instruments such as the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance and the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa.

40. Rwanda has not made the declaration under Article 34(6) of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Protocol Establishing the African Court).

41. Rwanda has not ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT).

42. Civil society organisations, including Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) working in the field of human rights were not individually associated in the preparation of this Periodic Report.

V - Recommendations

The African Commission recommends that the Government of Rwanda should:

43. Recognise the Batwa as an indigenous community and take steps to protect their identity, culture and way of life.

44. Adopt policies and laws including affirmative action measures to extend special protection and ensure the continued participation of the indigenous population in all aspects of life in Rwanda;

45. Take measures to improve the conditions of prisons in the country and ensure visitation rights for detainees and prisoners.

46. Establish appropriate mechanisms to ensure that, the Law Relating to the Punishment of the Crime of Genocide Ideology of 2008, and the Law on Prevention, Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Discrimination and Sectarianism are not used to restrict freedom of expression and other rights and freedoms.

47. Open up the political space for an increased and free participation of all opposition political parties.

48. Develop appropriate ways of registering, controlling and regulating the informal sector to prevent exploitation of workers.

49. Put in place a special program to assist child headed households.

50. Ensure the training of judges, prosecutors and lawyers on the application of human rights at domestic level, especially with regard to the African Charter.

51. Ratify the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance as well as the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa.

52. Make the declaration under Article 34(6) of the Protocol Establishing the African Court to accept direct access for individuals and NGOs.

53. Ratify the OPCAT.

54. Promote civil societies and NGOs that provide free legal aid and enact appropriate laws that regulate legal aid.

55. Adopt the Access to Information Bill that has been pending for almost five years and ensure that it complies with international standards on access to information and freedom of expression, in particular the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa adopted by the African Commission in 2002.

56. Ensure the teaching and dissemination of the Guidelines and Measures for the Prohibition and Prevention of Torture, Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment in Africa (The Robben Island Guidelines) to law enforcement agents, prosecutors, judges, prison administration and guards.

57. Ensure that it involves all relevant stakeholders, including all human rights NGOs in the preparation of its next Periodic Reports.

58. Inform the African Commission, in its next Periodic Report, of the steps it has taken to address the areas of concern, as well as how it has implemented the recommendations in this Concluding Observations.


Adopted at the 47th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights held from 12 to 26 May 2010, Banjul, The Gambia.