Cameroon Background

Cameroon is a country that has been coming to terms with its trafficking problem. Over the course of the last five years, efforts from international and national NGOs have resulted in an increased recognition of the problem of trafficking in the country. ABA ROLI is perfectly positioned to make a substantial impact by increasing the capacity of the Cameroonian legal community to prosecute cases of trafficking. ABA ROLI has strong experience working with police, prosecutors, and judges on identifying, prosecuting, and sentencing traffickers.

Human trafficking in Cameroon takes many forms. Children are frequently trafficked into working on agricultural plantations for little or no recompense, and with no means by which to travel the vast distances to return to their families. Many businessmen abuse the practice of apprenticeship, whereby children from neighboring countries travel to Cameroon to work for experience and training. In practice, it is common for these children to be exploited for no compensation and then deported once they are strong enough to resist coercion. International trafficking, especially of women, to Europe and the Middle East are also serious problems. Thanks the initiative of a broad coalition of NGOs these abuses are currently recognized as illegal. Cameroon passed a child trafficking law in 2005.

However, legislation and recognition can ultimately accomplish very little if traffickers are still able to operate with impunity. Understanding of the legal provisions of anti-trafficking legislation within the Cameroonian legal system is extremely limited, and knowledge of the new law is not widespread. Unless visible action is taken swiftly to build on recent efforts, the issue of human trafficking, including the 2005 law, risk fading into obscurity. In this context, ABA ROLI is perfectly positioned to make a substantial impact by increasing the capacity of the Cameroonian legal community to prosecute cases of trafficking. ABA ROLI has strong experience working with police, prosecutors, and judges on identifying, prosecuting, and sentencing traffickers. ABA ROLI, through a grant from the U.S. Department of State, will address these issues in Cameroon through the following initiatives.

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