The Committee has released its decision on “Communication 006/Com/002/2015 filed on 16 November 2015 by IHRDA and FGI (on behalf of TFA, minor) v The Republic of Cameroon. The Communication is concerning the rape of 10 year old TFA who according to the complaints was raped on the 9, 12, 15 and 16 of April, 2012, in Amanda – North-West region of Cameroon by a prominent and influential businessman, Mr Angwah Jephter Mbah.
In their submission, the Complainants alleged that a medical report confirmed she had been raped however, the case filed before the police was dismissed by the examining magistrate. It is further alleged that the representatives of the victim could not appeal as the decision of the Magistrate’s Courts containing the records of the case including evidence was not handed over to them despite their efforts to get the same for 2 years. The Complainants submitted that the authorities in Cameroon have failed to adequately and effectively investigate the crime of rape perpetrated against a minor. Accordingly the Complaints alleged that the Government of Cameroon contravened its obligation in the African Children’s Charter under article 1 on general measures of implementation due to its failure to duly investigate the rape, article 3 on non-discrimination, article 16 on protection against child abuse and torture. The Complainants also claimed violations of other international instruments such as Articles 4 and 37 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child; Articles 1, 2, 5, 7 and 18 (3) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples‟ Rights; Articles 2 (1), 3, 4 (1), 4 (2), 5, 8, and 25 of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples‟ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa; Articles 2, 3 and 5(a) of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, Articles 2, 12 and 13 of the Convention Against Torture, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment; and Articles 2(1) , 2(3) and 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, articles 2, 5 and 8 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Committee conducted a hearing of the case on 11 December 2017 with the presence of representatives of the Complainants and the Delegation of the Respondent State during its 30th Ordinary Session in Khartoum, Sudan The Committee, after carefully considering the complaints submission and the response of the Government, adopted its decision on the case during its 31st Ordinary Session held on 24 April- 06 May, 2018 in Bamako, Mali.
The ACERWC found the Respondent State in violation of its obligations under article 1 (general measures of implementation), article 3 (non-discrimination) and Article 16 (protection against child abuse and torture) of the African Children’s Charter. The Committee’s finding on article 3 of the Charter on the principle of non-discrimination adds value to the African Human Rights Jurisprudence as the Committee found that gender based violence amounts to gender based discrimination. The Decision gives due recognition to the fact that gender based violence is perpetrated as a result of discriminatory believes and stereotypes against women and hence perpetuates women’s inferiority thereby violating the principle of non-discrimination on any ground, including gender.
The Committee, in its decision, recommends for the Government of the Republic of Cameroon to immediately ensure that the perpetrator of rape against TFA is prosecuted and punished for violating TFA’s right to be free from inhuman and degrading treatment and ensure effective remedy for TFA. The committee also recommends that the Government Pays of a sum of 50 million CFA to TFA as a compensation for the non-pecuniary damage she suffered as a result of the above-mentioned violations. The committee further recommends for the Government of Cameroon, among others, to enact and implement a legislation eliminating all forms of violence, including sexual violence against children; to train its police, prosecutors, and judiciary; establish a mechanism to support victims of sexual abuse, and to work towards the elimination of practices, custom, and stereotypes that legitimize abuse of children.
For more information on this communication and the Committee’s Decision please contact:
Ayalew Getachew Assefa
Senior Child Protection Officer
The full text of the Decision is available here: