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Yaounde, 15 May 2024: IHRDA and Finders Group Initiative (FGI) have concluded a public dialogue with key stakeholders in Cameroon on the implementation of decision passed by the African Committee of experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (the ACERWC) in September 2018 declaring Cameroon’s responsibility in the TFA sexual violence case.

The event that brought together representatives of relevant Government institutions (notably the Ministries for justice, social affairs, women’s empowerment and the family, and the judiciary), the National Human Rights Commission, international human rights institutions, civil society organizations, the media and representative of the survivor’s family, sought to assess level of implementation of the said decision, and to advocate and craft strategies for the engagement of all stakeholders towards its full implementation.

It should be recalled that the case concerns the rape of TFA (acronym for the minor) by a prominent personality in Bamenda in 2012 when she was 10 years old. Following Government of Cameroon’s failure at the time to effectively investigate the violation and bring the perpetrator to justice, the case was brought before the ACERWC in 2015 by IHRDA and FGI. In 2018, the ACERWC ruled in favour of the complainants, urging Cameroon to properly investigate the violation and bring the offender to justice, pay TFA compensation worth 50 million FCFA (about 90,000 USD) for damages suffered, and put in place a series of structural measures to prevent such violations.

“This was the first case of sexual violence on a minor decided at the regional level, and we recognize the fact that Government of Cameroon has already demonstrated good faith in implementing this decision. Today, we commend the representatives of Cameroon for engaging in this constructive dialogue, as we aim to work together towards the full implementation of this decision. IHRDA is confident that the road map agreed on will ensure TFA is duly compensated and structural measures to prevent similar violations are put in place” – IHRDA Advocacy Officer, Lydia Kembabazi, stated.

The public dialogue falls within the framework of an Open Society Foundations-supported project to strengthen human rights accountability through compliance of States with decisions of African human rights mechanisms. It comes after a similar event IHRDA successfully organised in Sierra Leone in March 2024.