Back to the map with all countries
Optional protocolon the involvement of children in armed conflict, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
Corporal punishmentCorporal Punishment is legal in the home, alternative care settings and day care.
Overview of the child rights situation

The report from Cameroon shows that much remains to be done to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. For example, the low budget allocations to the health sector and the structural discrimination and displacement of indigenous people need to be improved. School attendance should not suffer due to excessive costs or the oppression of girls. Violence also plays a major role, on the one hand due to the wars and conflicts in neighbouring countries, and on the other hand due to violent acts emanating from terrorist organizations such as Boko Haram and from the state police itself.

Situation of intersexual and transsexual childrenThe Committee is deeply concerned about the State party’s rejection during the dialogue of the identity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex children and the stigmatization and discrimination experienced by such children. It urges the State Party to recognize the identity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex children and protect them against discrimination in law and in practice.
Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

The Committee expresses grave concern that sexual violence is prevalent, including against very young children, that over 22 per cent of girls aged 15-19 have experienced sexual violence, notably within the context of child marriage, and that consequently the high rate of HIV/AIDS of this group persists. In addition to that, state legislation does not provide full protection for all victims of violence, including sexual violence, or guarantee their compensation or rehabilitation.
The Committee recommends to the State party to implement its national strategic plan for adolescent and youth health, ensuring it encompasses a comprehensive sexual and reproductive health component, which includes delivering sexual and reproductive health education as part of the mandatory school curriculum targeted at adolescent girls and boys, with special attention paid to preventing adolescent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections and to raising awareness of and fostering responsible parenthood and sexual behaviour, with particular attention to boys and men. In addition to that, adolescent girls’ access to reproductive health care and related services need to be improved.

Racism, children belonging to a minority and indigenous childrenIn view of the discrimination experienced by the Pygmies and the Mbororo peoples in the State party and the absence of any law protecting their rights, the Committee urges the State party to allocate adequate resources for the implementation of the national action plan for indigenous peoples, ensuring its objective is to respect, protect and promote the rights of indigenous children and to eliminate their food insecurity, poverty and vulnerability to violence and exploitation, with their full and effective participation. It also urges Cameroon to accelerate efforts to promote the education of indigenous children and counteract the extremely high illiteracy rate of the indigenous peoples through the construction of adequately resourced schools in their communities and the delivery of culturally appropriate curricula.
Situation of children with disabilities

The Committee urges the State party to adopt a human rights-based approach to disability and specifically recommends that it take immediate measures to ensure that children with disabilities have access to health care, including early detection and intervention programmes.
Cameroon should also immediately release any children institutionalized on the basis of their disability and ensure they receive community-based support and undertake awareness-raising campaigns aimed at the families of children with disabilities, teachers and society to combat the stigmatization of and prejudice against children with disabilities. Cameroon should also improve water management by undertaking an inventory of water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, investing in the capacity-building of water point management committees and updating the legislative framework on water management to address institutional issues.

Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant childrenConflicts and instability in neighbouring countries have resulted in, collectively, over a half million refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced persons arriving in Cameroon. Therefore, the Committee recommends, among other things, to ensure that the best interests of the child are a primary consideration in all decisions and agreements in relation to the transfer of any asylum-seeking or refugee children, that all returns are voluntary and that the principle of non-refoulement is upheld. Further, Cameroon should develop comprehensive referral and case management frameworks for services to refugee and asylum-seeking children, particularly in the fields of physical and mental health services, education and the police and justice sectors, including the provision of free legal aid, particularly for unaccompanied and separated children.
Free kindergartenNo
Free primary and secondary schoolNo
physical health

Low budget allocations to the health sector result in poor infrastructure, equipment, quality of services, and lack of qualified personnel, and contribute to high maternal and neonatal mortality rates and child malnutrition. To guarantee the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, the Committee recommends that Cameroon ensure a sufficient number of accessible health centres and hospitals equipped with adequate human, technical and financial resources throughout the country and increase investment in seasonal malaria prevention including by delivering awareness-raising programmes on the utilization of mosquito nets and ensure sanctions against health workers who demand payment of informal fees for the disbursement of free malaria treatment.

Concerning adolescent health, the Committee recommends to address the incidence of drug abuse by children and adolescents, in particular Tramadol, by, inter alia, providing children and adolescents with accurate and objective information and education on life skills for the prevention of substance abuse, including tobacco and alcohol, and develop accessible and youth-friendly drug dependency treatment and harm reduction services.

Relation to other countries
Impacts of climate change

The Committee is deeply concerned that the activities of companies, particularly transnational corporations in the extractive and agribusiness sectors, in the State party may lead to forced displacement and resettlement of indigenous communities and other minority groups, pollution of water resources and food, and environmental degradation to the detriment of children. Furthermore, the Committee is concerned about the lack of a regulatory framework in this regard.
To improve the situation, the Committee recommends to establish a regulatory framework to deal with the impact of the business sector on children’s rights to ensure that their activities do not negatively affect human rights or endanger environmental or other standards, especially those relating to children’s rights.

Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee is concerned about arbitrary detention of children by police and the informal fees demanded for their release, including informal fees for legal aid lawyers and insufficiency and inadequacy of hygienic and serviced detention facilities for children and the lack of any systematic separation from adults of children in detention.
To improve the situation, the Committee urges Cameroon to expeditiously establish specialized juvenile court facilities and procedures as well as providing qualified and independent legal aid and assistance to children in conflict with the law at an early stage of and throughout legal proceedings. Also, in cases where detention is unavoidable, the State party should ensure that children are systematically separated from adults and that detention conditions are compliant with international standards, including access to education and health services.

Specific observations

The Committee is concerned that children born out of wedlock must fulfil additional conditions to acquire Cameroonian nationality and that the acquisition of nationality may be denied to children with disabilities.

Additional BackgroundConcluding observations on the third to fifth periodic reports released on 6 July 2017.
Last Updated (date)2nd of March, 2022