PTF-Africa works to develop innovative solutions and creative ideas that help to equip youth and their communities to demand accountability in the realization of their rights. Rather than being reactive, these programs are about creating a culture of engagement that prevents governments from failing to deliver upon their obligations for the world’s most disadvantaged children and youth.
Ensuring access to justice for youth involves obtaining solutions to legal problems at different stages of the process. These range from the existence of rights enshrined in laws and awareness and understanding of such rights, to access to dispute resolution mechanisms, as part of the formal and informal justice system.
We are currently building on our association with Cameroonian CSOs, the including International Governance Institute Focal Integrity Team in Cameroon (IGI-FITCAM), to address weaknesses in the legal status of minors, demonstrate economic and social benefits of coherent legislation, and promote remedial actions when they are violated.
Advancement of children’s rights in Cameroon is, at best, a work in progress. Cameroon lags behind in key areas of child welfare including the right to health, education, and identity. On the legal protection front, there is no overarching definition of a minor under Cameroonian law. The situation is further compounded by the fact that there are differences in definition under the French civil law and the English common law, both applicable in Cameroon.
The program will seek to rectify these inequalities through education on existing laws and protections, clarification of contradicting policies, and training communities to pressure the justice system to strengthen protections for children. This is expected to establish a foundation for a legal framework governing protection of minors, improved knowledge on minors’ legal status and how to access legal system, and increase opportunities for young people will be equipped to obtain and keep fair wages and safe employment.