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Cameroon

DIDIE Dignity in Detention - Promoting respect of the rights of people imprisoned in Cameroon.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Within a judicial system already in difficulty, due to a lack of means, human resources, a culture of respect for rights, or because of trivialized corruption, the Cameroonian prison system is in a worrying situation. According to figures provided by the Cameroonian government to the United Nations Committee against Torture in March 2010, out of a total of 23,196 detainees, there are 14,265 defendants awaiting trial for 8,931 convicted prisoners in Cameroonian prisons. Beyond prisons, the problem of respect for the rights of persons deprived of liberty is revealed daily by the worrying situation in police stations where detainees complain about the treatment they receive. Urgent action is therefore needed in all places of deprivation of liberty to inform detainees of their rights and to raise awareness among professionals of the need to respect the fundamental rights of detainees.

OBJECTIVES

Strengthen knowledge of and respect for the minimum rules and guarantees due to the person deprived of liberty.
 
Target regions: Douala, Yaoundé, Bamenda and Ngaoundéré.

ACTIVITIES

  • Training: a 2-day training session per year is planned in the places targeted by the project for the different actors of the prison world (judicial police officers, magistrates, lawyers, prison staff, registry).
  • Legal assistance to the most vulnerable cases: a quarterly prison visit of the places of detention will make it possible to identify the most vulnerable cases and to provide these people with free legal assistance.
  • Raising awareness among detainees: informative events, small conferences, distribution of documents, posting, drafting and distribution of internal regulations for prison staff as well as a booklet on the rights of the detainee.

EXPECTED RESULTS

  • Training: 480 judicial actors from the prison world are trained
  • Legal aid: 500 cases are handled by the program's lawyers throughout the program.
  • Awareness-raising: 48 visits were made and approximately 4,000 prisoners were made aware of their rights.

FINANCIAL AND OPERATIONAL PARTNERS

This project was carried out in partnership with Avocats Sans Frontières Cameroon and the Cameroon Bar Association.

It was funded by the Paris Bar Foundation, the Foundation Un Monde Par Tous, the Midi-Pyrénées Region and the European Union. 

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