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General News of Friday, 12 December 2014

Source: Cameroon Tribune

Celebrating years of promoting, protecting human rights

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Activities marking the NCHRF's anniversary were launched in Yaounde on December 10, 2014.

The National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms, NCHRF, has clocked 10 and its Chairperson, Dr Divine Chemuta Banda warns that if nothing is done, the Commission risks losing its Status “A” when the International Coordinating Committee, ICC, meets for evaluation in 2015.

NCHRF was created in 2004 to replace the defunct National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms, which had as pioneer Chair, the late Dr Solomon Nforgwei.

NCHRF was re-accredited the status of national institution for human rights in 2010, in line with the Paris Principles which allow the NCHRF to vote or hold office in the ICC or its regional groups.

Chemuta Banda was speaking in Yaounde on December 10, 2014, as he launched activities marking 10 years of the rights Commission.

He explained that Status “A” depends on efforts by member states of the United Nations to strengthen the powers, autonomy and independence of their respective national human rights institutions. He appealed for multifaceted support on the ongoing amendment of the Act of 2004 to enable the Commission benefit from more financial autonomy, with greater powers and reduced number of full-time workers.

Celebrations to end on December 20, 2014, are holding on the theme, “2004-2014: Ten years of the NCHRF at the Service of Human Rights and Freedoms.” Dr Divine Chemuta Banda challenged stakeholders and staff to assess progress and obstacles as they seek to promote, protect and respect human rights in Cameroon. For ten years, NCHRF has regularly published reports on the state of human rights in Cameroon in accordance with the law.

It developed collaboration with partners, a National Plan of Action for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and the National Education Programme for Human Rights as part of human rights projects.

Yesterday’s ceremony also saw the commemoration of the 66th International Human Rights Day on the theme, “Human Rights 365.” The theme focused on the need for communities to place human rights issues at the heart of daily concerns.

The celebration came at a time Cameroon is facing security challenges at some borders. Chemuta Banda condemned in strongest terms acts of terrorism that threaten and endanger life, human dignity, physical and moral integrity, property, education, health, employment and security of persons. He saluted the bravery of the country’s Armed Forces, while promising continuous and intensified actions for the promotion and protection of human rights.

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