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Cameroon: Domestic violence, including protection and services offered to victims, police attitudes and laws in this regard; if applicable, whether victims can file a complaint (1998 - Aug. 2003)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 25 August 2003
Citation / Document Symbol CMR41855.FE
Reference 1
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Cameroon: Domestic violence, including protection and services offered to victims, police attitudes and laws in this regard; if applicable, whether victims can file a complaint (1998 - Aug. 2003), 25 August 2003, CMR41855.FE, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/403dd1eb10.html [accessed 11 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

In its report entitled Profil de l'égalité des sexes : Cameroun (mars 2002), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) indicated that, in Cameroon, [CIDA English version] "domestic violence against women is common" (Canada Mar. 2002). Quoting women's rights advocates, this report also indicated that, in Cameroon, [CIDA English version] "the law does not impose effective penalties on men who commit acts of domestic violence. There are no gender-specific assault laws, despite the fact that women were the predominant victims of domestic violence. Spousal abuse is not a legal ground for divorce" (ibid.).

A report from the Cameroonian newspaper La Nouvelle Expression published on the Internet site of the French embassy in Cameroon stated that [translation] "violence against women in Cameroon has increased" (7 Mar. 2003). Referring to a study by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the newspaper also pointed out that [translation] "rape, domestic violence, traditional forms of sexual abuse, physical and psychological violence" are among the various types of violence to which women in Cameroon are subjected (La Nouvelle Expression 7 Mar. 2003).

A report entitled Les droits des femmes en matière de santé reproductive au Cameroun, published in November 1999, stated that, among other things, [CRLP English version] "domestic violence is widespread in Cameroon and is not prohibited by the law" (CRLP Nov. 1999). The report added that, in Cameroon, [CRLP English version] "there is no law concerning sexual harassment" (ibid.).

No specific information on police attitudes toward the victims of domestic violence and whether victims can file a complaint could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

For more information on the situation of women who are victims of violence, please consult CMR41594.FE of 29 May 2003.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Canada. March 2002. Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Profil de l'égalité des sexes : Cameroun (mars 2002) [Accessed 7 Aug. 2003]

Center for Reproductive Law and Policy (CRLP). November 1999. Les droits des femmes en matière de santé reproductive au Cameroun. Alternative report published in collaboration with the Association of Women Jurists of Cameroon (ACAFEJ) as part of the 21st session of the Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. [Accessed 6 Aug. 2003]

La Nouvelle Expression. 7 March 2003. "De plus en plus de femmes victimes de violences." [Accessed 5 Aug. 2003]

Additional Sources Consulted

Africa Confidential

Dialog

IRB Databases

Resource Centre country file. Cameroon

West Africa

Internet sites, including:

Africatime

Allafrica

Amnesty International

Cameroonian Women's Association

Cameroun Infonet

Fraternet-droits de la femme

Human Rights Watch (HRW)

Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN)

International Federation of Human Rights Leagues (FIDH)

Le Patriote

United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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