The protection of children’s right to education in Cameroon: Case study southwest region

Project Details

Department
LAW
Project ID
L029
Price
5000XAF
International: $20
No of pages
55
Instruments/method
Qualitative
Reference
YES
Analytical tool
Content analysissis
Format
 MS Word & PDF
Chapters
1-5

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Abstract

This study looks at children right to education in Cameroon. Children are human beings below the age of 18 years. They are unique and privileged since they are a vulnerable group of human beings. Children have human rights such as the right to education, health and a standard of living. These rights have to be respected and protected.

The ideas that animated the children’s right movement developed after the Second World War and the atrocities of The Holocaust. Children are often victims of bad treatment, negative social and cultural practices, sexual abuse and all forms of economic hazardous exploitation.

This research exposes the violations of children’s right to education as a major infringement of child rights that needs to be eliminated. Although they are coming from poor families, some of them have to work.  It, therefore, becomes necessary to investigate activities violating children’s rights and possible mechanisms.

This work adopts the doctrinal research method which is appropriate in law. It, therefore, makes use of content analysis. International legal instruments protecting children’s rights at the international level are discussed in relation to the various rights of children.

In Cameroon, international legal instruments have precedence over national instruments protecting children’s rights to education. These international legal instruments are ratified and applied with other national instruments protecting children’s rights, yet, these rights are still violated. It is recommended that measures should be taken to intensify the fight against the violation of children’s rights to education.

Cameroon has a good legal framework for the protection of children’s rights. However, violation of these rights which are manifested in various forms only suggests that more is expected from the government in protecting children’s rights to education.

CHAPTER ONE

GENERAL INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY:

Education is both a human right in itself and an indispensable means of realizing other human rights. As an empowerment right, education is the primary vehicle by which economically and socially marginalized adults and children can lift themselves out of poverty and obtain the means to participate fully in their communities.

Some Children due to poor backgrounds turn to join bad gangs made up of thieves, drug dealers and prostitution as the case may be. Education plays a vital role in empowering women, safeguarding children from exploitative and hazardous labour and sexual exploitation, promoting human rights and democracy. Children are humans below the age of 18years.In law, they are referred to as minors.

This makes them unique and special in society. Children have human rights such as the right to education, health and a good standard of living. Children are often victims of sexual abuse, child labour which infringes their rights. Although section 84 of the labour code stipulates that {a minor of 14years can enter into a labour contract, some children are being maltreated with either little or no wages or by forced labour and in uncomfortable conditions.

Many of the basic ideas that animated the children’s rights movement developed in the aftermath of the second world war and the atrocities of the holocaust that culminated in the adoption of the universal declaration of human rights in Paris by the united nations general assembly in 1948.

Internationally, organizations like the United Nations organization, the African charter on the rights and welfare of the child have all adopted conventions on protecting children’s right. In November 1989, the United Nations adopted the convention on the rights of the child and this treaty went into force less than a year in September 1990.

Africa then adopted their own convention which was referred to as the African children’s charter, which was adopted in July 1990 and went into force in November 1999. we also have the declaration of human rights and welfare.

These international treaties protect children’s right in Africa. Also, some courts protect children’s rights such as the African court on human and peoples rights. This is a continental court established by African countries to ensure the protection of human rights in Africa.

 In Cameroon, international legal instruments have a greater effect on the national instruments protecting children’s rights. These international legal instruments are ratified and applied with other national instruments protecting children’s right although these rights are still violated by some people.

With the measures taken by the international and national instruments, we hope that children will be protected from the violations which they face in our country. Cameroon also has various legislations which protect children’s right and welfare such as law no.2005/015 of 29 December 2005.Section 7 of law no.98/004 of 14 April 1998stipulates that everyone is entitled to an education regardless of sex, religion, age, political opinion and social origin.

The government has also created a ministerial department responsible for the rights of children as per decree no.2004/320 of 8 December 2004. As the saying goes, {the youths are the leaders of tomorrow} but yet how will youths become leaders of tomorrow without a good and enriching education? The government needs to give a listening ear to the dangers affecting children’s right and provide measures to protect and ensure a better future for the leaders of tomorrow.

1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

Over the years and recently due to the on-going  Anglophone crisis, education in the southwest region of Cameroon in that schools was forced to shut down until today, students had to stay home for long periods without going to school. As a result of the crisis, some students involved themselves in crimes and some girls became victims of rape.

These were unfortunate circumstances that made children miss out on their studies. .Also as a result of the crisis, some schools were burnt down due to some civil conflicts which were commenced by some delinquents who had already lost hope in education and to them the schools signify nothing to them.

This group of dropouts also threatened some teachers who still tried persistently to help some devoted students with their studies. Some teachers were caught by these gangs and some had their fingers cut off, while some even lost their lives as a result of their resistance

Also, as a result, the number of dropouts increased as some students refuse to go back to school due to the loss of interest in education caused by some crimes which they may have engaged in or other reasons like inability to continue with the school work or inability to complete their school fees. This is visible all over the streets in Buea as children between the age of 10-17 are seen doing odd jobs rather than being in classrooms learning. This has called for concern by the government and international bodies to fight against the violation of children’s right to education.

Children’s right to education is not fully protected in Cameroon. Cameroon has a good primary and secondary education system including higher education system which has provided significant improvements in educational opportunities for children such as the opportunity to learn. Nevertheless, Cameroonian education still faces challenges in providing quality education to all children. Children from poor backgrounds face the risk of not attending schools or being further discriminated against in future.

 The Cameroon national commission for human rights and freedoms which is an enforcement mechanism of violations of children’s right is impeded in its duty in this respective. Also. This is due to two reasons; firstly, the national commission for human rights and freedoms is not independent of the government.

This is evident for the fact that the government appoints its key personnel and funds the commission. As a result, it is difficult for the commission to act against the decisions of the government. Secondly, decisions of the commission relating to human rights violation are not binding. As such, it does not deter the violation of children’s rights.

1.3RESEARCH QUESTIONS

      The questions which this research seeks to answer are:

1.4 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

1.4.1  GENERAL OBJECTIVES;

      This study seeks to examine the extent to which children rights to education is protected in Cameroon generally and in the southwest region in particular with the advent of the socio-political crisis roughing the region since 2016.

1.4.2 SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES;

  • To examine how the educational rights of children are protected internationally.
  • To examine the protection of children’s rights to education in Cameroon.
  • To examine if the protection of children’s right to education in Cameroon is compatible with the international standards.
  • To examine policy recommendations to fight against the violation of children’s rights to education.
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