Research Key

Protection of Rights of Refugees in Cameroon, Challenges and Prospects

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This work is about the protection of refugees and challenges and prospects. Here, we examine the protection of refugees using Cameroon as our case study.

The work goes further to assess the various refugee rights which are violated.

Also, in this work, we examined the various international instruments protecting and preserving the rights of refugees.

In addition, this work goes further to access the legal laws and institutions which protect and preserve the rights of refugees in Cameroon.

By looking all this, we are going to discover the challenges faced by the international laws and legal institutions, to ensure a successful protection of refugees to an extent.

Furthermore, this work goes further to examine the Anglophone crisis which started since 2016 and has generated since then to an armed conflict and causing numerous people to flee away from the country to settle in neighboring countries and which have put the country under international watch, and due to effort to bring the long crisis to end.


1.1 Background of the Study

The idea of developing bodies of international laws and conventions to protect refugees, only began in the 20th century despite the ancient nature of forced displacement and refugee movements.

The international community, government and societies became more involved as the problem of forced movement escalated and became an international political issue requesting international legal instruments as the framework for their solution.

The incidence offered displacement and its problems have affected many nations including developed, developing and underdeveloped countries either as refugees producing or receiving countries or both as the case may be.

Cameroon is one of the developing countries which creates rooms for refugees.

Cameroon offers a conducive environment for refugees and asylum seekers in central Africa, though the country is witnessing a bad economic situation and socio-political tensions due to the high unemployment, the Anglophone crisis and the rising cost of living.

The deterioration of the security situation in neighbouring Central African Republic [CAR] and the war in Chad are the constant push factors for refugees to enter Cameroon.

Cameroon did not have its own legislation concerning the status of refugees. But this does not mean that it was silent on refugee’s affairs.

Cameroon was a party or signatory of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 protocol and the 1969 OUA Convention Governing Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa.

Then in 2005, Cameroon adopted its own legislation. The adoption of law No 2005/006 of July 2005 relating to the status of refugees in Cameroon.

These conventions and laws clearly spelled out who is a refugee and the kind of legal protection, assistance and social rights he or she should receive from the state of Cameroon.

They also provide some obligations for refugees and asylum seekers within and oblige them to respect these obligations in respect of what is expected of them in their country of asylum.

The development of refugee law and politics has been slow. Until 2005, Cameroon really had no domestic refugee’s legislation.

Instead of having a document relating refugee rights there were simply referred to as non-nationals and subsumed under the boarder immigration laws.

If it of great importance to maintain the fact that law No 1990/042 of 1990 which laid down conditions of entry stay and exit in Cameroon, does specifically maintain the term “refugee” it does not asset the inviolability of Cameroon’s border and emphasize the necessity of proper documentation for any movement into and out of Cameroon, contrasting with the fluids mobility that existed before the institutions of national borders.

Furthermore, the 1997 immigration act does not mention refugees but states also only that a refugee card will be delivered to people which are
qualified for asylum.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The statement problem in this topic is the violation of some of the rights of refugees, and this research is to emphasize on the protection of the rights of refugees in Cameroon.
We acknowledge the part the government has played in protecting these rights.

That is why some of the measures taken by the government will be seen below. The topic seeks to bring out the prospects and challenges faced in the protection of the rights of
refugees in Cameroon.

1.3 Research Questions

This research seeks to answer the following questions:

1.3.1 Main Research Question

1. What are the mechanisms put in place to protect and enforce refugee rights in international law?
1.3.2 Specific Research Questions 1. what is the legal framework on the protection of refugee rights in Cameroon ?
2. What policy recommendations can be made to address the problem identified?
3. How effective is the protection of refugee rights in Cameroon?

1.4 Research Objectives

1.4.1 General Objectives

The goal of this research is to examine the mechanisms put in place to protect and enforce refugee
rights in Cameroon.

1.4.2 Specific Objectives

1. To discuss the legal framework on the protection of refugee rights in Cameroon
2. To assess the effectiveness of the protection of refugee rights in Cameroon.
3. To make policy recommendations to address the problem identified.




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