Human rights in Cameroon: A new wind is blowing

In Cameroon, a country that has long reeked of repression, a new wind is blowing. It’s coming from a new human rights support network that includes leaders in law enforcement, teachers, media, religious leaders, community leaders, lawyers, magistrates, health providers and more.

From the African Human Rights Media Network

Cameroon’s RAIL-KPv human rights network has held training workshops in both Yaoundé and Douala.

By Courtney Stans

This network of influential members of Cameroonian society has joined the fight against violence and violations against vulnerable people including LGBTI people, drug users and sex workers.

Many of them gathered on Aug. 17-18 for a workshop in Yaoundé about strategies for responding to violence and human rights violations against LGBTI people. Among the subjects discussed were different types of violence and violations, as well as the linked issues of human rights, gender and health.

The training session was for members of the RAIL-KPV network, which was formed this summer by the merger of RACC, a project of the LGBTI advocacy organization Alternatives-Cameroon, and CILM, which had been organized by the LGBTI advocacy organization Camfaids.

Following the Yaoundé meeting, network members in Douala met on Aug. 19-20 for their comparable training session, which was held despite floods and bad weather.

The training sessions were supervised by the network’s financial partner, Care International.

Organizers aim to extend the network into eastern Cameroon in the near future.

Members of the RAIL-KPv human rights network pose during their training workshop in Cameroon’s commercial capital, Douala.

Courtney Stans, the author of this article, is a Cameroonian journalist who writes under a pseudonym. Contact her at

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Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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