THE ANGLOPHONE CRISIS IN CAMEROON: BRIDGERS ASSOCIATION CAMEROON’S OBSERVATIONS ON THE RIGHTS OF THE GIRL CHILD
- STOP CHILD MARRIAGE
- STOP CHILD LABOUR
- STOP FGM AND BREAST IRONING
The rights of thousands of children have been usurped as a result of the current crisis within the two Anglophone regions of Cameroon, with the most glaring being the child’s right to Education which has led to the subjection of the girl child to child marriage and child labour, recording alarming rates since the ensuing of this crisis in 2016.
Some parents take as an alternative measure to send their under aged young girls out for marriage in replacement of schooling following the irregularities in schools and the increasing tension and deaths reported in these affected regions of the country. Case study: Ekona, Bomaka, Ombe and Mutengene communities of the South West Region of Cameroon.
Others take the school boycotts as an opportunity to use their under aged children to generate income on a daily basis: The number of children found hawking one item or the other has gone on rampage with the security of these tender children at stake. Just visit the following motor parks and markets: Mile 17 Buea, Mile 4 Limbe, Mutengene, Tiko Roundabout, Muea market; Food market and Commercial Avenue Bamenda to get a clue of the real picture of the phenomenon of child labour we are depicting/decrying here.
Unfortunately, for other parents, in other to curb their children’s sexual promiscuity they have resorted to the old practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) and breast Ironing just to name but these few the health consequences notwithstanding.
Also, we have found out that many young girls within these two regions as a result of perturbed schooling are already giving birth and others pregnant out of wedlock with all hope to any further education lost.
CALL TO TASK: WHAT CAN WE DO?
So far Bridgers Association Cameroon has met a few of these parents on a one on one basis to decry some of these ills they have tended to as a result of the crisis.
However, the task is huge and the challenges enormous, as such we are using this medium to raise awareness of these silent issues that have crawled in as ugly repercussions of the crisis given that some of these girls think that it is all ended for them.
Join hands and forces with Bridgers Association Cameroon to sensitize parents and our young girls that all is not lost for them. #There is still hope#
Tell our parents these young girls will go back to school whenever possible, rather than send them out as hawkers in the streets or into early and forced marriages or subject them into the barbaric practices of female genital mutilation and breast ironing, they could engage them into vocational training activities; introduce them into other forms of leisure activities within intervals and also cultivating the attitude of cautioning their children towards good habits and the dangers of sexual promiscuity and premarital sex.
The repercussions of the above mentioned practices would be very devastating on the individuals as well as the state and the world at the long run.
As a civil society body, Bridgers Association Cameroon calls on the powers that be to act urgently in resolving the problems surrounding the crisis at least for the sake of our young girls, a genuine inclusive dialogue being the way forward!!!
AZAH Jackline CHEY.
Bridgers Association Cameroon
Chief Street Bomaka-Buea