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Cameroon: Rights promoters advocate restorative justice

Oct 31, 2012

from the article on AllAfrica.com:

Experts on October 5 worked on the framework for effective restorative justice in Cameroon. "Restorative justice is a process where all stakeholders affected by a crime-that is, the offender, the victim, and their community are given the opportunity to discuss how they have been affected and to decide what should be done to repair the harm caused," the Chairman of the National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms, Dr Divine Chemuta Banda said in Yaounde on October 5, 2012 while opening the one-day seminar on restorative justice in Cameroon. He added that it comes to complement the traditional justice system.

Mr Banda stated that restorative justice institutionalises peaceful approaches to repairing harm and violation of human rights and explained that the idea behind it is that, "because crime hurts, justice should heal." As to why restorative justice should be institutionalised in Cameroon, he said, offenders are subjected to inefficient, delayed and overburdened justice that leads to overcrowding in prisons and other detention places, violence, disease and other vices. The detainees are therefore not prepared for re-integration into community. Victims on the other hand, he said, receive little assistance to help them recover from trauma of crime.

The one-day seminar jointly organised by the Working Group on Vulnerable Groups in the Human Rights Commission and Prison Fellowship Cameroon, was intended to raise awareness on restorative justice and advocate its use as a complement to classical justice in Cameroon.

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peter clark
peter clark says:
Nov 02, 2012 04:42 PM

Reading of the Human Rights - Restorative Justice workshop in Yaounde and the collaboration of PF in the process, how beneficial it would be if other resource poor West African nations could also replicate the process in their own countries, especially in the post-conflict fragile states of Sierra Leone and Liberia.

lparker
lparker says:
Nov 02, 2012 05:22 PM

Peter, <br />Thanks for your comments on the Restorative Justice workshop in Yaonde. There are restorative justice initiatives in various African countries. Prison Fellowship of Liberia is working with partners to provide restorative justice options as well as legal assistance to prisoners. You can learn more about their work at <a href="http://www.pfi.org/national-ministries/africa/liberia." rel="nofollow">http://www.pfi.org/national-ministries/africa/liberia.</a> <br />Lynette

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