Health

The Platform Unity Shows Growing Concern as GBV Cases Keep Increasing on Sexual & Gender Minorities in Cameroon

The 2021 annual report on violence faced by sexual and Gender minorities in Cameroon, 3rd of its kind was released and officially presented on May 13, 2022 in Yaounde.

The Platform unity, an umbrella organization made up of 33 community based associations who fight for the plight and Rights of sexual and gender minorities in Cameroon, has launched in Yaounde, Cameroon its 3rd annual report. The report highlights a great number of practices inflicted to sexual and gender minorities in our society.

According to the 2021 annual report of the unity platform 4116 cases of Gender based violence(GBV) were registered in the course of researches undertaken. The 31 pages’ report dubbed: « Le cri d’une communauté. De la désinformation au drame », states out the various types of violence which affect this community of people who are the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer and others (LGBTIQ+).

As indicated in this investigative piece, 2936 cases are described as psychological, that is, close to 71% and which are mainly made up of family reject, insults, defamation, hate speech, discrimination just to name these few…

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Michel Engama, President of the Platform unity and by the way lead Chairman of the board of CAMFAIDS openly advocated for the psychological well-being of sexual and gender minorities who often are rejected and are assaulted simply because of their sexual orientation.

With 71% of psychological violence registered there is need to worry. We need to worry because each human being has the right to live in peace, in joy and should be psychologically freed. As long as someone is already psychologically affected, even if he or she takes all types of drugs he or she will not be healed. And this is one of the major point of focus on which we have to stress much…”

In an interview granted to the media, Human Rights’ defender, Jean Jacques Dissoke, one of the members in charge of drafting the report made an overview of the various reports produced so far by the Platform Unity.

He said: “These organizations in their various annual reports already presented in 2018, 500 cases of violence in Cameroon. There has been a certain evolution and change observed because from 578 cases, we have climbed to 1380 cases of violence. Then, we found ourselves with 2034 cases. Today, we have over 4000 cases of violence against sexual and gender minorities in Cameroon.”

In a meantime, Human Rights’ Expert and renown consultant, Eva Etongue Mayer epse Tamo said concerted efforts should be put in place to bring at heels the rampant cases of gender based violence observed over the past three years notably with the galloping figures registered so far.

Mrs. Tamo said there are clear indications that things are falling apart with regards to the two previous reports showing an increase of 1000 cases to over 2000 cases and today with the recent report released, over 4000 cases are pointed out.

She said: “You know that a report is not produced for nothing. Every time that a report is produced, there is need to make people understand what is happening in our domain of interest or to address ourselves and coin-out people in particular for urgent measures. This could be legislative measures, judicial measures and programmatic measures at the level of our administrations or even personal measures to help us upgrade our management or act as a personal evaluation. That is equally why in this report, you will find that there are several recommendations addressed to different categories of people and administrations as well as technical and development partners… What we expect most is that, the report should be widely shared for a positive impact and change in the mindsets of the various actors who have been targeted…”

 In Cameroon, sexual and gender minorities are highly affected by stigma and marginalization which to a greater extent impact on their daily living. Many are outrageously assaulted and beaten in public even when they are suspected to be of a particular sexual orientation.

Elise Kenimbeni

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