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This submission has been prepared by Protege QV and the Association for Progressive Communications. Protège QV is a Cameroonian rights association whose mission it is to promote individual and collective initiative that target environmental protection and contributes to an increased quality of life for Cameroonian families.
This submission focuses on freedom of expression, freedom of association, and violence against women, highlighting how the internet is being used to promote and protect human rights, and the danger to human rights posed by recent censorship of online content in Cameroon.
Recommendations are made to:
1. Engage with and support civil society actors, human rights defenders and minority groups on issues related to human rights online, including protection of freedom of expression and freedom of association.
2. Amend laws that provide for cutting off of internet access and undertake not to use internet and SMS shutdowns to stifle freedom of expression and freedom of association.
3. Ensure constitutional protections make it clear that freedom of expression in Cameroon includes internet related expression, in accordance with General Comment 34 on Article 19 of the Human Rights Committee.
4. Extend legislation intended to combat violence against women to include ICTs and violence against women online.
5. Undertake to establish multi-stakeholder processes for internet related human rights issues and on internet access and development.
6. Make changes to the National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms so that it is fully compliant with the Paris Principles on national human rights institutions.