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General News of Thursday, 30 August 2012

Source: Cameroon Tribune

Civil Society to Stimulate Biometric Registration

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Some 30 civil society organisations in Cameroon are meeting in Yaounde since yesterday August 28 in a workshop to see how to use international and regional human rights protection standards in the organisation, observation and follow-up of elections.

The two-day workshop organised by the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa is out to ensure a better understanding of the upcoming biometric registration. Participants are receiving lectures from experts from Elections Cameroon, ELECAM.

Opening the workshop, ELECAM Vice President, Barrister Ebanga Ewodo Justin reassured participants that the body has taken its responsibility and assured the public of their determination to respect the legal instruments put in place on the right to vote and be voted. Accompanying the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa in this venture is therefore part of ELECAM's mission to get all actors involved in the upcoming registration process.

The Officer in charge of the United Nations Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa, Robert Kotchani, explained that training civil society organisations is impacting the grassroots. "Our desire is to get Cameroonians of all strata involved in the electoral process without fear or prejudice," Kotchani said. He stressed that they are working hard to see that those at the grassroots actively take part in upcoming biometric registration in conformity with international and regional standards like the African Charter on Democracy and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which Cameroon is signatory.

Participants for the two-day workshop are among other issues being drilled on international and regional human rights protection framework in electoral process, the national framework on human rights in elections, ELECAM's contribution to the consideration of human rights in electoral processes in Cameroon and presentation of the biometric system for the recompilation of voters' lists in Cameroon.

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