Combatting Human Trafficking: Effective Awareness at Yaoundé and Douala International Airports

Unvelling by the Ministers of Social Affairs and Transports. Photos: Cameroon 2024/Pascale ESSAMA

Photo CoM offering gifts to the Minister of Social Affairs. Photos: Cameroon 2024/Pascale ESSAMA 

Yaoundé – In an unprecedented demonstration of leadership and commitment to human rights protection, the Government of Cameroon, under the auspices of the Ministry of Social Affairs, has initiated an awareness campaign against human trafficking and illicit migration with technical support from the United Nations Migration Agency (IOM). The unveiling ceremony of posters at Yaoundé-Nsimalen airport, chaired by the Minister of Social Affairs, was an opportunity to reaffirm the government's firm commitment to combating these inhumane practices. 

The event brought together a diverse array of stakeholders, ranging from government officials to representatives of international organizations, civil society, and international partners such as the Resident Representative of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central African States in Cameroon and the Representative of Interpol, to name but a few, 

In his inaugural speech, the Minister of Social Affairs Pauline Irène NGUENE, emphasized the crucial importance of raising awareness among populations about trafficking in persons and smuggling, while calling for concerted action to combat these scourges. 

"This is therefore an opportunity for us to invite the public to break the taboo and the law of silence and to take advantage of this tool at their disposal to denounce and report cases of trafficking or smuggling that generally give rise to irregular migration with multiple consequences. I call on the media here present to relay and amplify this information so that it reaches even the populations furthest from the capital" she says. 

The posters unveiled during this event were designed to inform and educate the public about the dangers of human trafficking and smuggling, as well as the warning signs to identify them and measures to assist victims. They will be widely disseminated at Yaoundé and Douala international airports, where prevention and awareness are particularly important due to the influx of travelers and the crucial role of these hubs in the fight against these practices. Cameroon serves as a transit and destination country for traffickers and victims of various nationalities (Chadian, Central African, Sri Lankan, Indian, etc.) who often transit by air. 

During the first international review forum of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in May 2022, the Cameroonian government indeed committed to strengthening national capacities in combating human trafficking and smuggling, taking into account the specific needs expressed by government actors and civil society. 

International recognition of Cameroon's efforts in combating human trafficking has been reaffirmed by the country's advancement in the 2023 Trafficking in Persons Report, published by the U.S. Department of State's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. This success reflects the government's steadfast commitment to eradicate these practices and protect human rights. 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) provides unwavering support to the Cameroonian government in this fight, working closely with institutions since February 2021. This fruitful collaboration led to the establishment and inauguration in January 2022 of an hotline number 1503 to denunciate case and for victims to seek assistance. 

In this regard, the government calls for increased resources to strengthen awareness and prevention efforts, as well as to support protection and assistance initiatives for victims. Additional resources are essential to expand the impact of these efforts and protect the rights and dignity of all. 


For more information, please contact: 

Ms. DIKOUME Véronique, Email: Tel: +237 699712527 

Pascale Essama, IOM Cameroon Email: Tel: +237 657103074 

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