The Human IS Right team has been hard at work working on our two projects!
Prisoner's Rights Project
A lot of progress has been made on this project! We were ready to submit a habeas corpus application for one prisoner but the other day he told us that he was granted free bail! We are working on contacting someone from his family to come and sign for him and we will continue to monitor his situation in case something arises that we can help with. We have been working on a number of habeas corpus applications for prisoners. We do this for detainees whose imprisonment we believe is unlawful. Many factors are used to determine this such as their length of time in prison without conviction, the last time they went to court, how the arrest was handled and if or their family has ever paid a bribe to a prison official. We are still in the beginning phases of this as we are trying to interview many prisoners to build a database of cases for our network of pro bono lawyers to select from.
We are almost done interviewing all of the minors incarcerated inside the Buea Central Prison. With this aspect of the project we are finding cases suitable for habeas corpus as well as cases that may be able to be transferred to the Borstal Institute here in Buea. The Borstal is an institution where people under the age of 18 can go with the intention to be rehabilitated away from adult prisoners and under better living conditions. Only juveniles who have not committed a felony such as murder or rape are allowed to go here.
Amazing news!! The Business Program at Buea Central Prison has been fully funded plus some! Thank you to everyone for your support! If you have not donated and would like to please visit https://fundly.com/small-business-program-at-buea-central-prison. There are 43 days left to donate!!
Gender Equality Project
This project is also moving along, but at a bit of a slower pace! We are currently looking for a local volunteer who can take the lead position for this project. Interns always come and go so we need someone who is here long term and can really get into the project. We are also looking for international interns as Megan, the intern currently working on this initiative, is leaving in 1.5 months!
2 weeks ago Megan went around Ekona with 2 local women to different social groups who gather on Sundays. She spoke to the groups about Human IS Right and about our current initiative of helping people get civil registration in the form of marriage, birth or death certificates. Our main focus is the marriage certificates which we plan to do through a large collective marriage in the coming weeks. As many as 90% of couples in Cameroon do not have official marriage certificates which can potentially pose major land and financial problems. If anything problems were to arise in the relationship or the husband passes away, the woman has no legal right to any land or financial assets they shared since they are almost always under the man's name.
We hope to do this same initiative in Tole but we are still having difficulties with social mobilization and getting people interested in the project. It has been very difficult and frustrating at times, but we will continue to work hard and make this project a success!!