In Cameroon, Africa, 600,000 children have been unable to attend school for 3 years. A violent conflict in Cameroon's Anglophone regions has pitted government security forces against armed separatist militias. Militias have banned schooling and the government has not kept schools safe.
We, the undersigned, call on all conflicting parties to allow for the safe reopening of schools in Cameroon's North West and South West Regions in September 2019. We strongly condemn anyone who is keeping Anglophone Cameroonian children out of school for any reason. Specifically:
(1) We call on the United Nations Security Council, the Commonwealth Secretariat, and the African Union Peace and Security Council to bring sustained and intense pressure on the government of Cameroon to begin inclusive and credible peace talks with Anglophone civil society and armed actors.
(2) We call on representatives of the international community to fulfill their obligations as signatories to the Responsibility to Protect Doctrine to bring sustained and intense pressure on the government of Cameroon to begin inclusive and credible peace talks with Anglophone civil society and armed actors; and to contribute the resources necessary to rebuild burned or ruined schools in the event of a ceasefire. We also call on international bodies to be generous with aid for hungry displaced children trying to survive.
(3) We call on all sides to uphold the principles embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; to support the opening of schools and the provision of a secure environment for education.
We ask the Cameroonian government to protect schools, as per your endorsement of the Safe Schools Declaration. It is your job to open safe schools in September.
We ask militias to endorse the opening of schools at once. The use of intimidation or violence to prevent school attendance can only result in a loss of legitimacy and loss of hope for the future.
Please sign and share this petition.
EDIT: We are keeping this petition open beyond September 2019, as children did not return to school.
For more information about the school situation in Cameroon, see a post by the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa (CHRDA) for reopening schools: https://www.chrda.org/why-schools-must-resume-in-the-anglophone-regions-of-cameroon/
For more information about the crisis in Cameroon, please see: https://chrda.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Cameroons-Unfolding-Catastrophe-CHRDA-RWCHR-2019.pdf