Early Child and Forced Marriage: A Cultural Scourge Affecting Women and the Girl Child in Cameroon

  • Mokom Prospe Akum and Nzalie Joseph Ebi
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  • Mokom Prospe Akum

    Ph.D. Student at Department of English Private Law, Faculty of Law and Political Science – University of Bamenda

  • Nzalie Joseph Ebi

    Doctorat 3eme Cycle (Yaoundé II, Soa), Ph.D. (Birmingham-UK), Senior Lecturer of Laws, Faculty of Law and Political Science – University of Bamenda

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This Digest focuses on Early and forced marriage which is a form of gender-based violence that takes place in many regions in Cameroon and particularly in the Northern part of the country. It is a harmful practice which has eaten deep into different cultural groupings in Cameroon. It is one of the most widespread and systematic violations of the universal human rights to personal integrity committed against girl children in Cameroon, abusing their physical, sexual and psychological integrity. Early and forced marriage is indeed a human rights issue because the girl children who are subjected to this obnoxious practice are denied a range of very important human rights, such as the right to education and subsequently, the right to gainful employment as well as the rights to decide when and whom to marry. The aim of this article is to assess and critically examine the practice of early and forced marriage and its implications on the rights and welfare of women and the girl child. The article introduces the practice of early and forced marriage as a human rights issue, and looks at its social context, prevalence, rationale and consequences. The article equally examines the steps taken by the government and the civil society to regulate this practice. However, despite Cameroon’s obligations under international law, the practice continues to be widespread.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 4, Issue 5, Page 1359 - 1383

DOI: https://doij.org/10.10000/IJLMH.111557

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