Charlotte TCHAKOUNTE, CAMEROON 

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Charlotte Tchakounte from Cameroon

“Whereas Justice elevates a Nation, injustice brings shame to a nation”

Ms. Charlotte Tchakounte holds a degree in private law, a certificate on mediation, and has been a lawyer at the Cameroon Bar Association for 21 years. Charlotte is the founder of AJURISTES (Association of Jurists for Social Integrity) which has the general objective of fighting against all forms of injustice; and the specific objective of protecting the rights of those held in policy custody and detainees. She also acts as a consultant on the issue of abuse against detainees and those in police custody for the Women’s Counselling and Information Center in Douala.

The challenge: The key problems Charlotte has identified in her community are the multiple forms of human rights violations that have their roots in corruption, which is ingrained in many aspects of society.

Project: To Rebuild the Walls of Justice
The principal objective of her JusticeMakers project is To Rebuild the Walls of Justice in the heart of her community. The objective will be achieved by transforming mindsets – the only guarantee for stability within the legal system, and in turn, for social peace.
Charlotte will improve knowledge of the law on the part of the law enforcement, judiciary, and prison personnel, as well as detainees and ordinary citizens. Furthermore, she will strive to ensure victims of torture can warn investigators against infractions and abuse and improve the relationship between police, prison officials and human rights defenders. Ultimately, she aspires to provide comprehensive safeguards for defendants.
To achieve this goal, Charlotte will implement the following activities: setting up Listening Centers, establishing legal clinics to raise the legal awareness of defendants, providing legal assistance to detainees, preventing torture and defending clients particularly in criminal cases. Lastly, she will organize seminars bringing together police, prison officials, judicial and penitentiary bodies to sensitize them on the consequences of torture.
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Charlotte during a press conference to promote awareness on police misconduct.

Charlotte is a fervent advocate for justice, particularly for women and children. One of her most notable cases is the Kileba case, where  she reunited Mrs Kileba with her son, Gaillard, from whom she had been separated for 17 years.

Watch the documentary “The Stolen Children of Cameroon” to see Charlotte’s work in action.