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 detainees and those held in police custody. She also acts as a consultant on the issue of abuse against detainees and those in police custody for the Women’s Counseling and Information Center in Douala.

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

Project: To Rebuild the Walls of Justice
Her JusticeMakers project seeks to  Rebuild the Walls of Justice in the heart of her community.
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 strives to ensure that 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. Her intention is to transform mindsets – the only guarantee for stability within the legal system, and in turn, for social peace.
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 that will bring together police, prison officials, judicial and penitentiary bodies to sensitize them to the consequences of torture.

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.