Chazai Wamba An Independent Law Firm based in Douala - Cameroon


Brief Info: The protection of children online in Cameroon

The protection of children online in Cameroon


31 August 2023

On the 25th of July 2023, the President of the Republic, his Excellency Paul BIYA, promulgated Law No. 2023/009 of 25 July 2023 to lay down a charter for the protection of children online in Cameroon (the « Law« ). The aim of this Law, which is part of the fight against cybercrime, particularly where children are concerned, is not only to guarantee children safe use of the Internet, but also to encourage online service providers to take measures to protect children.

This Law reinforces Law No. 2010/12 of 21 December 2010 on cybersecurity and cybercrime in Cameroon, one of the objectives of which is to protect the fundamental rights of individuals, in particular the right to human dignity, honour and privacy.

While the 2010 law already imposed obligations on online service providers, such as the obligation to provide information, the Law strengthens these obligations in order to ensure the safety of children online. Firstly, it requires service providers to put in place safety measures to protect children from inappropriate content, such as pornography, violence and hate speech[1] and it requires them to set up reporting systems to enable users to report inappropriate content[2].

This system will enable users to report inappropriate content to the relevant authorities, namely the Ministry of Telecommunications, the Ministry of Education and Youth, the Ministry for Women and the Family, the Ministry for Social Affairs and the Ministry for Sensitive Communications[3].

Furthermore, in order to achieve its objectives, the Law provides the creation of awareness programmes for parents and educators. These programmes aim to inform them of the dangers of the Internet and give them advice on how to protect children online[4].

Finally, just as the law on cybercrime already punished the perpetrators of harmful acts to children, such as the dissemination of child pornography[5], The Law provides for administrative sanctions, imposed directly by the Telecommunications Regulatory Agency, as well as criminal sanctions for those who infringe its provisions. These penalties can range from fines to prison sentences, depending on the seriousness of the offence[6].

[1] Article 14 – 19 of the Law.

[2] Article 20 (2) of the Law.

[3] Article 4 -10 of the Law.

[4] Article 26 of the Law.

[5] Article 75 of Law No. 2010/12 of 21 December 2010 on cyber security and cybercrime in Cameroon.

[6] Article 27- 46 of the Law