Why is it Necessary to Protect Migrants’ Status within Member Countries of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)? Assessing the Stakes and Relevance of Ensuring a Protective Environment for Migrants

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Why is it Necessary to Protect Migrants’ Status within Member Countries of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)? Assessing the Stakes and Relevance of Ensuring a Protective Environment for Migrants

Lidwina Dope Nyadjroh Gabsa
Senior Lecturer, University of Yaounde II, Soa
DOI: https://doi.org/10.51244/IJRSI.2023.10415

Received: 25 March 2023; Revised: 15 April 2023; Accepted: 20 April 2023; Published: 25 May 2023

IJRISS Call for paper

Abstract: The protection of migrant right is a principle of international humanitarian law, ratified by most states, including the states of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), where, the movement of persons is thought to be free and has increased significantly. Although the legal aspect of migrant status and protection has been emphasized, the benefit such protection brings to the host state has been underestimated. The purpose of this article is to fill this gap by identifying and explaining not only the legal environment in which migrants live and operate within ECCAS but also, the benefits achieved by states when they embrace migrants and engage in their protection. The movement of persons within members of the ECCAS is not only a manifestation of the legal will of states of the region to protect migrant status, but also, such movements come with developmental benefits for member states. This article partly seeks to explore the advantages that Cameroon, Chad and Gabon acquire as member states of the ECCAS region when protecting foreigners in accordance with their local legislation and dispositions. Apart from the global symbolic benefits that these countries acquire as members of the international community, they are also thought to achieve real time benefits of national and regional significance when they embrace migrants from neighboring states and ensure their status is protected.

Keywords: Migrant protection, Status-Right, ECCAS, Sub-Region-Position-Cameroon -Chad-Gabon

I. Introduction

The protection of migrant right is a principle of international humanitarian law, ratified by most states. Although its legal aspect has been emphasized, the benefit such protection brings to the host state has been underestimated. The Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) or CEMAC, in its French acronym, is a regional integration organization that comprises six states (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Republic of the Congo) that share the same geographical location, i.e. the central African sub region.