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Human rights in Burkina Faso Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Burkina_Faso

Human rights in Burkina Faso are addressed in its constitution, which was ratified in 1991. The 2009 Human Rights Report by the United States Department of State noted concerns regarding restrictions on the press and the operation of the judiciary system.[1] In its 2021 report, Human Rights Watch described the human rights situation in Burkina Faso as being "precarious" in light of ongoing violence committed by Islamists, government security forces, and pro-government militias.[2]

Constitution and legislative response[edit]

Approved in 1991, the constitution of Burkina Faso addresses the basic civil liberties of the people. The government has also ratified numerous UN treaties such as ICCPR and CEDAW.[3]

The government has launched investigations into human rights breaches allegedly perpetrated in its name, including the deaths of over 200 men in Djibo which were believed to have been caused by pro-government security forces, although little information has been provided about the outcomes of such investigations.[2] The Military Justice Directorate was established to investigate crimes committed by government forces, but is extremely underfunded.

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the country, the Burkinabé government released 1200 detainees to prevent its spread in prisons.[2] They also expanded the provision of learning through radio, television and online platforms in light of school closures to prevent coronavirus spreading.[4][5] Efforts have also been made to implement more security at the country's schools to protect them from Islamist attacks.[6]

Issues[edit]

Government forces[edit]

Amnesty International noted concerns over the arbitrary arrest of protesters, and the failure to respect the principle of due process.[7] In March 2020, government security forces were reported to have executed 23 people in Cissa; the following month, a further 31 detainees were killed hours after being arrested during a counterterrorism operation in Djibo.[2] In May 2020, twelve men arrested by gendarmes in Tanwalbougou were subsequently found dead in their cells; it was reported that they had been shot. Security forces have also been reported to have physically abused Malian refugees seeking shelter in Burkina Faso under the guise of searching for Islamist terrorists in the country's refugee camps.[2]

Militias[edit]

Burkina Faso has long contained within it local militias known as Koglweogo, who are pro-government. Concerns have arisen around the militias, composed largely of the Mossi ethnic group, carrying out atrocities, including the massacre of forty men in Yirgou in 2019. In January 2020, legislation passed by the Burkinabé government subsumed the Koglweogo into the Volunteers for the Defence of the Homeland (VDH), which receives official government support and training. Subsequently, members of the VDH have been accused of the murder of 19 men near Manja Hien in February 2020, and attacks on Peuhle villages in Yatenga, in which 43 people were killed.[2]

Internationally, Burkinabé forces have also been accused of the extrajudicial killings of at least 50 people in cross border skirmishes in Mali in 2020.

Islamists[edit]

An Islamist insurgency has been occurring in the country, with attacks against citizens being justified by insurgents by linking victims to the government, armed militias, the West, and Christianity.[8] Massacres have notably been committed against the Mossi and Foulse ethnic groups, including the murder of 35 people in Arbinda in December 2019; the death of 90 villagers during separate attacks on Rofénèga, Nagraogo and Silgadji in January 2020; and over 40 villagers' deaths in attacks in Lamdamol and Pansi in February 2020.[2] Islamist groups have also used improved explosive devices to target victims. Abduction has also been a common tactic; in July 2020 the village chief of Nassoumbou was abducted and held for two months; while in August 2020 Sonibou Cisse, the Grand Imam of Djibo, was executed days after being abducted.[2]

Islamists have also targeted Burkina Faso's schools. Between January and August 2020, at least forty schools were burned and looted, and teachers have been killed, beaten, abducted, robbed, and threatened. Prior to the government closure of all Burkinabé schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, an estimated 2500 schools had already closed due to Islamist attacks and concerns around student safety, impacting 350, 000 students.[9]

Historical situation[edit]

The following chart shows Burkina Faso's ratings since 1972 in the Freedom in the World reports, published annually by US government funded Freedom House. A score of 1 is "most free" and 7 is "least free".[10]1

International treaties[edit]

Burkina Faso's stances on international human rights treaties are as follows:

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

1.^ Note that the "Year" signifies the "Year covered". Therefore the information for the year marked 2008 is from the report published in 2009, and so on.
2.^ As of January 1.
3.^ The 1982 report covers the year 1981 and the first half of 1982, and the following 1984 report covers the second half of 1982 and the whole of 1983. In the interest of simplicity, these two aberrant "year and a half" reports have been split into three year-long reports through interpolation.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2009 Human Rights Report: Burkina Faso". 2010-03-15. Archived from the original on 2010-03-15. Retrieved 2019-07-10.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "World Report 2021: Rights Trends in Burkina Faso". Human Rights Watch. 2020-12-18. Retrieved 2021-07-08.
  3. ^ "unhchr.ch-unhchr Resources and Information". ww1.unhchr.ch. Retrieved 2021-01-18.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ Sidwaya, BS (2020-04-24). "Réouverture des écoles: Le plan de continuité éducative présenté aux gouverneurs". Quotidien Sidwaya (in French). Retrieved 2021-07-08.
  5. ^ KINDA, Irmine (2020-04-23). "COVID-19 au Burkina Faso : Une radio scolaire et l'enseignement à distance pour les élèves". L'Actualité du Burkina Faso 24h/24 (in French). Retrieved 2021-07-08.
  6. ^ "In Burkina Faso, violence and COVID-19 push children out of school and into harm's way". The New Humanitarian. 2020-07-07. Retrieved 2021-07-08.
  7. ^ 2009 Amnesty International Report: Burkina Faso
  8. ^ "A record one million displaced by violence in Burkina Faso amid Covid-19 - Burkina Faso". ReliefWeb. Retrieved 2021-07-08.
  9. ^ "Burkina Faso: Armed Islamists Attack Education". Human Rights Watch. 2020-05-26. Retrieved 2021-07-08.
  10. ^ "Country ratings and status 1973-2014" (XLS). Freedom in the World. Freedom House. 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
  11. ^ Freedom House (2015). "Freedom in the World 2015" (PDF).
  12. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 1. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Paris, 9 December 1948". Archived from the original on 20 October 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-29.
  13. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 2. International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. New York, 7 March 1966". Archived from the original on 11 February 2011. Retrieved 2012-08-29.
  14. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 3. International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. New York, 16 December 1966". Archived from the original on 17 September 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-29.
  15. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 4. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. New York, 16 December 1966". Archived from the original on 1 September 2010. Retrieved 2012-08-29.
  16. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 5. Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. New York, 16 December 1966". Retrieved 2012-08-29.
  17. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 6. Convention on the non-applicability of statutory limitations to war crimes and crimes against humanity. New York, 26 November 1968". Retrieved 2012-08-29.
  18. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 7. International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid. New York, 30 November 1973". Archived from the original on 18 July 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-29.
  19. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 8. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. New York, 18 December 1979". Archived from the original on 23 August 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-29.
  20. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 9. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. New York, 10 December 1984". Archived from the original on 8 November 2010. Retrieved 2012-08-29.
  21. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 11. Convention on the Rights of the Child. New York, 20 November 1989". Archived from the original on 11 February 2014. Retrieved 2012-08-29.
  22. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 12. Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty. New York, 15 December 1989". Archived from the original on 20 October 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-29.
  23. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 13. International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families. New York, 18 December 1990". Archived from the original on 25 August 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-29.
  24. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 8b. Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. New York, 6 October 1999". Retrieved 2012-08-29.
  25. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 11b. Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict. New York, 25 May 2000". Retrieved 2012-08-29.
  26. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 11c. Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. New York, 25 May 2000". Retrieved 2012-08-29.
  27. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 15. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. New York, 13 December 2006". Archived from the original on 19 August 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-29.
  28. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 15a. Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. New York, 13 December 2006". Archived from the original on 13 January 2016. Retrieved 2012-08-29.
  29. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 16. International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. New York, 20 December 2006". Retrieved 2012-08-29.
  30. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 3a. Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. New York, 10 December 2008". Retrieved 2012-08-29.
  31. ^ United Nations. "United Nations Treaty Collection: Chapter IV: Human Rights: 11d. Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure . New York, 19 December 2011. New York, 10 December 2008". Archived from the original on 25 August 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-29.

External links[edit]