Summary: This report extracts mentions of children's rights issues in the reports of all UN Treaty Bodies and their follow-up procedures. This does not include the Concluding Observations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child which are available here: http://www.crin.org/resources/treaties/index.asp
Please note that the language may have been edited in places for the purposes of clarity.
- UN Human Rights Committee
- UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
- UN Committee against Torture
- UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
- UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
- UN Committee on Migrant Workers
- UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- UN Committee on Enforced Disappearance
Obligations adopted: 19 November 2013
Violence against children:(arts. 2, 12 et 16). WHile noting efforts on the protection of children against slavery and similar practices, the Committee is concerned over the lack of information on the measures taken against the exploitation of children in the street (talibés and garibous), in gold mines and in households. The Committee should prosecute any person who forces children to beg, and should provide mechanisms of monitoring, complaints and assistance for the children victims of exploitation. The State should put an end to the exploitation of children in mines or in households, lead campaigns on harmful traditional practices and revise its legislation to ban corporal punishment at home. (para.22)
Juvenile justice: (arts. 2, 10 et 16).
The Committee is worried about reports alleging that the juvenile justice system in Burkina Faso is ill-functioning, and regrets the lack of information available on this matter. The Committee recommends that the State allocates sufficient resources and adequately trained staff to ensure a good administration of juvenile justice.
The State should also make sure that minors are detained only in last resort, for a period as short as possible. Finally, it should make sure that minors deprived of their liberty benefit from fundamental rights and are detained separately from adults. (para.23)
Lack of statistical data: In addition to the lack of information on cases of torture and ill-treatment, the Committee regrets similar the lack of information on complaints, investigation, proceedings and sentences documenting cases of violence against women, administration of juvenile justice, corporal punishment and human trafficking, in particular of women and children. The State should compile such statistical data to evaluate the application of the Convention and to efficiently prevent torture, ill-treatment, as well as all forms of violence against women and children. (para. 28)
Last reported: 5 October 2010
- Education: The Committee welcomes the new Law on the Quota, as well as the promotion of girls in primary and secondary education to close the gap between the enrolment rate of boys and girls. However, the Committee is concerned that access to basic education in the State party remains limited, and that obstacles to keep girls enrolled until the end of the education cycle remain significant. Violence is a serious problem affecting girls and ensuring safe schools, dormitories and school environments remains a challenge. The Committee encourages the State party to provide universal basic education free of charge, to identify measures to reduce and prevent drop-outs among girls and to consider developing accredited non-formal education programmes for girls who drop out. (paragraphs 17, 31-32)
- Violence against women and girls: The Committee urges the State party to enact legislation on violence against women, including domestic violence, and to give high priority to putting in place comprehensive measures to address all forms of violence against women and girls. (paragraph 22)
- Female genital mutilation: The Committee is deeply concerned that the practice continues to be widespread and is being performed at a younger age, and with a higher degree of secrecy. It reiterates that the need for the State party to undertake awareness-raising and educational campaigns, including outreach programmes for rural populations, and to continue its robust public advocacy strategy. It also called upon the State party to bring offenders, including parents, to justice. (paragraphs 23-26)
- Trafficking: The Committee welcomes the adoption of a new law aimed at combating human trafficking, as well as multilateral agreements to combat trafficking in women and children. The Committee is concerned about the incidence of trafficking in girls for domestic work and labour into neighbouring countries. The Committee recommends that the State party put the necessary coordinating mechanisms in place to reinforce the implementation of the new legislation. The Committee also reiterates its recommendation to continue preventive measures aimed at improving the economic situation of girls and women and their access to land, gainful employment and other resources. (paragraphs 27-28)
- Sexual and reproductive health: While welcoming measures taken by the State party to protect the sexual and reproductive health of women and young girls, the Committee reiterates its serious concern about sexual and reproductive health in the State party. The Committee urges the State party to increase care for women and young girls living with HIV and AIDS, and to fully subsidise treatment options for women, girls and children infected with HIV and AIDS. (paragraphs 37-38, 42)
- Asylum-seeking & refugee children: The Committee urges the State party to ensure protection for asylum-seeking and refugee women and their children in line with international standards. (paragraph 48)
- Child marriage: The Committee expresses concern about the different age of marriage for women and men in the Individual and Family Code, and that the practice of child marriage of girls much younger than the age specified by the Code still prevails in rural areas. The Committee urges the State party to accelerate the legislative reform of the Individual and Family Code so as to standardise the minimum legal age of marriage at 18 years for both women and men to ensure equality in family laws. The Committee further urges the State party to take all legal and other necessary measures to combat child marriages. (paragraphs 49-50)
Last reported: 19 and 20 August 2013 Concluding Observations issued: 23 September 2013
Issues raised and recommendations given:
Harmful practices: The Committee is concerned that harmful customary practices, such as forced marriages, female genital mutilation, levirate and sororate, persist in certain ethnic groups and impede women’s full enjoyment of the rights enshrined in the Convention. The Committee is also concerned about the social exclusion of women accused of witchcraft. The Committee, recalling its general recommendation No. 25 (2000) on gender-related dimensions of racial discrimination, recommends that the State party take urgent measures to put a stop to harmful customary practices that impede women’s full enjoyment of their rights in certain ethnic groups. It also recommends that the State party intensify its campaigns to raise awareness among the general public, and among traditional and religious leaders in particular, and that it make women aware of their rights by disseminating the relevant legislation. Lastly, the Committee recommends that the State party expedite the inclusion in the Criminal Code of a provision to protect women accused of witchcraft. It further recommends that the State party give this issue priority in its national policy on human rights and the promotion of civic responsibility, its national strategy for girls’ education for 2012–2021 and its national gender policy for 2009–2017. (arts. 2 and 5) (Para. 9)
Refugees/asylum seekers: The Committee takes note of the major effort made by the State party to take in a very large number of Malian refugees in its territory and its initiatives to promote tolerance between refugees and local communities. However, the Committee is concerned at reports that most child refugees have no birth certificate, even though the State party’s legislation provides for a late registration procedure that allows every child whose birth is not declared within 60 days to be registered and receive a birth certificate. The Committee notes with concern that, despite the adoption of the Refugees Act in 2008 and its implementing decrees in 2011, the appeal body provided for therein has not yet been set up, thereby impeding the full implementation of the Act. Lastly, the Committee is concerned at reports that refugees encounter obstacles in their efforts to access the labour market, as potential employers are not familiar with the identity cards issued to refugees.
The Committee, recalling its general recommendations Nos. 22 (1996) on article 5 and refugees and displaced persons and 30 (2004) on discrimination against non-citizens, recommends that the State party take measures to ensure that child refugees are registered free of charge and issued with birth certificates. To this end, the Committee recommends that the State party improve refugees’ access to registry offices and continue to conduct awareness campaigns for parents in camps, to inform them of their right to register their children. It also recommends that the State party ensure, as a matter of urgency, that the appeal body established under the Refugees Act becomes operational so that pending asylum applications can be considered. Lastly, the Committee recommends that the State party facilitate refugees’ access to the labour market with the implementation of the 2008 Refugees Act and raise employers’ awareness of this issue. (art. 5) (Para. 10)
Garibou children: The Committee notes with interest the attention paid by the State party to the problem of the exploitation of garibou children, who come from neighbouring countries or are from certain ethnic groups, and the measures taken for their protection and education. However, the Committee is concerned about the fact that this phenomenon persists despite the ban on all forms of begging set out in articles 242 to 245 of the Criminal Code. It is worried that such children may be at risk of being trafficked, exploited or abused in some way. The Committee recommends that the State party take new measures or strengthen existing ones to protect garibou children from neighbouring countries or from certain ethnic groups from exploitation, abuse and trafficking. To this end, it recommends that the State party strictly enforce the legislation relating to begging and Act No. 029-2008/AN of 15 May 2008 on combating human trafficking and related practices and that it prosecute and punish the marabouts responsible. It also recommends that the State party step up its efforts to raise awareness among parents and the people in charge of Koranic schools. (art. 5) (Para. 11)
Training and awareness-raising in the area of human rights: The Committee takes note of the human rights training and awareness-raising activities organized by the State party. The Committee regrets that the State party has not provided information on human rights education, in particular regarding training on the Convention, in schools and in academic programmes. The Committee recommends that the State party take measures to ensure that human rights education is offered in schools and in academic programmes. It also urges the State party to pay particular attention to the training of teachers, civil registry staff and law enforcement officers. (art. 7) (para. 16)
Last reported: 9 and 10 September 2013 Concluding Observations issued: 8 October 2013
Issues raised and recommendations given:
Justice: The Committee invites the State party to: (a) Ensure, both in law and in practice, that migrant workers and members of their families, including those in an irregular situation, have the same rights as nationals of the State party to file complaints and to obtain effective redress in the courts when their rights have been violated; (b) Inform migrant workers and members of their families of the judicial and other remedies available to them for violations of the Convention, and address their complaints as effectively as possible; (c) Ensure that migrant workers are duly informed of the procedure for obtaining legal assistance and, in its next periodic report, provide information on cases in which migrant workers have benefited from legal assistance. (Para. 19)
Child Beggars: While noting the development of an annual plan of action on child beggars and the creation of a monitoring committee, the Committee is concerned about the particular vulnerability of talibé or garibou migrant children forced into begging, particularly those who are in an irregular situation, separated from their families or unaccompanied, and the absence in the action plan of measures that take them fully into account. Although it takes note of the State party’s efforts for the reintegration of unaccompanied children, the Committee is concerned about the absence of measures to provide them with protection and specialized assistance. In the light of the recommendations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child in its concluding observations of 1 February 2013 (CRC/C/OPSC/BFA/CO/1, 2013, paras. 19 and 31), the Committee recommends that the State party ensure that the implementation of the national plan of action on child beggars and unaccompanied children make provision for measures to identify and protect children in a situation of servitude, and allocate sufficient human and financial resources for its implementation. (Paras. 22-23)
Expulsion: Although the State party indicated that no migrant worker or family member had been the subject of an expulsion order since 2010, the Committee notes with concern the lack of information on effective access for migrant workers in an irregular situation to remedies that would allow them to challenge an expulsion decision against them. The Committee recommends that the State party amend its legislation with a view to ensuring that migrant workers and members of their families may be expelled only in application of a decision taken by a competent authority and in accordance with the law, and that it guarantee their right to file an appeal with suspensive effect against such a decision. (Paras. 26-27)
Birth Registration: The Committee welcomes the free birth registration campaign introduced by the State party, but regrets that the campaign has ended, and is concerned about the problems encountered by migrant workers in registering the birth of their children in the State party. The Committee recommends that the State party step up its efforts to ensure that all children of migrant workers are registered at birth and provided with personal identity documents in accordance with article 29 of the Convention, and encourages the State party to re-launch the free birth registration campaign if at all possible. The Committee also recommends that the State party continue to facilitate the presence of the civil registry services in maternity wards, particularly in rural areas, and to raise the awareness of migrant workers and members of their families, particularly those in an irregular situation, of the importance of birth registration. (Paras. 28-29)
Trafficking: The Committee welcomes with satisfaction the regional, multilateral and bilateral agreements on combating the trafficking of children and women, the adoption of Act No. 029-2008/AN of 15 May 2008, the Decree of 17 July 2009 establishing a National Watchdog and Monitoring Committee, the Consolidated National Plan to Combat Trafficking of and Violence against Children (for the period from 2008 to 2011) and the partnership agreements with organizations such as the International Organization for Migration and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which help to identify cases of trafficking. The Committee is, however, disturbed by the persistence of the practice and notes with concern the inadequacy of the measures taken by the State party to combat the existence of rings that traffic children and women, who are subjected inter alia to forced labour, domestic slavery and prostitution. The Committee is also concerned about the small number of prosecutions brought and convictions handed down, the lack of information on the development of a new plan of action and the absence of victim identification procedures or measures to encourage migrant workers to report violations. (Para. 38)
The Committee recommends that the State party: (a) Develop and implement a new national action plan to combat trafficking in persons, especially women and children, together with indicators and measurable objectives, and including the systematic collection of disaggregated data on human smuggling or trafficking; (b) Intensify prevention campaigns, particularly in the border areas where most trafficking victims are found, and provide the National Watchdog and Monitoring Committee with adequate financial and human resources to allow it to fulfil its mandate; (c) Strengthen legal proceedings through the strict application of the legal framework to ensure that those responsible for smuggling and trafficking in persons are brought to justice and duly punished, and apply penalties that are sufficiently effective and dissuasive; (d) Adopt procedures and protocols to allow border guards, labour inspectors, immigration officers and other persons responsible for such activities to rapidly identify victims of trafficking, and to provide those who need protection with access to the asylum procedure if necessary, as well as to appropriate psychological, medical and legal support towards their reintegration; (e) Build up international, regional and bilateral cooperation, fully implementing existing agreements with countries of origin, transit and destination in order to prevent smuggling and trafficking in persons, and quickly finalize the draft cooperation agreement with Côte d’Ivoire on combating cross-border smuggling and trafficking in persons. (Para. 39)
Refugees: The Committee congratulates the State party on the measures it has taken in response to the crises in Côte d’Ivoire and Libya and also for the action it recently took to help refugees from Mali. The Committee is, however, concerned about the fact that the identity cards issued to refugees are not recognized, or are poorly recognized, in the State party, preventing the refugees from fully enjoying their rights. In particular, the Committee notes the absence of information on specific measures taken with a view to facilitating the regularization of migrant workers in an irregular situation. The Committee recommends that the State party ensure that the identity cards issued to refugees are fully recognized in the State party and urges it to take all appropriate measures to regularize the situation of migrant workers and members of their families who are in an irregular situation, to avoid them remaining in that situation for an extended period and to ensure that they have effective access to information on the procedures in force for the regularization of their situation. (Paras. 40-41)
Concluding observations published: 24 May 2016
Last Reported: 8 December 2014
Legislation on the protection of children: The Committee takes note of the measures taken by the State party to categorize the production and use of forged documents as a criminal offence. It notes, however, that, according to the delegation of the State party, its legislation does not contain any specific provision making it possible to prevent or punish under its criminal law the falsification, concealment or destruction of documents attesting to the true identity of the children referred to in article 25 (1) (a) of the Convention.The Committee recommends that the State party strengthen its criminal legislation specifically to prevent and punish cases of falsification, concealment or destruction of documents attesting to the true identity of the children referred to in article 25 (1) (a) (paras 41, 42).
Effect of enforced disappearances on children: The Committee wishes to emphasize the particularly cruel effect of enforced disappearances on the rights of women and children. In the case of women, it makes them particularly vulnerable to sexual and other forms of gender violence. Women who are relatives of a disappeared person are particularly likely to suffer serious social and economic consequences and to be subjected to violence, persecution and reprisals as a result of their efforts to locate their loved ones. Children who are victims of enforced disappearance, either because they themselves have been subjected to disappearance or because they suffer the consequences of the disappearance of their relatives, are especially vulnerable to numerous human rights violations, including identity substitution. In this context, the Committee places special emphasis on the need for the State party to ensure that gender perspectives and child-sensitive approaches are used in implementing the rights and obligations set out in the Convention (para 44).